Geographic location is a very important aspect of looking at a map of Africa. There are many countries and with each country many different cultures that come along with it. One mapping error that drives me crazy is when people don’t realize where commonly spoken about countries are located on the continent. One country that gets miss placed often is Egypt, like when Fox news tried to give a visual about the protest in Egypt and placed egypt where Iran should have been in the middle east.
Sometimes maps can be used to Show the severity of things such as in this article that describes the malaria epidemic in African countries. Maps are very effective at backing up a story with more visuals. Sometimes when maps are inaccurate they can make a situation seem worse than it actually is or scare people into believing something about a location. This site does a good job showing an accurate map of the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Most people think that the entire continent is ravaged by the disease and although it is a big problem the map shows a more accurate view then what you would see in the media some countries in Africa don’t have as big a problem with it as others.
Mapping can be a large part with telling stories and giving your audience a view of the story you may be portraying. The maps just need to be used well and very accurately in order to make sure your audience gets the full story.
With the lovers month of February coming to an end I wanted to discuss a bit of a taboo topic that comes up in all parts of Africa. What is this topic? Well, its polygamy, when a man takes more than one wife. This trend appears mostly in Islamic societies on the continent but many tribes believe in the practice also. Many men take on multiple wives as a sign of status but sometimes for these men it backfires and they take on more then they can handle with the multiple wives and caring for them all such as in the case of Ayattu Nure and Ethiopian man who has 11 wives and 77 children who is struggling with caring for all of his family according to this BBC article,
“After seeing his fortune disappear under the competing demands of his enormous family, Ayattu Nure, 56, even urges people not to get married.”
This is becoming an issue in may different countries where men have been taking on many wives and have been ok to care for them but as the years go by their funds become depleted from all the children that are added to the family at once.
“Mr Ayattu says he used to be rich and wanted to share his wealth around, which is why he took so many wives.”
Polygamy seems to be an interesting subject where many seem to have their different opinions on the matter and even participate for their own reasons. The independent world a UK news org discussed this subject in depth.
“Polygamy is very common in the animist and Muslim communities of West Africa. In Senegal, for example, nearly 47 per cent of marriages are said to feature multiple women. It is relatively high still in many Arab nations; among the Bedouin population of Israel it stands at about 30 per cent.”
Whether you’re for polygamy or against it, it is a long-standing tradition that has been around for many years and doesn’t show any signs of ceasing.