Throughout history, Africa, its people and culture have been at the receiving end of stereotypes buried in narratives which have been perpetuated across generations. These were equally visible through misrepresentations in historical documents to media propaganda among others.
In recent times, campaigns have been launched with people calling for a change in narrative. The likes of veteran actor, John Amos who played the role pf Cleo McDowell in “Coming 2 America” pointed out how western stereotypes misrepresent realities in Africa.
He revealed that, “we have to be mindful that the only way to present an accurate picture of life in Africa is culture and what this means to the indigenous people is to put that responsively for that imagery in the hands of Africans. Let us best describe who we are and why we are; and not leave it to others who have ulterior motives, end of story!”
The recent popular figure to join the ongoing campaign is Samuel Eto’o, President of the Cameroonian Football Federation. From his perspective, Eto’o believe telling our stories through art helps to ‘reclaim’ our history.
The former player said “There’s a power in being able to tell our own stories and reclaim our history.” Eto’o wrote this statement after honoring an invitation to visit Benin for their Art Expo. “I felt deeply inspired visiting the Benin Art Expo and viewing the 26 historic artifacts that were returned to Benin last year,” he added.