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Neocolonized African Journalists in CNN’s Warped African Jungle

Tue, 13 Apr 2010 Source: Mensema, Akadu N.

*By Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, Ph. D.

“Finalists in the prestigious CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2010 Competition

were announced today. The competition is now in its 15th year. This year the

competition received entries from 975 journalists from 40 countries throughout the

continent. The competition is now truly established as a way for African journalists

to better their lives.” (Ghanaweb April 9, 2010).

975 African journalists

Scrambling for CNN crumby award

CNN hegemonic, self-serving award

Tell CNN to give positive coverage

Coverage of African people worldwide

Of African achievements

Not to Africanize HIV/AIDS

Not to Africanize violence

Not to Africanize civil wars

Not to Africanize gender inequality

Tell CNN to remember the African past

Of slavery & colonialism

Of dehumanization

Of inferiorization

That the reality of Africa

That the African past

Of slavery & colonization

Shapes the African present

That Africa is a work in progress

Shaped by past depredations

Of white supremacy

Of white hegemony

975 African journalists

Tell CNN to hire DARK-skin African Americans

Tell CNN to stop using only BIRACIAL newscasters

Tell CNN to use DARK-skin African Americans

975 African journalists

Educate, empower Africans

That Africans shouldn’t be inferiorized

That Africans shouldn’t be patronized

That Africans shouldn’t be demonized

That Africans should reject paternalism

That Africans should reject condescension

975 African journalists

Why do you accept crumbs

Foreign addicted crumbs

Crumbs buttered with hegemony

Crumbs flavored with dependency

Crumbs laced with neocolonialism

Fixated on foreign crumbs

Poisonous foreign crumbs

975 African journalists

Our opinion leaders

Our conscience-movers & shakers

Lost in the gutters of neocolonialism

Compete for hegemonic crumbs

From CNN

Purveyors of African mediocrity

CNN & the Western media

All demonize Africans

CNN’s hegemonic award

Tokenism, hollow award

Condescending award

And Africans are scrambling

And 375 African journalists

Scrambling to swallow it all

975 African journalists

Our fountain of disappointment

Our troubling sign of “blackness”

Neocolonial-addled agents

Subtext of our self-inferiorization

Cloying banality of our culture

Journalists who don’t ask questions

Poised on templates of hopelessness

Eager to publicize Westernism

Cheer whiteness, adore the West

975 African journalists

The killers of the dream

With their triumphalist narratives

Of Western superiority

Of African mediocrity

Who welcome foreign notions

Instead of local accepted wisdom

Who would quote shallow foreigners

Instead of knowledgeable Africans

Killers of the dream

975 African journalists

Fed on Eurocentric education

Eager to mimic Westernism

Fed on nursery rhymes

The best comes from the West

Co-Africanizers of mediocrity

Are happy, forever grateful

Scrambling for CNN award

Journalists who fear to ask new questions

Who latch on to anything from the West

Who parody Western packaging of Africa

Who are eager to quote Western journalists

Western jaundiced views of Africans

Marginalizing Africans

In cradles of inferiority

With deceitful declarations

975 African journalists

You must ask revolutionary questions

You must seek radical answers

For seamless empowerment

Of demonized, inferiorized Africans

You must seek the liberation of Africans

*Akadu N. Mensema, Ph. D., is a nationalist Denkyira beauty. She is a trained oral

historian cum sociologist and Professor in the USA. She lives in Pennsylvania with

her great mentor and teaches Africa-area studies at a college in Maryland. In her

pastime, she writes what critics have called “populist hyperbolic, satirical”

poetry. She can be reached at akadumensema@yahoo.com

Columnist: Mensema, Akadu N.