Archive for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Story Tellers…

Posted in Ghana, Of Stories And Their Telling with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2010 by elisabethefuasutherland

The Danger Of A Single Story

I just ended my freshman year in college and am about to spend my summer working on designing costumes for an original play, which is sure to be a highly educative and rewarding experience, albeit slightly depressing, since after all, it is based on a Holocaust memoir. The thing about Holocaust memoirs is that, usually, everyone except the author dies. The plots are heartwrenchingly predictable; you know that this person’s friends and family are probably all going to die, the main variable is just the order in which this happens. Yet there is a burden placed on me, on us as a design team, to capture the story presented in as objective a light as possible, and present it through the lens of the woman who chose to share it. I feel strongly bound to this undertaking because I have a personal vendetta against the international media and their portrayals of my beloved continent, Africa, which has only grown stronger since I have attended school in the United States and come into contact with people from all over the world who have a very skewed and largely incorrect picture of the African continent. I myself have tried to educate the people I come into contact with, but it is a painstaking and often infuriating process. In my reading, I have come across stories told by non-Africans, and even foreign-born Africans, who have not done adequate research, and write pieces that build up the stereotypes surrounding the continent. This makes me mad, simply because it is not the whole picture. Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie addresses this in a speech she gives, titled “The Danger of A Single Story”. I am not saying that Africa has no problems. I am just saying that the international media should make more of an effort to portray Africa in its entirety.

It is my dream that African and international media will start to show the world how far the continent has come, instead of showcasing its problems.

[Link to Chimamanda Adichie’s speech on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9Ihs241zeg ]