The ‘African Men–Hollywood stereotypes’ video, positive news and ‘Brand Africa’

As much as I tried, I can’t seem to like the new video by San Francisco-based NGO Mama Hope. Four young Kenyans sit on a bench talking through the worst stereotypical depictions of African men in Hollywood movies. We get to see these clips (which don’t not tell us much; the clips don’t make sense in the way they’re used here.) Watch it above. The surprising (!) catch is that our guys on the bench are all middle class, play rugby and are on Facebook. The video is by the same people who made ‘Alex Presents: Commando’ (that was cool just as a piece of popular culture) and the more earnest “Call Me Hope” (read Neelika’s generous critique). But this latest instalment – ‘African Men. Hollywood Stereotypes’ – isn’t funny (except for the line about a shirtless Matthew McConaughey), feels forced, and won’t get anything like as many hits. There are wider issues to think about too. Continue reading