Oftentimes people discuss why Afrophobia is wrong and much “finger pointing” is directed towards those who peddle or unknowingly fuel demeaning narratives. Whereas this post unpacks a few solutions that can be practically applied on a daily basis.
Solution 2: Make the circle bigger. This article was inspired by “Heritage Month” in South Africa where the cultures linked to our 11 official languages were celebrated nation-wide. However, when I took note of most local and a few celebrations around the world, I notice that many tend to limit their focus and guest lists to those who are similar to them or already, somewhat, familiar with their nation and its history. Which is understandable if the world were not as interconnected as it is now. South Africa, for example, is no longer the isolated global pariah that it once was. It is the 2nd most powerful economy in Africa, SADC’s regional anchor state and host of the Pan African Parliament. South Africa is now coloured by a variation of nationals from across the globe and as such should be more deliberate about understanding the broader continent and world we live in. Meaning that there lies a compulsion to “make the circle bigger” by broadening the scope of heritage celebrations and cultural diplomacy activities to display, celebrate and invite as diverse a set of people as possible. Not just at a national level but at community level too. More so because we live in an increasingly interconnected world and citizens have to be more aware of international dynamics
Solution 3: Get Personal. More personal and consistent interaction is strongly encouraged. Changes in attitude do not necessarily come through hosting extravagant spectacles but through continual exposure and interaction. Regular interaction humanises those perceived to be “other” and increases the likelihood of building bridges of recognition, understanding, and willingness to regard others with dignity. Regular exposure gives more room to learn and be exposed to the truth, thereby diminishing the foundation of Afrophobia, ignorance.
Solution 4: Agency & Timelessness. Exercising agency, refusing to be bound by myopic approaches to the calendar and looking towards timeless mediums are powerful solutions. Why wait for “Africa Day”, “Africa Month”, summits or special conferences hosted by International Organisations to act? If we wait for a specific day to act, will we really see the tangible change that is so intensely needed? Why wait? Why not take our destiny into our own hands? Tools such as the arts, media, entertainment, education and platforms like THE DIPLO-SPHERE can regularly and consistently produce content that helps shift perspectives to diminish Afrophobia.
Solution 5: Active Citizenship. Edmund Burke wisely asserted, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. Meaning that it is evil to withhold good. Thus THE DIPLO-SPHERE urges that you bring to life and strongly fight for whatever ideas, products, businesses, campaigns or platforms that you have in mind that will bring constructive change and add value to society. For it is we who will build “the Africa we want” and the world that we want. Hopefully before 2063.
Molweni (Xhosa: Hello),
Lina la rona ke DIPLO-SPHERE (Setswana/ Sotho: We are THE DIPLO-SPHERE)
Tinofara zvikuru kudzidza nezve tsika nemagariro enyu (Shona: We are excited to learn about you and your culture)
Moenie bang wees, asseblief. (Afrikaans: Please do not be shy)
Kuya ma uru ya kutu fasiriya dju ya Fasi yako ya upeke mu dunia (Swahili: feel free to tell us about your unique place in the world)
Tizawonana (Chinyanja/ Chichewa: We will see each other soon)
Asomdwoe! (Akan: Peace)