The danger of single narrative: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Most of the time, we obtain our news from a mainly Western narrative or perspective. It is  the fact that the West at large controls the world news media. Thus it is inevitable that the international news which we receive daily are from single narrative, namely the Western one. For example the news of the  unrest in Syria, the toppling of Gadafi government in Libya and troubles in other hot spots are usually told from the perspective of the West.  Things are usually far more complicated, and the historical nature of the disputes and Western tendency in siding and supporting certain factions to enrich themselves are usually downplayed or ignored completely.

The Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (who also happens to be a gorgeous lady) appeared in TED lecture to warn us the danger of listening to single narrative or story as she would call.  Africa is not all about endless wars, famine, poverty and corruption. The same goes with other places and cultures, be it India, China, Indonesia, Brazil etc. They have their own voices, their hopes and rich cultures , shared experienced and narratives.

Even in our own daily  life, it is certaintly better to listen and view matters from different perspectives to understand the situations better.  Our lives would also certaintly  be enriched if we can understand and relate to other stories.

From TED:

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.


About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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