Hijacking #TIA

Dear Everybody who lives in – or who has every visited – Africa,
In today’s world of xoxo’s, lol’s, rotfl’s, yolo’s, and molo’s (ok, the last one is a Xhosa greeting) our generation is fast reducing our language to short, catchy and “hashtag-able” acronyms that are not only tweeted, but somehow find their way to actually come out of our human mouths.
Probably the most emotionally charged of these for me is “TIA” (this is Africa). Kindly allow me to share a snapshot of some of the uses of this phrase I’ve had the displeasure of hearing, and their underlying message:
Random person 1: “Oh, there’s a road block coming up ahead. Don’t worry, I always keep R100 in my ID book… you know to give to the traffic officer… but… well… TIA”.
Underlying message: “The fact that I have been drinking and driving doesn’t matter because Africans are corrupt and therefore I can clear my conscience of my own corrupt-ness by diverting your attention to the corruption of ‘everyone else’ in Africa”
Random person 2: “I’m sure my flight will be delayed honey, so don’t wait up – TIA”.
Underlying message: “I’m going to overlook the phenomenal beauty I’ve just witnessed at one of the 7 wonders of the world (table mountain) on my business trip where I’ve seen huge return on investment, and rather choose to express my lack of belief in African business and Africans in general.”
Although TIA most probably is used as a humorous “can we find common ground in sharing the same annoyance” of inter-personal conversation, and is usually light-hearted; as a South African I find TIA: #demeaning, #patronizing, #disheartening and #insulting.

Africa is my home… my people!

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and isn’t Africa one of the most beautiful continents on planet earth!? Doesn’t it also have some of the most vibrant cultures, and boast some of the most resilient, ingenuous, creative, warm and loving peoples? Don’t we have some of the greatest potential returns on investment for business, being a “resource rich developing continent”!? Aren’t we deeply rooted in traditions of respect, family, one-ness and mutual care? Doesn’t every continent have its challenges?
Why do we allow people to hijack #TIA to give it back as an #insult?

Friends, will you join us in TAKING BACK #TIA!?

We’re choosing to use #TIA as a reference to the many positives of this amazing continent and her inspiring people.
TIA, and yes dear world, that is a very good thing indeed!
Sparrow Society // "Hijacking #TIA" // We love Africa!

Hijack #TIA on Twitter and help us show the world the REAL Africa!

Be sure to hashtag #TIA to help us change it for good! Join the conversation @SparrowSociety.


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