So last night I was browsing through my Facebook feed when I came across a post from a page I follow religiously called Allkpop when I saw something that shocked me. As most of my close friends know am a huge fan of Korean dramas and kpop and I’ll be the first to admit my shameless crushes of three perfect talented human specimen; Lee Jong-suk (Pinocchio, W), Kim Soo Hyun (You from Another Star) and every now and then Lee Minho (Heirs). 🙂
Anyway, before I get my hormones all hyped up about fantasies that will never come to pass, watching the handsome Sam Okyere, a Ghanaian TV personality who’s also active in South Korea having a conversation about Ghana with the naively innocent but very ignorant Kangnam ( I don’t even know him that well – ignorance on my part – but he’s very popular in Korea and he sounded like a cool funny guy) on SBS’ show My Ugly Duckling had me cringing in embarrassment…and anger. I had no idea that it was possible for anyone to be that ignorant about Africa in this day and age where there’s technology…I mean, has he been living under a rock all these years?
Click here for more pictures of beautiful and rich African cities.
Before I get into details, perhaps I should share the conversation that these guys had on tele. I wasn’t quite sure whether to laugh or be pissed by the misconceptions that Gangnam was spewing. But maybe we should consider it a good thing that he was bold enough to ask?? Well, the jury is still out there on that one.
Sam: I have a very busy schedule when am in Ghana. I get a lot of interviews.
Kangnam: They have TV’s in Ghana?
Sam: (Visibly shocked if not somewhat insulted but he manages to remain cool) Of course there are TV’s. You have some misconceptions.
Kangnam: They have broadcast stations like SBS, MBC….
[Hold a second while I laugh here. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣]
Sam: Of course, they even play Korean dramas these days.
[Yeah, and we have Netflix too. You heard there’s internet in Africa too right? 😀]
Kangnam: Are there subways?
[No, we fly on brooms to get to work, Harry Potter style. 😀]
Sam: No, but there are buses and airplanes, and lions too. I’m also a city man. I need to go to the zoo if I wanna see lions. The city in Ghana is similar to Seoul. (He is surprisingly STILL cool and respectful)
And then Kangnam went for the gold with the next question! 😂😂😂 I couldn’t believe it, I had to jump off my bed to laugh at this one…and then later the disappointment and anger crept in and I wasn’t sure whether to hate Kangnam or feel sorry for him. He is so ignorant it was painful to watch.
Kangnam: Oh, so there are buildings? Are there also clubs?
(😂😂😂😂😅 dude, like 30% of young single mothers in Africa probably met their baby daddy’s in clubs! Haven’t you heard we Africans can shake it like no other???)
You could tell he was visibly shocked and intrigued. He probably had to take a pill to calm his nerves after discovering it wasn’t just Korea that had embraced the age of modernization. Somebody shoulda told him about Egypt, some-body? Anybody!
To all of this Sam still responded with calm. Is this guy even human?? LOL
You can watch this interesting conversation here.
Anyways, if there is anything I learned about that episode of the show, it is that the world is still far from seeing Africa…and sometimes it’s people as equals. The question I asked myself was; why is it like that? Is it that these people have no desire whatsoever to learn about us and our culture or are they content with the stories they’ve heard from third parties that are quick to paint this beautiful continent dark?
You see, the truth is we are all somehow responsible for this. Kangnam and many like him are responsible for their ignorance because they’ve never taken the time to know Africa on their own without seeing it through the lens of others and their heresay. I have watched Korean dramas and even Hollywood shows and movies make reference to African countries and am always appalled by the false stories they insert into their plots. Like, couldn’t you have done some actual research? It is not that difficult to find modern, current information about Africa and it’s many different countries. To think that someone has no idea we have TV’s in our homes, and buildings, yes, buildings in the year 2017?? Dammit we’ve always had buildings! Where exactly did he think we all live?
Seriously, dude, you need to step out and explore the world. I will gladly volunteer to be your tour guide, you and anyone from any part of the world that needs to see the upgraded version of Africa.
We are all guilty of deliberate ignorance and I would be lying if I said I don’t hold certain misconceptions about Koreans. I have watched almost every show that’s ever been produced in Korea and at times am tempted to make certain judgments about their culture, their penis sizes (yes I just said that) and so on and so forth.
Before watching these dramas I used to think Asians weren’t allowed to kiss in public or show any form of public affection anywhere! Mehn I thought all Koreans were virgins till marriage until I noticed how the writers kept pressing for skinship in almost all dramas of the romantic genre. But I deliberately took an interest in Korea and even started learning their language because I needed to get rid of my ignorance.
However, I think the ones that are most guilty of perpetuating these misconceptions about Africa are Africans themselves! How the hell do we allow these constant documentaries about poverty this, hunger this, AIDS this, malaria this to circulate to the ends of the world? It’s not like we can’t afford to take care of our own but we have put selfish leaders in power and allowed foreign agencies to come into our countries under the guise of foreign aid and it is these folks that are selling fables about Africa! And don’t even get me started on how I think we should all take some responsibility for painting such a picture.
Anyway, before I get all political, let me just say that I wanted to take this opportunity to educate certain parts of the world, the Kangnam type of people around the world that we Africans aren’t living in the Early Stone Age. I thought I should take them on a pictorial tour around Africa. There’s more to Africa than just animals and hunger. Certain countries might not be as economically and technologically advanced as Europe or Korea, but people, we are definitely civilized! Every country has both rich people and poor people, how come nobody around the world wanna talk about the ‘fancy Africa?’
Please note that you can find all of these pictures on the internet. If anyone needs a tutorial on how to google data about modern Africa, please feel free to contact me. 😉
Let’s start with Accra, the capital city of Ghana where Sam comes from!
And just for effect, You can check out this clip by Edward Blagogee @blagogee.com on YouTube about the 2016 Ghana Movie Awards…because you know, Africans produce their own television shows and movies. It’s been going on for years now!
And then we have the nightlife! If you wanna know more about nightlife in Ghana, check out this site.
And the rest of 21st century Africa! OMO OMO, are those buildings am seeing?? 😀😀😀 Johannesburg, South Africa
Let’s not forget my own beautiful country Zambia! We get natural tans around here, straight outa heaven. This melanin don’t come cheap somebody better recognize!
The African World Of Fashion!
By all means, do check out our African queens on the runway at African Fashion shows. Oh yes, we do actually wear clothes, not those animal skins you heard about…unless maybe when we have traditional ceremonies and what not otherwise we have a special kind of fabric we call Ankara aka The African Print Fabric. Always bright and beautiful.
You can catch a wave in Durban, South Africa if you like.
This is what they keep showing you about Africa;
But these kids down here are African kids too!
And while you’re at it, check out my nephew Reece here (center stage, white t-shirt) dancing at his school show a couple of weeks ago:
Do these kids look hungry to anyone?
Anyway, I could go on and on about how beautiful Africa is but there might not be an end to it. I am not disputing the fact that we have poor people here, there are sick people and we have crimes here and there but which country doesn’t have any of these problems? Why should the beauty of our continent be clouded by the dark patches, some that do not even exist anymore?
We are a developing continent and the people in Africa are no different from the rest of the world. Let us all treat each other with respect and most importantly, let us learn about other people as opposed to staying in our own private cacoons nursing our ignorance and parading it loudly on television as if it’s such a normal thing.
A very proud African.