Transcend negative stereotypes with real value and cool fun

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuYyq_7KhjA&w=560&h=315]  

I command her talk and the questions she finally decided to ask herself. But at this point, the only way to transcend this massive, negative and reductive view of "Africa" that the world has of her and her people, is for a critical mass number of "Africans" to step up to the plate and dazzle with their actions and accomplishments. For that my personal strategy remains branding. No need to patronize people, even if you are preaching the Good. Offer real value, make it fun and cool and they will join in :)

World Biggest Micro-Entrepreneur: the best an African can do, really?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Uz1zkzcmtHQ]  

More here. My point is if we, Africans, want to be taken seriously in this world, we have to step up and speed up, right now. Let's establish our own standards and they better be world-class standards or more, nothing less. And let's leapfrog from there.

I encourage you to check out PovertyCure.org (and make sure to "Watch their promo"), for it is an organization that has a great understanding for sound economics. I also like that is a network of partners and people who truly understand the most basic need of ANY human being for dignity and pride, including the poor people. Then that is no wonder they support entrepreneurship as the best path to escaping poverty with superb dignity.

Is this what motivates Jeffrey Sachs?

 

 

This past June, I wrote an article for the Huffington Post  titled  Jeffrey Sachs' Misguided Foreign Aid Efforts. A big message I wanted to drive home was the importance for so-called "do-gooders" wanting to "help" Africa to stop thinking about what makes them feel good, but rather start focusing and respecting the needs and desires of the very people they claim to care so much about.

To this day, I am pretty amazed at how this need to have a role is so important for people. Don't take me wrong, I too want to have a role, but there are many ways to have a role other than the patronizing role. 

Below is an insert from  a great article from a unitarian universalist minister that corroborates my own feeling and gives a good analysis why people fall easily into the patronizing role.

"Defining someone as a victim is one of the most brutal and demeaning things we can do to them. This was, remember, the reason liberals lost permission to speak for the Black Power and Women's movements: they wisely chose to define themselves as survivors and warriors. That left liberals without a necessary role to play. It also shows, perhaps painfully, that the reason we define our token groups as victims is so that we can give ourselves a necessary role to play. The salvation story of political liberals requires victims. That's why it's such a dehumanizing myth"