So here is a new blog series, at last. In this blog, I want to prepare you for the upcoming stories we will explore in 2022. We are coming to the end of this year. The beginning of 2021 started with a lockdown but still I travelled to Nigeria twice this year to continue work. It was yet another eye opening journey because this was my first trip to research about the october 2020 mass protest that happened in Nigeria.
The Nigerian #endsars protest
During this protest tagged #endsars, over 20 people were killed. I felt disappointed that the international media as well as national media in Austria hardly dedicated a space to report about it. If any report was done, it highlighted simply that the protest was prompted by a group of fraudulent young men labeled “Yahoo boys”. Yes, there are yahoo boys whose notoriety for fraudulent activities has claimed the internet space. Remember those stories sent via email claiming that there is an inheritance to get if you help them? Or those fake internet profiles promising marriage and love? In other communities, these scammers have another name. As our world turns totally digital and global, online scams become a challenge we all must effectively deal with. But that is not the story behind the protest that happened in Nigeria.
Fast information culture eats up journalism
Incapable of truly exploring the depth of issues leading to a mass protest during the pandemic lockdown in Nigeria that should not even have occurred, some international media choose a platonic approach. Why dedicate a few lines to a very serious issue affecting over 200 million humans if the story is not worth telling? Our world’s fast-information culture leaves little space for journalistic work. Proper journalistic research is now even termed investigative journalism, of which I then do not understand what journalism is in the first place if it was not investigative. This is dangerous. Accepting this kind of information culture is the beginning of the end of whatever is left with democracy.
Africa Europe is historically entangled
This kind of disregard for groups that do not fall under one’s nation state, religion, culture, space or any man-constructed identity, is a threat for global solidarity. Is there even global solidarity? If information is poorly researched and simply copied from an agency-generated summary of the actual information, often based on aggregated algorithms, weight risks the richness and diversity of the true stories. And it is in the knowing of the diverse truths that we can begin to reshape a better world. I know we might argue that the world is so massive and somany things happen everyday, everywhere and one can hardly cover them through the media. But I can tell you that Africa and Europe are strictly entangled in a shared history that hunts and flows into our present day. So more efforts to develop a communication culture is called for and worth investing in.
What is newsworthy?
A country with over 200 million people which is basically larger in population than most of Western Europe combined, and also suffers the continuous exploitation of Europe leading to forced economic migration of its youths, should be considered newsworthy. Especially, when millions of its people take to the street, in the midst of a pandemic lockdown. But it wasn’t! This attitude serves who? Do we serve the powerful in politics and economics with this attitude? When we refocus our collective bias towards the powerless commiting mediocre crimes rather than the powerful committing “legitimate” crimes affecting millions of people, what are we intending?
Let’s explore activism from the African continent
This attitude serves the interest of those that want to engage in the retheorik of “Africans strumming Europe as refugees” to instigate fear and propose a threat for those who feel a “legitimate” right to “own” the space and ressources in Europe. How about exploring the deeper activism of Africans in their continent fighting to be heard? What about giving them a platform to be heard? Are we scared to hear what they will say? Can we listen beyond our pre-programmed biases?
Stay ready for 2022 as we explore more in-depth socio-economic issues I face on my journey to creating a more sustainable economic ecosystem in Africa. On our global web platform Joadre.com here, we publish weekly business education and personal development content to train the thousands of yearly visitors to our platform. If you read and speak English, feel welcome to visit and learn. You can subscribe to our monthly newsletter here.
We are working to get back many producers to work
After we closed the Austrian fashion company, we supported over 60 producers to continue their work. The goal was to make sure they stay in business and serve the local market. Many are still in business, but for some, the pandemic closures and lack of raw materials due to logistics hindrances led them to close their business. We are working out a concept to help them restart as many Nigerian SMEs do not have access to any form of government structural support. To make this work, we are raising funds through sales of products we have in stock. We could get some amazing rattan products, some interior cushion cases and our favourite pullstring bags. Everything online in our store is what we have here in stock in Austria. The revenues from sales goes into the following areas: fair income for the producers, transportation and logistics of the products and the rest goes into creating new designs, products and training for the producers.
I will be very happy if you find something you like as a Christmas gift this season and order from us. In the next blog article, I will share my experience traveling to Nigeria in January of 2021 where I talked to experts about the protest that happened the year before.
Volunteers needed to translate our articles
By the way, as we scrolled through some messages from our German online shop website, we stumbled across a reader who encouraged us to keep writing. We really love to share our thoughts, updates and news with you all. The only issue is that we want it to be in “good” German and do not have someone to translate at the moment. Hence we rely on google translate. But I strongly feel that it does not do justice to our editorial tone. However, we will keep using google translate until we can find a volunteer who will help us translate our blogs.
If you want to volunteer, please contact us. It will be one blog of about a page or less that you will translate every month. We will appreciate it very much.
Thank you for reading,
Sorry for the google translate and stay tuned in.
*The original English version is below.