Personal Perceptions of Africa

Water. Arsenie Coseac. 2011.
Water. Arsenie Coseac. 2011.

As a child I was subject to a different perception of the continent Africa. Throughout my childhood I was always interested in wildlife and ecosystems. Upon researching, much of my findings were based in Africa. For much of my later life, my perception of this continent was molded through the beautiful and expansive wildlife that Africa had to offer.

Following my phase of realizing the ecological diversity of the continent, I soon became a victim of viewing the continent through the perspective of how the media portrayed it. Much like most of the rest of the world, I went through a phase of false belief of the entire continent being poverty ridden, and full of other negative aspects. Although obviously not true, I find it tragic that the perspectives of millions of people around the world have also been subject to the same idea I had simply because of media manipulation.

Cairo lights. Marwa Morgan. 2008.
Cairo lights. Marwa Morgan. 2008.

Now that I have matured, my perception of Africa has been subject to much more than just the wildlife. It is true that there is poverty and disease in Africa; but on which continent is there not? I believe that Africa is a very diverse and unique continent with large amounts of potential. Many parts of this continent are going through a state of reform and modernization, where many also seem to have stagnated in growth. My personal opinion is that this is due to much of the political and social aspects of Africa mixing in with the rest of the world. Because of this, tension is created among the people of Africa who want to update to the modern world but do not want to let go of their beautiful history. This friction is perceived by the rest of the world as the incapability to progress; however, I believe that the African Cosmos demonstrates the culture’s rich history and potential growth.

With that being said, I believe Africa is a beautiful balance of historical prominence and future potential. The vast continent is rumored as the starting point of all human civilization. By looking through the history of this land, much about the roots of humanity can be learned. These roots show the cultural, spiritual, and artistic uniqueness of the African people that the rest of the world is largely blind to. Because of these differences in cultures, Africa has developed a different system of civilization that much of the world cannot comprehend.


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