But I find myself keep saying it should come with context, perspective, history and responsibility.
And that it cannot be understood too categorically as it is too dynamic and complex to box.
Now, Coca Cola has launched an advertising campaing called A Billion Reasons To Believe In Africa, which amongst others consists of billboards in i.e. Dar es Salaam like this one (right).
Another part is an advertising film. Now, rebranding Africa while making money shouldn't be underestimated as a genre, and we will of course see much, much more of it.
I like to believe it could be done beautifully and originally, but somehow this little film comes across as dragging heavy stereotypes across, and again as 'us' and 'those ones with primitive energy dancing their nights away while wearing colour'.
It is in fact very odd. Over and over it has puzzled me that you can find yourself in an African village, not even that far off the main road, have a coke but no access to free, clean water!
The film is loaded with symbols, statements and values. As any other commercial advertising film it is aiming at convincing people to buy the product promoted. Did Coca Cola have a deeper, filantrophic intention when they produced it? It totally confuses me that it tries to send both signals of an Africa in change (while the West fucks up), and also aims at selling coke to billions.
I am so much more interested in Africans branding or rebranding Africa themselves. Without a billion dollar budget. I am so much more interested in broader and nuanced perspective and the responsibility which comes with it when it is your own history and your daily context. It is happening every day, and those stories should be out there.
Here for instance, Tanzanian designer Mkuki Bgoya has been interviewed by the Tanzanian youth magazine Fema, setting his own example of making Tanzania a more interesting place: