Africa. Even in saying the name, a range of images come racing to mind. A safari on the vast plains of the Serengeti; elephants, zebras and lions living side-by-side; exotic women carrying baskets and bunches of bananas on their heads. Beautiful, picturesque images that evoke excitement and adventure.
But perhaps what comes to mind is not so picturesque. War-torn countries with child soldiers. A dirty, emaciated child with a vulture in the shadows waiting to pounce. Women with bare breasts sitting outside mud huts. Corruption. Images that elicit fear, discomfort and hopelessness.
A startling different reality, but reality it is, throughout the African continent. Exotic and erratic; full of adventure and corruption; peaceful people living in war; a continent of contradictions. But what is the "real" Africa?
Too often the images the world sees of Africa are filled with despair, dismay and destruction. The baby with a bloated belly and a fly on his face. The emaciated, skeletal child caked in dry mud. A naked and vulnerable Mama with tears streaming down her face. These people and situations absolutely exist, and it is horrific. The world can too easily turn a blind eye to what they see. "It's just a photo, it's not all so bad". The situations that produce these images absolutely are "that bad" and they require global attention.
With that being said, this is not the Africa we know and love. It is hope. Filled with passion, love and determination.;survival and grit. A people built by resilience. We see smiles and laughter. Life is not so easy in Africa. Maisha ni ngumu - life is hard. A phrase heard often in Tanzania. Although it is hard, the determination and perseverance for something better never ceases to amaze us at One Ndoto.
These are the images that we believe represent a more true and accurate Africa. Not all are beautiful, but they all send one message loud and clear - hope.