By Lis Camelia for the BASIS African Committee
Wanuri Kahui is a Kenyan artist and storyteller. She is also the co-founder of AfroBubbleGum, a company that funds and promotes the telling of African stories that have no political agenda. Stories that are not specifically about tragedies and pain, but that promote the use of science and fantasy that takes into account the African experience. Therefore, the purpose of AfroBubbleGum is to tell African stories, just for the sake of telling good, interesting stories.
The AfroBubbleGum ideology is particularly interesting because it challenges the image that the world has created of Africa. This image that every time we mention Africa it can only be when talking about Aid, AIDS, poverty, migration, or corruption. On the other hand, we only talk positively about the continent when we mention the amazing pyramids or how fascinating it is that the “traditional” culture of Africa has been able to survive in such a modern world. This way of depicting Africa creates the problematic illusion that the beauty of Africa can only be found in the remembrance of the past.
We of the African Committee want to contradict this notion. We recognize that Africa has its struggles, but that they do not define it. For that reason, the main focus of the African committee is to highlight a different narrative about Africa. A narrative that defines Africa as colorful, rhythmical, rational, difficult, and modern. An Africa that is essentially unessential. We would also like to focus on aspects like race and how it is still a big influence on the African narrative. In addition, taking into account the African Diaspora, which is the biggest diaspora in the world, thus showing the African experience worldwide.
The African committee shares the Afro Bubblegum ideology. Therefore, we want to participate in this movement of highlighting African culture, African people, and their resilience. Reinstating that African excellence is also a prevalent part of our present and future. The African committee is here to create a space where we can discuss, share, and promote the African experience in a different light. A space where we can see the whole of Africa. And everyone who is interested in contributing to this awesome African narrative is welcome to participate in this committee.
If you’d like to find out more about the African Committee and the events they are planning, you can find their page on Facebook (@AfricanCommittee).