OPINION: #BrusselsAttacks & our selective outrage
Yesterday, the world reacted with shock and horror to the news of terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium. At least 34 people lost their lives with over 200 others injured in three separate bomb attacks in that country.
I remember first hearing about the two blasts at the Brussels Airport in the 9:30am news bulletin. I saw the images of the injured. It was a gruesome sight. As someone who loves travelling, I was shaken and thought it could happen to anyone. Innocent lives lost just like that.
I had to quickly snap out of it and live blog the Brussels attacks for work. I spent the whole day blogging about it. All major media houses were live blogging the tragedy. The story lead for the entire day. This got me thinking, I don't remember seeing live blogs on tragedies happening on the African continent.
Brussels trended the whole day on Twitter as it should, because lives were lost and a city was under siege. I cannot imagine the crippling fear of having witnessed/survived something like that. European leaders were quick to react, condemning the attacks and offering help to Belgium.
Europe doesn't drag its feet when dealing with terrorism in their backyard. They act and create massive hype around the incident. You can't blame them for valuing their lives. What about us Africans? Why don't we react the same way to our tragedies?
We can't always complain about CNN not reporting on terror attacks on the continent. It's us who should be leading the way. We don't make enough noise about Mali, Nigeria, Syria and many other countries that have lost many lives due to terrorism.
Our tragedies hardly lead news bulletins. We don't light up African landmarks with the colours of our neighbours who are mourning. I'm yet to see a cartoon that sympathises with Ivory Coast. At least 22 people including children were killed in Grand-Bassam this month. Six men, armed with Kalashnikov rifles and hand grenades opened fire on beachgoers. Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attack.
There were no live blogs about that tragedy. It didn't even continuously lead news bulletins in South Africa, but then again not even the abductions of scores of schoolgirls in Nigeria led our bulletins. Why? Have we internalised the 'nyolz' that our lives don't matter?
Lindiwe Mlandu is a member of the Eyewitness News team in Cape Town. Follow her on Twitter:_ @LindiweMl_