Africa No Filter, a multi-partner collaborative seeking to amplify African voices brought together luminaries in the arts, business, media and government to define a new narrative at a landmark summit in Johannesburg.
Graça Machel, African stateswoman
The summit was opened by humanitarian Graca Machel, who gave an impassioned address to delegates from across the African diaspora. She commented: “We are not going to change the narrative; we are going to define the narrative. We must go back to African sources and use it to define our narrative to the world.”
#AfricaNoFilter is a new age movement that seeks to shatter stereotypes of how Africans are perceived by the world today. It has been met with enthusiastic interest from business leaders, funders, media innovators and storytellers including highly distinguished journalist Redi Thlabi, comedian Lihle Msimang, CNN African Voices host Arit Okpo, comedic personality Donavan Goliath, poet Lebohang Masango andBeasts of No Nation author as well as Africa Centre CEO Uzodinmna Iweala.
The initiative collaborates with fellows from across the African diaspora who are shattering the stereotypes of how the world perceives Africa today. These include filmmaker Nicole Amarteifio (Ghana), artist Phoebe Boswell (Kenya) and artist/illustrator O’plérou Grebet writer Maïmouna Jallow (Kenya), architectural photographer Mutua Matheka (Kenya), journalist Selly Thiam(Senegal), novelist Adaobi Trica Nwaubani (Nigeria) and choreographic artists Selma and Sofiane Ouissi (Tunisia). The fellows engaged in dynamic panel discussions covering subjects including Decoloniality, The true cost of a detrimental narrative and Being the Heroes of our own stories. Delegates then got to experience the work of the fellows in at an experiential pop-up gallery that featured visual and sonic exhibits.
“There’s no destination to this movement. We are talking about certain narratives now but, hopefully, 10 years from now we will be talking about different things because we will have made progress and we will have grown as Africans. I hope future generations won’t have to worry about changing the African story but can focus on building an Africa of the future,” said Africa No Filter’s Mutua Matheka.
The summit culminated in a closing address by Time 100 Most Influential list alumni and Ford Foundation president Darren Walker who made a special announcement. He welcomed Africa No Filter’s new leadership and incoming executive director, Moky Makura, who joins the initiative from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Under Makura’s leadership Africa No Filter has set its sights on challenging stereotypes and ushering in a new narrative for Africa.
Africa No Filter is a multi-partner collaborative organisation supporting emerging African voices – especially young people and women – and investing in new platforms to amplify their stories. By better connecting stories and storytellers and amplifying them to local and global audiences, Africa No Filter aims to accelerate the evolution and influence of more vibrant, accurate and unfiltered narratives about Africa – both within and outside the continent. The collaborative seeks new partners across sectors to expand the reach of individual investments and have a deeper and more lasting impact across the continent, and beyond.
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