“We Are All Perceived To Be Violent & Drug Addicts”: 1st Miss Africa India Organised To Dispel Stereotypes

Shraddha Goled

November 16th, 2018 / 2:28 PM

Miss Africa India

Image Credit: Miss Africa India/Facebook

India is slowly becoming a popular hub for higher studies and in recent times, has seen an influx of students and professionals, more specifically from African countries. Even as these students and professionals take back a fulfilling experience, however, one simply cannot turn a blind eye to the discrimination they face in India.

Stereotypes associated with a certain community is often a result of hearsay. Incorrect and incomplete information is what these stereotypes and its wide and far propagation thrive on. Realising this very problem, a 21-year-old student from Zambia, Laurisca Kalongo conceived this idea of organising an event to introduce the vibrant and diverse culture of African countries to Indians. This is how Miss Africa India came into being. On November 8, the event was successfully organised in Hyderabad and saw great participation.


“We are perceived to be violent and drug addicts”

For the last two years, Kalongo has been in India. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Osmania University, Hyderabad. Kalongo, having experience discrimination first hand herself, realised very early on that this attitude stemmed greatly from lack of information and awareness. She says that most of the Africans are perceived to be violent and drug addicts, a perception she was determined to change.


Laurisca Kalongo/Facebook

“Many of my Indian friends and collegemates gave me a puzzled look when I said that I am from Zambia. They were not even aware that such country exists because they had, till then only heard of popular African countries like Nigeria,” Kolongo told The Logical Indian.

She also adds that just as India is home to diverse customs and cultures, the African countries too have highly varied culture.

A model herself, Kalongo was also perturbed by the extremely limited modelling opportunities for African models in India. Keeping all these factors in mind, she with her friends Chigozirim Obike and Timothy Umukoro came up with the idea of Miss Africa India.


Miss Africa India/Facebook

Participatants from all over India

Kalongo, along with 12 of her friends and like-minded people began the online auditions and applications started pouring in from Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Pune, Bhubneshwar, Warangal and from other cities. Interestingly, the identities of the organisers were initially kept secret. “We later realised that because we were anonymous, many girls might be hesitant to join thinking it to be a scam.” A total of 230 women participated in the auditions which were held between June and August.


Miss Africa India/Facebook

Miss Africa India/Facebook

Pageant – an opportunity to show African culture

“The participates in the event dressed in their traditional attire and represented their respective countries culture,” says Kolongo. She also says that through this pageant, they wanted to send a strong message of women empowerment.

The event proved to be a grand success. The whole buzz and the positive publicity around the event proved to be greatly beneficial.


Miss Africa India/Facebook

The Logical Indian take

We Indians take a pride in being great hosts. In fact, we have been taught to consider a guest as a god. How much of this is in practice is highly debatable.

Last year in March, a mob in Greater Noida brutally assaulted three Nigerian men after a 17-year-old boy died of drug overdose. The mob suspected them to be drug peddlers. In May 2016, a Congolese national was beaten to death in Delhi Vasant Kunj area. This case was said to be racially motivated.

These incidents are disturbing, to say the least. Indians and African countries have a shared history, spanning centuries. If anything, we must be sharing cordiality and friendship, instead of hate. The Logical Indian appreciates Kalongo and her team for taking such initiative.


Also Read: Indian Govt’s Denial Of Racism In Response To Attack On African Nationals Is Itself A Big Problem


Contributors

Edited by : Bharat Nayak

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

apopo Hero Rats

Rats Sniff Out Landmines And Save Thousands Of Lives In Africa & Asia, Also Detect Tuberculosis

Ethiopia Eritrea

Peace In Africa: Ethiopia And Eritrea End 20-Year-Old Conflict With A Warm Hug

HIV/AIDS

Thanks To Medical Aid, HIV/AIDS Is No Longer The Leading Cause Of Death In Africa

From Engineer In US To LGBT Rights Activist In India: Meet The Man Who Organised Pune’s Biggest Pride Parade

This NGO Is Employing Slum Residents As Teachers & Battling Stereotypes Of Slums In India

MS Dhoni

Selfless And Bold, The Captain India Will Miss – MS Dhoni

Latest on The Logical Indian

Fact Check

Fact Check: From Pakistan’s Flag Waved In Rajasthan To Rahul Gandhi’s U-Turn On Loan Waiver

Awareness

Central Govt Spent Rs 5,245 Cr On Ads Since 2014 Says Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore

Exclusive

#SevaSeShadi: This Couple Invited 150 Underprivileged Kids To Their Wedding

Awareness

UP District To Start Cow Census To Prevent Slaughter; Will Register NSA Against Culprits

Awareness

Tickets To Visit Taj Mahal Hiked Five Times To Limit Visitors

News

From Garbage Dump To “India’s Largest Floating Island,” This Bengaluru Lake Is In Limca Book of Records

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.