I was so embarrassed when I saw the Global Girls from Soweto's reaction as they heard our response to what we wanted to see from their country: we had answered "the animals."
On Saturday June 19th both Global Girls from Los Angeles and Soweto Africa had our first encounter at 8:30 in the morning. We met a majority of them, in Africa the number of girls that are involved with the program are 22 and here in Los Angeles there are currently 8 girls. The girls were very nice and I was completely amazed because I expected them not to be that westernized, they actually reminded me of us. One of the girls even asked us if we listened to Jennifer Lopez, we denied it because we really don't listen to her, but when they asked about Beyonce, we all screamed!
Another one of the girls was explaining that their country was going through some westernization and this reminded me of what I had learned in world history, Japan went through the same thing 100 or 200 years ago, and I was shocked because the media hadn't talked about this change. When you see or think Africa we get an image of lions running free, tribes with young hunters, and even the Discovery Channel, but all this is inaccurate according to the Global Girls(embarrassing!). In Africa there are cities like here in the United States and they don't let their animals run wild like we would imagine, they keep their animals in Zoos like we do. They dress like any American girl would, and not how the media has portrayed them, half-naked.
After the cringe-worthy moment of us not knowing anything about their society, and the fact that they knew more about us that we knew about them, I realized that we have been receiving the wrong information from the media when it comes to Africa. As the curious girl I am, I began researching the country and now that I'm a bit more educated, I would like to ask them more questions about the Africa I thought I knew but obviously don't, and I hope that our next talk this Saturday won't make me feel as dumb as I did last Saturday... did I mention they have a Zoo??! (duh)
Written by: Diana Torres