« This list mentions Sandton, Rosebank, and Braamfontein in Jozi as examples of fancy monied housing spots and shopping centers. But the article doesn’t talk about extreme spatial & economic inequality in SA or even just Jozi itself: the proximity of luxury to poverty.
This “Africa you don’t see” attempt to escape stereotypes would be like if there were articles that read “not all black Americans live in public housing” and then images of black middle classness/wealth/suburbia.
The public housing itself isn’t a problem, in fact government-provided housing is a good thing. The problem is the material conditions surrounding that housing, the social-moral assumptions made about residents, the agency residents have in their ability to move elsewhere.
This list chose 4 cities — Lagos, Addis, Jozi, and Cairo — to show “Africans” don’t just live in huts, but what massive fraction of the continent lives outside elite gated communities & developments in those urban areas? And what of the informal housing settlements in those cities?
Why are we desperate to show continental Africans as similarly aspiring to capitalist opulences? Is that the only way we can see their humanity, if we cast them all as wannabe Afropolitans being hamstrung by corrupted leaders?
Huts are fine, they can be functional even. That we’re still talking about “transcending stereotypes” instead of the neocolonial flows thieving resources, incentivizing corruption, maintaining continental poverty, and stagnating self-determination & development speaks volumes.
The problem is not huts, the problem is racial capitalism and the tendrils of colonialism still holding fast to the continent. »
À propos de cet article https://www.africa.com/not-africans-live-grass-huts/