A “single story” is an idiom that is used express peoples’ discernment and feelings towards individuals, groups of people or nations due to a repeated tale that has been in existence concerning them. In most cases, these perceptions are usually false because many people lack the firsthand information about a place or people and their social structure. When someone claims to have a single story, it is probably a story in their mind about a culture, nation, religion or a group of people they have not met before or not known clearly. There is a need to enlighten people about the danger of a single story to avoid embracing one story as the only story that defines other people or a place.
In Africa for example, people are perceived as uneducated and of low intellectual capacity. This stereotype has cultivated the denial of employment opportunities to many Africans seeking for jobs especially from corporations owned by people from the western nations. Through the development of these single stories, Africans’ humanity and dignity have been taken away (Brooks, 2020). Many stereotypes that are not completely real about Africans have been created. Many people disbelief the Africans ability to communicate and comprehend competently the English language. Therefore, ethnic music, books and films are thought to be the only source of delight. Consequently, Africa has been viewed as a place where unlearned and undiplomatic people exist.
For decades, the dark continent’s single story has been that of violence and civil wars. The recent menace of Boko haram and Al-Shabaab terrorism has propagated the stereotype of Africa being termed as a place of despair (Chakravorti,2020). The prevailing civil wars in democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burkina Faso has headlined Africa as a place of turmoil and political instability. Lack of proper government systems has led to dictatorship leadership brought about by leaders who have been in power for many terms and this has led to political unrest evident in countries such as Zimbabwe and Uganda. The religions, lives and culture of many African countries are constituted of many overlapping single stories.
Peoples’ single stories about my personality at time seems to be very strange. Most people that I’ve interacted with regard me as being rude and offensive. This is totally different to what I think because I view myself as a fairly charming and kind type of a person to those around me. Sometimes am forced to seek other peoples’ opinions on what they think about my personality to affirm if truly I possess the rudeness trait. I came to realize that I have no power or control over peoples’ thoughts and feelings about myself so I had to bear with their single story concerning my life.
If ever any people have suffered the problem associated with single story are the Africans.The perception of the continent being dominated with poverty ,corruption, suffering and lack of education is however not untrue or inaccurate but it exposes only a small portion of a rich, vibrant culture and a place full of lively people. The problem associated with single story is that it results in stereotyping that robs peoples’ self-esteem hence developing inferiority complex among them (Machando, 2020). A single story emphasizes how human beings are in contrast rather than being similar. It’s time for people get past the single story about other people’s culture, religion economic and social backgrounds.
Brooks, D. (2020). Opinion | The Danger of a Single Story. Retrieved 18 February 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/19/opinion/the-danger-of-a-single-story.html
Chakravorti, B. (2020). It is time to get past the “single story” about Africa. Retrieved 18 February 2020, from https://www.brookings.edu/research/it-is-time-to-get-past-the-single-story-about-africa/
Machando, A. (2020). 3 ways to challenge the single story you’ve heard about Africa. Retrieved 18 February 2020, from https://matadornetwork.com/life/3-ways-challenge-single-story-youve-heard-africa/