U.S. President Barack Obama wrapped up his visit to Africa this week, but once again, the world’s attention is focused on the continent. The future of Africa is rapidly evolving with a new generation of change makers poised to challenge the traditional global perceptions of Africa.
From changing the Western semantics surrounding the continent’s politics and development to educating children about issues of HIV and war, this week on Full Frame we peer into Africa’s future.
Binyavanga Wainaina: Changing the conversation on Africa
When stories from Africa make the front page of Western newspapers, we hear of poverty, HIV/AIDS, malnourishment, and violence. But there’s more to Africa than that, and Binyavanga Wainaina wants to change this stereotypical dialogue.
In recent years, much of Africa has developed and progressed at rates that distance the stereotypes about the continent from its reality. Wainaina, Kenyan-born and pan-African, hopes to redefine what, he says, is an incomplete image of Africa.
With the help of technological advancements, he says that Africans are for the first time able to bypass Western correspondents in order to tell Africa’s story from their own perspective.
Wainaina’s satirical essays, “How to Write About Africa” and “How Not to Write About Africa in 2012,” have gained worldwide attention. He is also the founding editor of “Kwani,” a notable Kenyan literary magazine. Wainaina has also played a crucial role in empowering a new generation of African writers and thought leaders.
Binyavanga Wainaina joins Mike Walter from Nairobi on this week’s episode of Full Frame and reminds us to think twice about what we already think we know about of Africa.
Follow Binyavanga Wainaina on Twitter: @BinyavangaW
Modeling for Change with Alek Wek
While modeling may be a career for some, Alek Wek says it is in fact an art form. And she’s using her platform as one of the world’s most iconic supermodels to help empower African women and refugees.
Before becoming one of the first African supermodels, Wek was a Sudanese refugee. Her experience and influence in the modeling world spurred her to advocate for African women and growth throughout the continent.
Though Sudan has made steps towards recovery since the end of its violent civil war, Wek says more is still needed to build the foundations of a thriving nation-state.
When Wek is not pushing the envelope in the fashion world, she serves as an advisor to the U.S. Committee for Refugees Advisory Council and is the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations. She is also the face and Official Ambassador for the H&M Conscious Foundation, which focuses on social and environmental sustainability initiatives.
You won’t want to miss this episode of Full Frame, when Alek Wek shares how the worlds of beauty and development can collide to make a difference on the African continent.
Follow Alek Wed on Twitter: @TheRealAlekWek
The Ubuntu Model: Giving Children Everything
What does it take to rescue an orphaned or vulnerable child in Africa? Education or health care? Perhaps social services? Jacob Lief says all of that – and much more – is necessary. And his Ubuntu model proves it.
Lief is the co-founder and CEO of the Ubuntu Education Fund, an organization that provides orphaned and vulnerable children with life-saving HIV support services and essential education resources. Ubuntu now supports more than 2,000 children on three different continents.
When Lief first established Ubuntu in South Africa, he worked with children in the seventh grade. Lief says that he soon realized that intervening at even that young of an age was not early enough. Lief now begins with pregnant mothers and continues to care for the children through university, providing them with sustainable growth towards success.
Lief is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Clinton Global Initiative and was named one of the world’s most innovative visionaries for the impact he has made with the Ubuntu model.
In this week’s episode of Full Frame, Jacob Lief tells Mike Walter how the Ubuntu Education Fund not only saves lives, but is creating promising futures for African children.
Follow Jacob Lief on Twitter: @Ubuntujakes
No Strings Attached: Puppets supporting children throughout the world
Helping children cope with difficult situations rarely comes in the form of entertainment. No Strings International is changing that, incorporating captivating storytelling into innovative workshops that help young people understand and process serious issues affecting their daily lives.
After 9/11, Kathy Mullens and Michael Frith, the masterminds behind the Muppets and Fraggle Rock, were determined to help children in Afghanistan understand issues of war that had upturned the world around them.
Their organization, No Strings International, films puppets dealing with issues like HIV, poverty and war.
The short films are presented to children in countries such as Madagascar, Sierra Leone, and Afghanistan in order to help them cope with the aftermath of natural disasters and other dangerous situations – in short, puppet films that dispense some very valuable “lessons for life.”
In this week’s Full Frame Close Up, we dive into this magical world of storytelling and see how some very lovable puppets are guiding children through traumatic events.