Africans, Use Digital Technologies To Tell Your Own Stories
by William Jackson, My Quest To Teach
Africans need to tell their own stories especially in the age of
digital technology, Social Media, Apps and other digital
platforms. The flexibility of digital tools opens doors to sharing
content and inspiring dreams. Blogging, Podcasting, Microblogging,
Vblogging and other platforms like SnapChat are resources to
share diverse content.
African stories need to be told authentically.
Chinua Achebe states in his book “Home and Exile,” “until the
lion produces their own historian, the story of the hunt will
glorify only the hunter.” Digital technologies allow African youth
to be storytellers and create their own digital foundations to be
followed by those that share similar passions and interests.
This blog is hoped to encourage, inspire, ignite the flames of
passion to share the words that burn in the hearts of African
storytellers. Many people of the African Diaspora teach their
children the value of storytelling, the purpose of verbal exchanges
that share cultural history, family unity, and historical knowledge
handed down decades and centuries. I love to read the
stories of Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and others.
They help build a mindset for storytelling and transferring to
the written word. Africans during colonization were denied through
threats, beatings and even death the opportunity to share the stories
of kingdoms of prosperity and educational achievements. Africa had
great universities before Europe and studied science, mathematics,
astronomy and biology. Our STEAM educational strategies are
based on past successes by Africans.
Because of these achievements and more, Africans should be proud
of their heritage and have a drive to extend beyond the colonization
of foreign powers even today. Achebe describes the “text book act,”
where Nigerian children could not read at a certain time of day and
were not allow to read certain books that showed Africans as leaders,
explorers, conquerors and educated.
The lack of books that look like their intended audience does have
a cognitive affect, if African children do not see books that have
characters that look like them they cannot vision themselves potentially
growing out of where others want them to stay. This is equally so for
African American children and children of color.
The beauty and power of the Internet is that information is free and
unlimited, there for the taking and learning. African parents if they
are not doing so need to take their children to bookstores to explore
and dream. Empower them with knowledge about literacy, African
authors in the literary world. Imagine the excitement of African
children when they learn a book can help them dream seemingly
impossible dreams, to see their potential as leaders,
visionaries, and content creators.
Teaching an African child to read is not just a personal investment,
it is an investment in the continent, to build it to the future.
Programs like Sunshine build the needed confidence in its students
to dream beyond their current situations and to see into the future.
Reading builds self-esteem, encourages self-respect and opens mental
doors that connect others with similar passions. A nation that is based
on education is a growing and functional nation with great potential.
Technology opens many doors for collaboration, cooperation and
strengthening education. The integration of technology creates
opportunities for African storytellers to expand their voice, to magnify
their presence and to vocalize the legacy of the people ingrained in the
stories of decades and centuries of old.
Technology allows for diversity to make connections, those of like
cultural backgrounds, and those willing to learn about and make
connections with diverse audiences. Stated by Chinua Achebe,
“Diversity is the engine of evolution, of living things including living
Social Media if used strategically and planned can
build communities even digitally to magnify the voices
of people, strengthen the collective of the masses
and make effective and long lasting changes that
benefit the continent as a whole and the growing