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Kampung Compass Points Current Affairs Get it straight - Africa is made up of 53 countries
Get it straight - Africa is made up of 53 countries PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 December 2009 09:07





First published in Malaysiakini Letters section.


by Stephen Tetteh

I refer to the letter Unfair to criminalise all Africans.


Kindly allow me a space to add my voice to that of the concerns raised by the Higher Education Ministry of Malaysia that African students have been given a bad press image in Malaysia.


The facts cannot be denied because the newspapers in Malaysia and some of the writers of these stories do not even know that Africa is a continent and not a country because they have consistently used the name Africa as if Africa is a country.


They cannot differentiate that Africa is a continent made up of 53 different countries just like Asia and they always write in the newspapers an 'African man' has done this or that.


Such write- ups have no credibility with any African who reads it except to please those who are not aware that the identity of the offender(s) cannot be substantiated and to those with evil intentions on innocent Africans in Malaysia.


Again, most Malaysians hate Africans for no reason forgetting that there are Malaysians living or studying in other countries around the world and they expect the people in these countries to respect, accommodate, like and accept Malaysians.


I have experienced on countless occasions when drivers and motorists drove into me because I was walking by the road side and some even threatened me by blaring the horns of their cars simply because they see you walking and this gives me the fear that its dangerous to walk in Malaysia as an African not to mention the abuse on the public buses.


Also, the press has over the years fed the Malaysian public with a bad image of Africans and therefore they have taken these stories and believe that every African they see in Malaysia is either a bastard, homeless, hungry, aimless or has no moral standing to be accepted into any society so they better kill that person or do away with him or her by any foul means.


I'm not saying that every African is an angel right but if the reporters are able investigate their stories, they will know what and how to write it and that will give credibility and professionalism to the story.


But as I write this story, there is a Malaysian family who has been staying in my grandparents' home back in my country for more than eight years now and a staff of TV3 also staying in my brother's house and nobody has troubled or hated them.


However, if you want to rent a house or a room in Malaysia, the owner will tell you 'I want to rent to a certain race only or a local only' or 'you pay me three months' deposit plus one month utilities' and then he or she will triple the normal price of the house or the room.


Well, all said and done, Malaysians and the press in Malaysia should learn about Africa and know that the continent is made up of 53 countries and therefore they must be precise and able to write stories of whomsoever they find to be doing the wrong thing and not just say 'African man' as it will be unfair to say 'an Asian man' - where is he from in Asia?


And when all this bad reportage is corrected, the public will stop their ill behaviour towards the Africans who are innocent and who are here for studies the purpose of which colleges and universities in Malaysia went all the way to Africa to ask them to come and study here in


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shakuntala  - We are the World |2009-12-12 09:02:00
Dear Stephen

Sorry to hear your sad tale of the behaviour of certain Malaysians who have hurt your feelings so badly...there are bad hats about and they too mingle with those of us who see you as a very welcome visitor.Those of us who are aware that the world is one big melting pot.And that we are all One Human Race,trying and trying to realize this fact.

You would have seen or known a few Africans who have actually married into and settled down in this country. I'm sure they have and are seeing the Malaysian in his true colour..that of someone who is basically sympathetic and hospital.

When I studied abroad, I lived with an African girl friend from Ghana. She was someone of standing with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. We had a strong and healthy relationship as two persons living abroad. The good thing was that she related stories of discrimination against her...they were a few. I was also facing some of that.

We just sat down together whenever we were free, talked and learned to rise above petty human behaviour.We laughed over these things and they did not matter anymore.

There is this sort of human behaviour, one would encounter in every corner of the world.

Stephen you are not only imparting your knowledge to this country. You are also carrying back with you some lasting impressions.I do hope some of them, at least, will be good ones.

I have had the pleasure of meeting African students working as waiters in this country. They seem to like it here...You will perhaps see it the same way, after a while.

Have a good visit and stay. And thank you for your lesson in geography..Africa is huge, so many times more than Malaysia. And so colourful and vibrant.It will soon rise to status.

Recently more and more people are wanting to go Africa to see things and learn, for themselves...I know of friends who have been overwhelmed by your musical heritage and have brought back souvenirs to remind them of the happy times they had in Africa.

I hope to one day visit your charming country...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 December 2009 09:45

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