TORONTO — Sick and tired of the way she felt Africa was often portrayed in the media, a 17-year-old girl from Ghana set out to switch up the narrative by starting the hashtag #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou.
“I started the hashtag because I thought the world deserved to know the truth,” said Rachel Markham (@WestAfricanne).
“As a Ghanaian I know very well there is so much more than all the poverty and suffering. Behind that is something that is rarely shown.”
The teen said in an email to Global News that she created the hashtag to celebrate the beauty of her continent.
A few others have helped Markham get the word out, like her friend Diana (@lunarnomad), who is of Somalian descent.
The hashtag has been mentioned more than 70,000 times in recent weeks. It’s also drawn plenty of beautiful images on Instagram.
“I cannot understand how the media has done so little coverage on the progress African countries have made,” Markham wrote.
“From the luxury apartments, shopping outlets, office complexes and also the creation of new cities, townhouses and much more.”
It’s true that much of sub-Saharan Africa has seen fast economic growth. Not only are natural resources still an important commodity, but industries like energy, construction, banking and IT are also taking off.
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And contrary to what some commericals may have you believe, African children don’t all have flies on their faces.
There are countries with thriving art scenes.
Plus plenty of beautiful beaches.