Tyrese feels like the American media is trying to hide the true beauty on the continent of Africa. The R&B singer-turned-actor took to his Instagram today to post an image of a Zambian woman at a waterfall, accusing the U.S of trying to hide these types of pictures from people to understate the continent. In the accompanied slideshow, he shows other beautiful images and poses the question to fans, why do we only focus on the grimmer images of Africa?
Tyrese is looking to kick off Black History Month with a strong discussion about the media and how it chooses to portray life in Africa. “This beautiful waterfall is in Zambia, Africa…. Have you ever seen this on the animal planet channel?” he asked his fans rhetorically. He answers saying, “No, why? Cause they want in America to think or believe that entire Africa got wild gaming lodges and lions, tigers and hyenas running around in the streets….”
He followed this up with breathtaking images of modern architecture, vast and blue coastlines, mountains and balconies overlooking the sea. “Here are some real images of homes for Sale In South Africa, and if you google the prices, it’s super inexpensive compared to how they hitting over the head in the states,” Tyrese says in the caption. He goes on to issue a stern request for the media “I’m asking press, media, bloggers to show the REAL AFRICA…. We’ve seen poverty and starvation and animals…. Please show ALL of Africa and its glories…..”
Fans seemed to agree in the comments section. One woman from Africa thanked him for highlighting her homeland and said, “Amen to that bro Tyrese. I am from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. it is really a beautiful country with that Zambezi river we call it the Mosi Oa Tunya, meaning the smoke that thunders.” Another African native agreed and commented that it is not just America that has the stifled view of Africa. “In 1999, I went to study in Germany, and they were treating me the same way as if we have lions on our backyards.,” they said in the comments section.
Tyrese is not the first one to make this observation. Representation of the African nation has become important in recent years and such a big reason why films like Black Panther were so successful. People want to see more modern depictions of the African continent. USC Annenberg did a research study on how Africa is depicted by the U.S media following the release of Black Panther in 2018. They noted that most of America’s media surrounding Africa is negative. Their findings concluded that “of 32 African topics tracked across all TV programming ranging from animals and culture to travel and immigration, only three had more positive than negative mentions: history, music, and sports.”
They also noted that people are vastly under-educated on Africa, with many believing it to be a country. Annenburg’s findings confirm this as “44% of TV shows only mention ‘Africa,’ with no reference to a particular country.”