A colleague at work told me about the incident at the BET Awards where Ice Prince won the Best International Act Africa category. He wasn’t really recognised in the African-American/American audience — but was applauded by an army of…crickets.
Okay, maybe I’m was being humourous with that statement. Therefore I’ll rephrase: there was no applause from the crowd at all.
I didn’t have time to watch the awards ceremony, but upon hearing the news, I’m disappointed to the fact that the despite the new technologies in the world, the black community in the West in a way is still disconnected from their motherland (Africa) irrespective of their association or not.
Let’s be honest, if you’re of black descent and live in the Western world, you’re constantly bombarded with negative imagery, which makes many people to be ignorant of not going there at all because ‘it’s poor, bombarded with AIDS and people dying (i.e famine)’. Funny how many African-Americans are not educated properly about Africa but are naive to the stereotypes that are seen on television and mainstream media. It’s not their fault however, that they’re not that aware as many of them wouldn’t be able to afford to travel outside their country (Americans have free travel from state-to-state internally, so it’s no surprise that they so drowned in their own world).
Many would say that Ice Prince was disrespected as none applaud for him, whilst others would say that this is normal as American artists go to Africa and they’re hardly recognised. With regards the latter argument of ‘American artists’ not recognised: WOAH! How can you say that when African-American artists (especially Hip Hop ones) are so much adored by Africans. You can go to the smallest hut and see posters of them. If you think that this is new that African-Americans disrespected ‘Mama Africa’ then I guess you didn’t hear about how Chris Brown went to Ghana, disrespected the country and still got paid 1 million — despite being high on weed. Don’t believe me? Then read these:
So from the way I see it, it’s just ignorance.
Before I end this post I’d like to clear out a few things:
1. Ghananians are the ones that does the Kente fabric, NOT all of Africa. The continent has 2,000 ethnic tribes, who all have their own traditions, dressing, fabrics etc. With this in mind, it’ll mean that all of these tribes have their own festivals, celebrations etc.
2. NOT of all of Africa is bombarded with famine! If that was true, then why isn’t the Chinese, Indians and Eastern Europeans leaving (which Africa needs to be careful of as they need to help the Africans and not just bringing their own. We don’t want to see the extinction of the black race).
3. Not everyone is not running around naked and living in huts. It may surprise you that you can actually build your own house just the way you want it. Plus, you’re own fashion designer as they make their fabric, which you buy and then design you own signature outfit.
4. Not every country is at war.
5. They’re the most educated. All Africans are taught the huge importance of education. In some countries, you’re taught Year 8 stuff in year 6 (eight grade topics in the sixth grade) and with a system in most countries, where you it’s compulsory to reach a total average score in order to go to the next year, this makes them work harder.
6. Despite being aware of Western music, Afrobeats is the most listened to. The citizens in the continent are conscious of each countries music artists and also have their own awards ceremonies to celebrate them! Wiz-Kid, 2 Face Idibiba and Sarkodie are just the few artists that are HUGE in Africa.
7. All African women are beautiful unlike the West where they’ve input Black people’s obsession of #teamlight and #teamdark, in Africa you’ll find interesting combinations of the black race and majority do get married out of love – not for hypersexualisation. The Black race has always come with different shapes and sizes – from the skinniest frame to the lady with the naturally small waist and big booty without the plastic enhancement.
For those of you that don’t have a clue what Afro-beats is it’s basically pop music with African beats. All artists (predominately African) infuse their culture in the genre. From the African dance moves to their language in the lyrics. This is the genre that you see men actually DANCE (no, not in a feminine way). Trust me, men whining their hips and shaking their bottoms in a masculine way is normal in many African tribes. Check out my post entitled The Twerk: An African Dance Gone Trash?
Check out the so called freestyle of backflips, somersaults in B-boy. The Esan tribe in Nigeria have been doing them for years. They can even do it faster!
Is Africa perfect? No, but it’s not bad either. I think everyone in the Black community shouldn’t favour anyone that disrespects, commits a serious crime, cheats etc. None is above the law. However, more is needed to be done to change Western-Black-Bred perceptions on Africa.
Let this track from Akon explain for you.