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The Danger of a Single Story

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Autor:   •  August 8, 2017  •  Term Paper  •  602 Words (3 Pages)  •  328 Views

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Africans are consistently stereotyped as broke since the society has a standardised mental image of the nation citizen based on a single presumption. Aid for Africa, No Thanks is a Ted Talk series presented by Andrew Mwenda, he argues the financial aid received by Africa have not endeavoured for the development of the continent. Moreover, The Danger of a Single Story is as well as a Ted talk series by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie where she emphasises on the tragedies of fabricated verities. Mutually, the speakers are Nigeria origin, where the speakers discuss their experiences and the causes of the stereotypical views. Africans are perpetually seen as poverty-stricken individuals’ due to universal notion towards the continent. Experiences of Africans where Westerners correlated African as impecunious and the single story perpetuated by the media culture.

The historical perspective based on limited experiences leads the Western society to perceive Africans as poor. Adichie stated an incident where she was sympathised by her roommate even before seeing her, assumed Adichie didn't know how to use a stove, and the roommate was shocked by Adichie's ability to converse in English. In actuality, Adichie was raised and educated in a country which had a significant education level along with economic status, Nigeria. The use of anecdotes in her statement creates a more personal edge where the audience can connect with the similar circumstances of their own which add immediacy to her speech. However, Mwenda's speech title Aid for Africa, no Thanks depicts new idea towards Africa as he affirms the continent don't require capital funding. The short sentence title makes his view to stand out and to develop a close attention of the audience and builds tension in the audience to understand Africa is a developing country. This evidence the existence of stereotypical view towards Africans.

Another evidence is the single story that is perpetuated by the mass media has shaped a standard illustration on Africa. In fact, out of 56 countries, merely 6 countries are involved in war is centred by the media as mentioned by Mwenda. Hence, creating sympathy feeling by the society towards the continent solely. The usage of statistic ‘6 countries out 56 countries’ shows well researched based on the substantial evidence before his speech, where he gains audience trustworthy as it depicts Mwenda as highly knowledgeable and authoritative. The influence of media is also supported by Adichie’s speech when her professor rejected her novel since the characters weren't starving and drove cars. The professor believes the novel isn’t authentically Africa because the story doesn’t illustrate the Africa he witnessed in medias. Adichie shows a shift in tone from aggressive to sober while presenting her idea where she aspires to notify the audience the impact on the emotional well-being of an individual when experiencing this scenario. Hence, this justify the stereotypical view on Africa as impoverished territory.


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