Social media presents a powerful platform for creating multiple stories about Africa. Embracing the accessibility of modern technology, African social media bloggers and content creators like Dennis Ngango are using YouTube and other platforms to change long-standing “Afro-pessimistic” stereotypes – including the idea that Africa is a backward continent characterised by strife and poverty.
Dennis Ngango is the founder of DEFINING Media, a digital media startup who is on a mission to unleash the potential of Africa’s youth through compelling, creative and wholesome storytelling.
What started as an attempt to correct how the world perceived Africa has now become a full-fledged channel (DEFINING) with a following of nearly 100,000 subscribers on YouTube. We recently caught up with Dennis to discuss his journey, and learn how he stays true to himself whilst providing entertaining contents that also presents Africa in good light. Enjoy the read.
Q: Please tell us about yourself.
A: My name is Dennis Ngango, a tenacious 25-yearold Industrial Engineer and Digital Entrepreneur from South Africa. I run DEFINING Media which is a digital media start-up with the mission to unleash the potential of Africa’s youth through compelling, creative and wholesome storytelling.
Q: How did you discover your vision?
A: At the tender age of 16, I approached my community radio station to host a show that addressed contemporary issues facing my generation. At the time, I believed that young South Africans (and Africans as a whole) weren’t accurately represented in traditional media. Most African narratives in and outside of the continent are hugely generalised, completely biased and, in many cases, a homogeneous block of violence, helplessness, poverty, and slavery. We were portrayed as an “inferior” continent which undermines and contradicts what Africa really has to offer.
My radio show that I hosted with Malebona Maphutse, created a space and narrative that reflected the potential of Africa’s youth and our determination for a better tomorrow. Although the show didn’t run for long, it was such an important milestone as it introduced me to the power of storytelling and its incredible ability to empower and develop people.
The only solution to transforming the African narrative is not a matter of just talking about it but giving African’s the opportunity to tell their stories. DEFINING Media provides a unique perspective, an inside view and a connection that would otherwise be lost. Our vision is to create a digital hub of original African content that breaks stereotypes and enables its people.
Q: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you started in business?
A: I wish I had known that uncertainty is part of the process. Having started DEFINING at the age of 23, I often let uncertainty, and the fear thereof, stop me from pursuing my aspirations and dealing with things directly. This resulted in a low drive, productivity and focus. I’ve since learned that the best way to combat uncertainty is…
EDITOR’S NOTE: Keep reading here.