Earlier this month, I was featured in an article that went viral. It explained my current immigration situation of being erroneously refused a visa by the UK Home Office, the fact that I’d lost my permanent job offer as a result, and the frightening possibility that I could be deported from the 7th of November. The article told a portion of my story, but it did so from a colonial lens – depicting the Democratic Republic of Congo in the narrative of a vast mass of darkness.
It is true that I was offered the platform, then interviewed and did not see the final feature before publication. It is also true that I did not ask to see the feature first, and that by positioning myself in this sphere of social justice advocacy and upholding Pan-Africanism, I should have known better. The media will do what the media does, and so those of us who choose to access platforms – especially platforms directed at the White gaze – need to ensure that we are meticulous about the stories, and the single stories, we share.