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Opinions of Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Columnist: Mensema, Akadu N.

Neocolonized African Journalists in CNN’s Warped African Jungle

*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