Colonial lexicon: “a small African country”

A few year ago, I started a successful media campaign that helped eliminate the habit of white journalists to append the phrase ‘former colony of …’ to African countries name in their articles.

The practice was, for example, to say “Nigeria, a former British colony” in any of their article, even if the article has nothing to do with Nigeria history.

Now has come the time to eliminate another colonial lexicon: the habit of appending “a small African country” to African countries mention.

In the image below, you’d see how a white journalist appended “a small african country” to Ghana regardless of the fact that the topic of the article was about sickle cell, and got nothing to do with countries comparative size in the world. Diminishing Ghana in that way was very much needed because African countries could only be small, or former colony.

You won’t see the white journalists doing the same for Belgium, a micro country in Europe, for Great Britain, a small european island, smaller than Gabon in Africa, or France a small country in Europe 3 times smaller than the Congo, or a country smaller than Texas.

For the white europeans, it’s only their countries which are great, and everyone else should be constantly diminished, insulted in a way or another for them to feel good.

I think most white people are so indoctrinate into their tribal superiority ideology, that they write such things without even thinking about it, or guessing how it would affect others.

Another colonial lexicon to eliminate from today is the habit of appending “a young african” to any african who tops a list. You’d see a 45 year african appended with “a young african” in white journalism. Why? because for them African could never be adult, or their name could not stand alone, without their evaluation.

The truth is that in private conversations, white people are so used to append something diminishing or insulting to Africans that those public appendix are the politest things they could say.

Don’t do it. Most african countries are bigger than europeans countries. Gabon is bigger than the UK. Gabon is not a small country, and no one append “a small country” to UK every time she is mentioned.

Don’t do it. The United Nations defines youth as people aged 15 to 24 years. In europe a young person is till 25 years old. In africa it’s up to 35 years old as defined by the African union. Don’t append ‘a young african” to all africans, like to you don’t say Emmanuel Macron, a young european, every time you write about the covid sick president of France. 😉

Colonial lexicon has colonized africans themselves. it’s often I’d hear my fellows say ‘Togo, a small country in west Africa’, every time they write an article about togo, while never doing the same for Switherland, Belgium, netherlands which are smaller countries than Togo. What does it even mean small?

Now you know, don’t perpetuate the colonial language.

2 Responses to “Colonial lexicon: “a small African country””

  1. Garikai Mazanhi

    Interesting, a case of the narrative! The more literature we have by African authors on addressing these issues the more independent we can become.

  2. European

    When Europeans say “small African country” they refer to the relative size of the country to an average African countries. No need to play race card 24/7.


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