May 21 2007

Africa’s PR problem

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 2:40 AM

The May 28 issue of Time gave Don Cheadle, the star of the movie Hotel Rwanda, a generous platform to discuss problems in Africa. The whole of page six is devoted to Cheadle’s thoughts on Darfur and other issues. That Cheadle is viewed as a guru on matters African is a strange commentary. Yet he gets some part of the problem: the mis-represenations of Africa by so-called experts in the “field.” That he can make declarations such as the following nevertheless raise doubts about his “guru” qualifications:

Q: What is the greatest need of the African people?

Cheadle: One thing they need is better p.r. The news loves to talk about all the terrible situations, but it is very resistant to talk about the success. Liberia has a female president. That is huge, isn’t it. Cameroon has turned itself around. If people in this country think of Africa as a place with kids and flies swarming around their heads, then they won’t understand that these people are you and you are them.”

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