The media often mediates our understanding of ‘the real’. Kirsten (2023) explains, ‘Representations, including images, are mediations – they go between ‘the real’ and our understanding of whatever that ‘’real’’ is’. The stereotypical and often misleading representations of Africa – an area described with ‘nouns and adjectives like hut, dark, tribe, King Kong, tribalism, primitive, nomad, animism, jungle, cannibal, savage, underdeveloped, third world, developing’ (Chavis, 1998) – skew global perception (Adichie, 2009).
In discussing spaces such as Ratanga Junction and Shakaland, Kirsten reveals how these places amplify existing stereotypes about Africa (Kirsten, 2020). This is not limited to physical spaces. Virtual spaces, which can also mirror harmful stereotypes, need to transform into platforms fostering authentic cultural understanding and inclusivity.