MARGARET CHISANGA, Lusaka
A CAMPAIGN seeking to portray Africa and particularly Zambia, in a positive light to the rest of the world has been launched by 2017 Mandela Washington Fellow, Bwalya Maketo.
“Akashimi-Kesu” is a term derived from the Bemba language, which is one of the country’s widely spoken local languages and is loosely translated to mean “Our Story”.
“The idea is to spark a movement of change in the way information about Africa is packaged and disseminated to the rest of the world. It seeks to shine some favourable light on Africa, by highlighting its changing narrative, current developmental trends, its emerging middle class, as well as its booming entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Mrs Maketo said.
Mrs Maketo said the initiative is timely as there is a demand for more nuance, intelligence and balance in the media representation of the continent.
She believes information, when properly packaged, will help in the effective rebranding of the continent.
“The campaign will ignite a sense of purpose among the youth to participate actively in the process of rewriting the narrative of Africa and Zambia in particular, as well as to promote the voices of the youth as positive change agents in the quest to achieve Africa’s transformation.
Mrs Maketo said the campaign intends to champion a movement of Africans and global citizens who recognise Africa’s people and resources as key players in the attainment of global transformation and sustainability.
“Beyond the fellowship, my intention is to expand my work further with my organisation, the Zambian Women With Skills by reaching out to more communities using the civic spectrum model of community engagement and participation,” she said.
She hoped the campaign will help spark a culture of communication change, in which both traditional and new media would begin to project Africa in a manner devoid of sinister stereotypes and myths, through proper scrutiny of information before sending it out.