The #SomeoneTellCNN was one powerful case of African audiences contesting the stereotypical portrayals of Africa in global news coverage. The hashtag tells the story of Kenyans challenging media hegemony and the accompanying dominant stereotypes that are fostered by global news media coverage. Kenyans used the #SomeoneTellCNN to point out errors in news reporting of local events by international media, while at the same time re-writing stories about international news coverage of East Africa.

Kenyans on Twitter quickly invoked the hashtag #SomeoneTellCNN to critique the way in which CNN had covered events about Kenya.

Below are sampled Twitter conversations.

UK Africa Media and Democracy Research Network

UK-Africa Media and Democracy Research Network

Co-researchers: Winston Mano and Lynete Lusike Mukhongo

The project focused on engaging in international collaborative research on Media and Democracy. Together with Dr. Winston Mano (University of Westminster, UK), we received a grant from the The British Academy, under the International Partnership and Mobility Scheme to carry out research on media and democracy and launch a collaborative network: UK-Africa Media and Democracy Research Network.

As part of the project, we hosted an international conference in Westminster University, on 29th March 2014, which drew participants from different countries in Africa and Europe. The theme of the conference was Media and Elections in Africa. Thereafter we held a workshop for faculty, journalists, bloggers and graduate students in Nairobi, Kenya, themed: Citizen Journalism and democracy in Africa: New Questions in a New Era

The specific activities carried out by the project included:

  • Selected staff from the University of Westminster, UK and Moi University, Kenya to participate in mutual collaborations on media’s role in elections and democracy
  • Developed and managed budgets for various research initiatives within the project.
  • Organized visiting speakers and events to promote understanding of media and democracy
  • Attended faculty-student seminars, public events and colloquia.
  • Participated in networking activities among academics and journalists
  • Jointly organized short intensive workshops, a conference and and delivered guest lectures

Media Mentions

Methodologies for Empowering Small-Scale Farmers with a Chatbot – CAMRI

Winston Mano to join Mozilla project that will create a mobile phone app for Kenyan farmers – CAMRI

Talk Swahili to me: Voice-enabled apps changing the game for farmers and local communities – Common Voice Mozilla

Africa No Filter Inaugurates fellowships to improve Africa’s narratives – November 05, 2020. Businessday

A fellowship program to explore evidence-based narratives about Africa – October 30, 2020. Afriscitech

Debut of augmented reality mural – October 23, 2018. The Hawk Newspaper

Pop Culture that Keeps Women Down – March 7 2010. Standard Media


Latest News

Curated news stories from various sources covering the Global South (updated daily

Gold for Kenya As Africa’s Fastest Man Ferdinand Omanyala Bags Victory in Men’s 100 Metres Final in Birmingham Read more on Sports Brief

Don Mattera | Reflecting on the life of renowned poet Don Mattera: Prof Jonathan Jansen. Watch on SABC News

Award-winning poet and anti-apartheid activist Don Mattera passes away. Read more on The Citizen

Africa’s fastest man gets US visa less than 24 hours to world race. Read more on Aljazeera

Google to host cultural exchange programme for content creators in Nairobi. Read more on Nation Africa

Berlin museum returns artifacts to Namibia. Read more on DW.COM

Tanzania signs natural gas deal with Equinor and Shell. Read more on Al Jazeera

Mulindwa’s ‘Foot Wine’ scoops Film of the Year award at Uganda festival. Read more on The East African

Saudi Arabia emerges as key mediator in Sudan crisis. Read more on The East African

Political misinformation on Kenyan TikTok ahead of the national election. Read more on Gizmodo

Big tech is winning the battle for Kenya’s talent, June 2022. Read more on Quartz

AfDb Gender Equality Trust Fund to promote women entrepreneurship in Africa. Read more on Nation Africa

A traditional court in Zimbabwe summons former first lady Grace Mugabe. Read more on Nation Africa

Landless People Movement (LPM) leaders are barred from the Namibian National Assembly. Read more on namibian

Kenya as the Cradle of Mankind. The Discovery of the complete skeleton of Homo Erectus. Watch more of ‘Turkana Boy’ on Citizen TV

Watch: Live streaming as Tanzanian’s pay last respects to President John Pombe Magufuli. #LIVE​: Mwili wa hayati John Magufuli ukiagwa katika uwanja wa Uhuru, Dar es Salaam

Tanzania Mourns President John Pombe Magufuli. Read more on TheCitizen

Ugandan Singer-Songwriter Awori releases debut album. Read more on theafricanreport

Tanzania’s Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan in a Televised address announces the passing on of President John Magufuli. Read more on The EastAfrican

Benin’s Digital Revolution. Read more on theafricanreport

Changing Negative Narratives for Gender Equality in Tanzania. Read more on Daily News.

Kenya Extends Covid-19 Curfew and bans political gatherings. Read more on The Standard

Speculation on the Whereabouts of Tanzania’s President John Magufuli. Read more on Daily News

Kenyans push back against CNN Travel story about British woman who discovered whales in Kenya. Read more on CitizenDigital

Paying Tribute to Hamed Bakayoko, Côte d’Ivoire’s prime minister. Read more on theafricanreport

Siphokazi Jonas to deliver bespoke poem ahead of the annual State of the Nation address. Read more on The South African

Animal Defenders International (ADI) releases the incredible love story of Tarzan and Tanya. Read more on The South African

Check out Kenya’s popular podcasts. Read more on Nation

Africa No Filter presents: A conversation about who is telling the African story? Wednesday, 17 February 2021. Sign up for the Webinar

MTV Music Awards cancelled after a campaign urging artists to boycott the event following the election results. Read more on

Africa No Filter is launching the continent’s first and only news agency. Read more

Media Personalities Show Support for Kanze Dena after she is Body Shamed by KOT. Read more on Pulse

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli says God has eliminated Covid-19 in Tanzania. Read more on AP

The COVID Performance Index by the Lowy Institute ranks Rwanda among the top ten countries in Covid-19 management. Read more on The New Times

The Gold Rush amidst the Corona Virus Pandemic. Read the 5-Part Series on theafricanreport

Despite Election Loss, Bobi Wine’s Popularity Soars in Uganda. Read more on AP

President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga launched the BBI constitutional amendment bill on Wednesday 25 November. Read more on theafricareport

MTV Music Awards Nominees list is out. Watch


What does it mean to shift the narrative?

Presented to Africa No Filter Fellows on 02.26.2021

I was invited to present along with other research mentors at the Africa No Filter Research Fellows workshop held in February 2021.

My presentation was titled: What does it mean to shift the narrative. In this presentation, I drew from the work i have been doing at the Africa Media Collaborative on rewriting African narratives. The Africa Media Collaborative seeks to challenge the prevailing dominant stories about Africa that are often framed by the global news media, films, TV shows, International humanitarian agencies, International charities and foundations, tourists, social media influencers, music and fashion magazines.

While acknowledging that the last few decades have witnessed a rise in counter narratives or competing narratives about Africa, the presentation was driven by the following question: Does the existence of counter narratives about Africa indicate a shift in the narrative?

I argued that there is need to deliberately and consistently work towards eliminating biased, stereotypical, negative dehumanizing stories about Africa and its peoples. The adoption of counter narratives and competing narratives does not indicate a shift in the narrative. It is not enough to counter, we need a shift in the narrative!

In my presentation, I highlighted the model developed by Africa Media Collaborative in shifting the narrative. In order to shift the narrative, the Africa Media Collaborative developed the following three steps:

a) Reframing

b) Disrupting

c) Occupying

During the presentation, I discussed the above model in detail. I will be posting more updates about the project soon. For more information check out Africa Media Collaborative


MTV Africa Music Awards

The MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) will be held in Kampala on February 20 2021. The full list of nominees has been released and it is a testament to the amazing and ever growing talent on the continent. Talented artists such as Burna Boy, Master KG, Sauti Sol, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, are on the list of nominees. All due respect to DJ Khaled who will host the event virtually from Florida, however, African viewers will also be looking forward to watch the African co-hosts who will grace our screens that night.

Below is the fullest of nominees as listed by MTV Africa Music Awards:

Best Female: Simi (Nigeria); Sheebah (Uganda); Sho Madjozi (South Africa); Busiswa (South Africa); Yemi Alade (Nigeria); Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde); Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)

Best Male: Burna Boy (Nigeria); Innoss’B (Democratic Republic of Congo); Kabza De Small (South Africa); Harmonize (Tanzania); Fireboy DML (Nigeria); Master KG (South Africa); Rema (Nigeria)

Best Group: Blaq Diamond (South Africa); Sauti Sol (Kenya); Kabza De Small / DJ Maphorisa (South Africa); Calema (São Tomé and Príncipe); Ethic (Kenya); Rostam (Tanzania)

Artist of the Year: Burna Boy (Nigeria); Calema (São Tomé and Príncipe); Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania); Master KG (South Africa); Davido (Nigeria); Tiwa Savage (Nigeria); Wizkid (Nigeria)

Best Breakthrough Act; Elaine (South Africa); Tems (Nigeria); Omah Lay (Nigeria); Zuchu (Tanzania); John Blaq (Uganda); Sha Sha (Zimbabwe); Focalistic (South Africa)

Best Hip Hop

Nasty C (South Africa); Suspect 95 (Cote d’Ivoire); Khaligraph Jones (Kenya); Kwesi Arthur (Ghana); NGA (Angola); OMG (Senegal)

Best Ugandan Act

Sheebah; Bebe Cool; John Blaq; Vinka; Daddy Andre; Spice Diana

Best Lusophone Act

Calema (São Tomé and Príncipe); Preto Show (Angola); Anna Joyce (Angola); Mr Bow (Mozambique); Nelson Freitas (Cape Verde); Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde)

Best Francophone Act

Innoss’B (Democratic Republic of Congo); Suspect 95 (Cote d’Ivoire); Dip Doundou Guiss (Senegal); Stanley Enow (Cameroon); Fally Ipupa (Democratic Republic of Congo); Gaz Mawete (Democratic Republic of Congo)

Alone Together: Best Lockdown Performance

Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania) Africa Day Benefit Concert; Black Motion (South Africa) Red Bull Rendezvous; Niniola ft Busiswa (Nigeria / SA) Africa Day Benefit Concert; Singuila (Congo) DCDR Series; AKA (South Africa) AKA TV; Yemi Alade (Nigeria) Poverty (live session)


Debunking those Stereotypes

I have on several occasions, come face to face with stereotypes about Africa, often enabled by global media’s commodification of images about Africa. Often, stories about Africa in the media are about a people who are at war and dying from hunger/famine and diseases such as HIV/Aids.

While Africa might be a continent struggling with challenges such as poverty, ethnic conflicts and HIV/Aids, that is not all there is to Africa. There is much more to Africa than the story of  helplessness and plight. It is a continent full of love and laughter. Music and dance. Emerging innovations and technologies. A people who celebrate life and live it to the fullest. This is the Africa i know. A place that has undergone the ravages of slavery and colonialism, yet it is still filled with undeniable zest for life, love and passion.

And so for those involved in media production and dissemination, there is need for one to be cautious when they write stories about groups of people, particularly the Global South which is portrayed in a stereotypical way in the media.

One video that reminds me about how often people misconstrue Africa is a Ted Talk that was given by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The Danger of a Single Story. Chimamanda talks about how we often dehumanize people when we feel pity for people. We have a single story about them, and fail to recognize that despite their challenges of poverty , they have lived experiences.


Education and Civic Engagement

The disparities in access to education all over the world are worrying. Education is crucial in empowering the future generations.

There is need for children to have a better education which offers them opportunities to information access and digital literacy in today’s world. However, access to Computers is not enough, there is need for digital literacy for young people to be able to access relevant information and not just access information on varied media platforms but also to be able to write their own stories using different media formats

However, it is important to reemphasize that: It will  all start with access to education.

I came across the interesting video below on the UNESCO instagram page.


Citizen Journalism and democracy in Africa: New Questions in a New Era

The workshop was jointly organized by the University of Westminster and Moi University in collaboration with UK-Africa Media and Democracy Research Network.

The workshop was part of an on-going project on Media and Democracy in Africa, which was funded by the British Academy. It was held at the Sarova Stanley, Nairobi on 9th May 2014.

See workshop program below: