(2009) The African Paradox: Iris Amuto

– – –

Name: Iris Amuto

Talk Title: “The African Paradox”

Notes: Faculty of Arts, Political Science Department, Major: Political Science, Minor: Women’s and Gender Studies, 4th year

Topic: Iris contends that amidst famines, wars and plagues, you will find people rising above to claim life in spite of these circumstances. It is their resilience and inherent humanity that is neither taught nor bred, but born. The word depression does not exist in most African languages. What does this say about the people?

The ordinary gets ignored in Africa as it does in Asia or South America because normality is nice but it doesn’t sell newspapers. Civil war, starvation and famine on the other hand, do. The media portrays a 2 dimensional view that although bears truth, it blocks out the light that must not be ignored and cannot be denied.

This light is called humanity. It is the way in which people relate, react and respect one another. However, we are constantly bombarded with the same pictures that we become desensitised to the point where we forget the essence of it all. We forget that this not representative of all Africans, that just a few people are fighting and not the whole continent is hungry.

This talk aims to remind, if not enlighten UBC students that Africa is saturated with life, community and full of pleasant surprises. Open your eyes.


Filmed by Craig Ross at TEDx Terry talks 2009 (October 3rd, 2009). Video edited by David Ng.

Related Topics