The Black Lives Matter movement in the US has spurred Malaysians and students of Limkokwing University to demand that their King of Africa billboard be taken down.
Find out what’s going on, and determine for yourself if the Limkokwing King of Africa billboard should be taken down!
Limkokwing King of Africa Billboard : What Is It?
This King of Africa billboard was erected on 23 January 2020, according to a video posted by Malaz El.
The billboard has a large poster of Lim Kok Wing, the founder of Limkokwing University, petting a cheetah with the words King of Africa emblazoned above his head.
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Limkokwing King of Africa Billboard : Should It Be Removed?
In a nod to the Black Lives Matter movement, Samantha Chin created a petition to have it removed.
She pointed out that black students at Limkokwing University are angry and hurt by the King of Africa billboard, and listed these four reasons :
- It is incredibly condescending as it portrays him as a savior. This perpetuates the notion that black people need saving, taking away their power and psychologically placing them in an inferior role. The use of a jungle animal and reference to “king” perpetuates ideas of Africa as one big jungle and adds to the (wrongful) animalistic characterization of the students.
- The photo has been edited to increase the horde of black students surrounding him, further painting him as a ‘Hero’. This paints a picture of these students lacking individuality perpetuating the notion that all black people are the same. As you can see in the before and after photo, the photo (though I cannot say intentionally) has been causing them to mold into one! NOT OKAY.
- The use of the photo of his students in Sierra Leone pressing up against him is a common photo used by the media to portray black people as ‘savage’ and ‘animalistic’. This may not have been his intention; however, I implore you to consider the implications of using photos like this knowing the current climate of the world and its views on people of African descent. They have a beautiful history of Grace, of Power, of Kings & Queens and it is a Shame that people do not use photos like that to advertise the culture and lineages that Africa truly has.
- Lastly, if this poster is meant to highlight his many campuses in Africa, it has FAILED to do so. What it does portray is how absolutely narcissistic he is and how he DEHUMANIZES his students in these campuses whilst profiting off of them. If he is profiting off of Black people, he should make an effort to also stand up for them in this #BlackLivesMatter movement and show his many students a decent amount of RESPECT. This poster needs to be TAKEN DOWN A FORMAL APOLOGY should be given to his African students.
If you agree with Samantha, and would like Limkokwing University to remove their King of Africa billboard, sign the petition here!
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