Africa is a vast continent made up of a multitude of countries, cultures, languages, etc. There are said to be an estimated 2000 plus languages spoken on the continent and over 3000 ethnic groups. We have a history that stretches back centuries, beyond colonialism, etc, but we are still seen as the location for beautiful landscapes and safaris or war and disease.
There often seems to be no middle ground for those looking from the outside in. We evolve and grow but the image that is projected and shared outside does not. Yes, the business and political worlds recognise the power of getting their fingers deeper into our soil and societies but even that comes from a particular perspective.
We need to tell our own stories. This is a refrain that is repeated constantly but how does one create effective platforms and communication tools, particularly on the web where the cacophony of content is beyond deafening. I am a firm believer in the idea that ‘every little bit helps.’
Towards end of last year, I came across the AfricaAsOne project that DHL is doing as an official sponsor of the Rugby World Cup, which takes place in September in London.
“The AfricaAsOne team has set out on a grand and ambitious journey to pass a single rugby ball from hand to hand through 45 countries, over 45 weeks, starting in Cape Town and ending in London for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.”
While it may be tied to rugby which, to be honest, I have only recently started getting into because my 7-year old son has fallen in love with the sport, what I am enjoying about the journey is the insight into the different countries from a food, music and culture perspective.
It also doesn’t hurt that, after South Africa, where my home is, they started in my home country Lesotho. Can’t wait to see what they do in my other home, Ghana.