The Ice Bucket Challenge doesn’t hate Africa, you hate Africa

In Think

Like all social phenomena, the Ice Bucket Challenge has its critics. I’m not the biggest fan of it, purely because I find the idea of filming yourself and sharing it through social media before forcing others to do the same to be a form of narcissistic blackmail.

But that’s not important right now. What is important is that the Ice Bucket Challenge has increased awareness about ALS, or Motor Neurone Disease – a horrendous degenerative disorder, which very few people would have known of before this.

It does still have its critics, which is fine, if you have a valid and intelligent argument. It is not fine if you are either stubborn (like me) or trying to take the moral high ground by sharing the meme below, rather than actually donating some money or increasing awareness of the cause.

By sharing the above meme, you are perpetuating the myth that is rammed down our throats every Comic Relief that Africa is a depressing continent, where you just spend your whole time sipping water, wailing and waiting for death. It is a myth that does the fine people of Africa a disservice.

So water is not as readily available in Africa as it is in the Western World. Point taken. I’ll let you in on a little secret though: there is still an abundance of water available. Even in the remote villages of Africa, there will still be a watering hole in every village no more than 200m walk away from where ninety-five percent of its residents reside. The main issue of water in Africa is the quality, not the quantity, or the water: the high infant mortality rate is a result of water-borne diseases, not a sheer lack of water.

The only reason the people of Africa would not do the Ice Bucket Challenge is a widespread belief in African culture that the camera steals your soul.

Put someone in the middle of their village in front of their neighbours to be doused in cold water from the watering hole and they would thrive in the amusement it brings because, contrary to popular belief, no continent has a better understanding of fun than Africa. Stop trying to patronise them by saying otherwise from your high horse.

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