Loyiso Madinga talks to Moneyish about women in politics and joining Trevor Noah’s Comedy Central juggernaut
It’s funny how misguided Westerners are about Africa.
Or so it seems to Loyiso Madinga, 30, the new Africa correspondent for Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.”
“Every European who comes to this country, they never dress like normal, modern-day people,” Madinga told Moneyish. “They always dress in their safari gear, in khaki and safari boots, and we’re all in Jordans and the latest New Balance sneakers.”
He adds: “We always knew Americans [had]… a lack of knowledge about what Africa really is. [They imagine] people in sticks and mud houses,” he said. The world still sees Africa as “bush and tribe and animal… and a little bit of war thrown in there.”
— TheHomeOfComedy (@ComedyCentralAF) January 11, 2018
In his new job, Madinga is bringing news that most of us don’t hear about Africa to the fore for international audiences. In his first report for “The Daily Show” that aired on Comedy Central’s Africa feed earlier this month, Madinga explored the reported corruption issues facing the South African president Jacob Zuma.
Going forward, Madinga hopes to further cover the struggle Africa has faced in trying to boost female representation in government. “Patriarchy is something that we’ve inherited… Men and women are realizing that it does not serve us to lessen women in positions of power, when it’s clear that the male option isn’t necessarily the better one.”
“You can no longer drive our politics by genitals,” he added.
Indeed, there are currently no female heads-of-state in all of Africa, a fact that became reality when former Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf left office in January, after 12 years in the job. She was succeeded by George Weah, the country’s new president, who quickly set about appointing an all-male cabinet. That said, it’s also important to note that South Africa has the world’s 10th highest concentration of women in Parliament, compared to the United States — which was 73rd on the list.
For its part, Comedy Central has a history of recruiting talent from South Africa, where Madinga is from. Indeed, Johannesburg-born comedian Trevor Noah, 33, succeeded Jon Stewart as host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in 2015. And that may be part of the network’s strategy, said Robert Thompson, the Syracuse University professor of popular culture.”‘The Daily Show’ could really become a program that delves into international issues,” partly as a result of Madinga’s recruitment, Thompson told Moneyish.
And, as Madinga himself concluded of his new role: “What ‘The Daily Show’ correspondent does, it is it gives the continent a voice.”
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