Travel

Africa does not have a Collective Accent – Racist Stereotype

This is a RANT about racist stereotypes about Africa.

Fisayo of thefisayo.com wrote a guest post on mypostcard.app about a few racist stereotypes about Africa that need to change.

One stereotype in particular that she mentioned, and I keep repeating is the fact that Africa is a continent with 54 different countries.

It has different cultures, history and languages and they can’t be lumped together. 

Misconceptions people have about Africa that need to be unlearned and corrected.

Later, she asked a question on her Instagram stories asking what other stereotypes we want people to be educated on.

I replied and she suggested I write an article on the stereotype I highlighted.

That is what birthed this post.

Let’s get right into it why don’t we?

AFRICA DOES NOT HAVE A COLLECTIVE ACCENT!

This is a stereotype that even in the year 2020 is still being made by Hollywood.

They have created a generic “African” accent which they use for anyone who plays the role of an “African”.

Here are a few examples:

  • “Bob hearts Abishola”: an American series. “Abishola” is a Nigerian woman with a Nigerian accent living in America, yet nothing about her accent is Nigerian. It’s extremely offensive.
  • Modern Family: the “African” family portrayed in one of the episodes could barely speak let alone understand English and when they did speak they made sounds that were completely derogatory to Africa as a whole.
  • Blood Diamond: I know this movie is quite old but I still just can’t get over Leonardo Dicaprio’s when speaking Afrikaans. It was nowhere near authentic and it sounded forced.

Each country in Africa has a unique accent and not one collective monotonic sounding accent.

When trying to portray accents from Nigeria make sure the character sounds Nigerian and not East African.

A person playing the role of a South African should sound South African and not Ghanaian.

The portrayal of accents from African countries is of the utmost importance, it requires authenticity and accuracy.

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