African Story Told the African Way

Browsing through the internet I chanced on a video on YouTube of a young lady called Nicole who came to Ghana on what looked like a group excursion .The African American made a video diary called ‘in Ghana’ which is a 3 part video about  her experiences as she journeyed through Ghana for the first time.

This video has caused some backlash among Africans in the diaspora. Videos have been uploaded in response to Nicole’s video by two Ghanaians and a Nigerian. I prefer not to include some of the words that were said to and about Nicole because of the harshness of comments. The bottom line is that, people were obviously not in love with Nicole’s Video and judging from the comments, they feel she only highlighted on negativity and also made false statements and inconsiderate judgment.

So what is wrong with Nicole’s video? Why is there so much attention given to her? The video attracted over 15,000 views on YouTube. Nicole is an African American telling an African story from an American perspective. These are two separate worlds with two different cultures. I personally do not know what she expected to see in Ghana because it is obvious she expected something she was used to.

The YouTube video hit captures Nicole complaining about the  ‘too hot weather’ and how in her own words the ‘air condition at the Kwame Nkrumah memorial park  stinks’  and how all the men she ‘came in contact with stink’.

 Nicole scans the rooms through her camera and concludes that the hotel is pretty small but ‘I guess it is clean for Africa’.

Her comments about our national delicacies are that ‘it makes her want to throw up’. She also commented on our women carrying food on their head and babies at the back. All of which   appears to give her a culture shock?  But this is our trademark, our culture of which we are very proud of.

Nicole rightly said that pollution in Ghana is bad  and went on to equate one day  of pollution in Ghana to five years  of pollution in the States. What I found interesting  is with all the unpleasant comments she received some Ghanaians agreed with her about the pollution levels and even appealed to citizens and authorities to pay more attention to reducing pollution. Did we have to wait for a video like this before preaching pollution reduction?

The point of writing this article is not to give Nicole more attention but to actually open our eyes to the fact that if we want an African story to be told we should tell it ourselves. If an African story has to be told it should be told by Africans. Those times when non Africans used to tell our stories are over and with the existence of internet we have no excuse for not sharing  our stories, as well as our proud and unique culture with  the world .Telling  our own stories the way we want   to hear them. I was inspired by the whole series of ‘in Ghana’ along with the responses and awakened by the fact that if we are indeed proud of our stories then we should tell our African stories through  Africa’s eyes.

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