Majestic, raw, real, and diverse: these are the words that come to mind when trying to describe the continent we call home: Africa. 🌍 And yes, it is a continent. With the current AfroCinema festival underway on DStv, it is time to dispel a few myths and see it for what it is: the good and bad.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) aptly describes Africa as “a place that often appears to confound expectations and defy convention, a place always full of surprises”. And well, yes, we have to agree when it is the truth.
Let’s get down to the stats first: there are 54 countries and it is estimated there about 2 000 languages spoken. That is a lot! 😲
The WEF notes that it is the only continent “to extend from the northern temperate zone to the southern temperate zone”, and is four times the size of Europe! 🌐
Lord of the Rings fans, take note: author JRR Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein. Not only that, but much of the book’s symbolism arises from South Africa. Teresa Barnes, an associate professor of History and Gender/Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign writes on the Time website: “Fans of the dwarves will know, for example, that the sun shone down through Moria onto Balin’s tomb – like the sun streams through the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, South Africa, every  Dec – onto a slab dedicated to the remembrance of the “day of the vow” when Afrikaners slaughtered Zulu fighters in 1838 at the Battle of Blood River.”
The world’s oldest university is nowhere else but Africa. Established circa 982, it was found in Timbuktu in Mali. 📚
According to the ONE website, a non-profit founded by U2 singer, Bono, close to half of the earth’s gold that has been mined comes from Witwatersrand.
Nollywood – Nigeria’s Hollywood – is a lucrative business with about 50 movies being made each week and it is the country’s second largest employee. Agriculture comes first.
There isn’t much separating Africa (Morocco) and Europe (Spain), in fact, it is about 14km at the Strait of Gibraltar.
And this seems to be the tip of the ice berg. No mention has been made about the natural wonders nor the diversity in people, cultures, and a rich, turbulent history.
AfroCinema is on DStv channel 198 from 20 to 29 May. It showcases the continent’s talented filmmakers leaving their mark in the industry.
Sources: WEF, Time and ONE
Image: A photographer at work at sunset in quivertree forest, Namibia. Getty