- Issue March 18, 2017
Questions for Lancelot
By Keza Nzisabira
African Trip, is a snapchat based movement that bring together African youth all over the world, so that they can network, communicate ideas, and learn from each other. I got the Chance to interview Lancelot Sekarimunda, the current president of the African Trip, and he shed some light on why this movement was started.
The way that it works is each country involved with the African Trip has their own page. Every 24 hours there is a new individual from that country hosting that page, and showing the viewers their day to day life. The viewers also get a chance to interact with the host and ask them questions. Although African Trip started small today it represents more than 20 countries in the continent.
Lancelot was born in Burundi, and raised in Paris. He currently resides in Montreal Canada, where he just finished his undergraduate degree in Business Administration. He got involved in African Trip by being Co-administrator of the Burundi page, better known as Buja257. (Administrators handle the accounts, and pass it on to new hosts every day.) He was eventually elected president of the whole movement. I asked Lancelot why they decided to use snapchat as opposed to any other social media platform and he said “We decided to use snapchat because this app allows anyone to talk instantly to their followers, and in this case audience. The host of the day will have on their phone, and thousands of viewers will watch the day and ask questions about their life, studies or hobbies or anything they would like to talk about during their time.” He continues to explain that the main purpose of this whole movement was to bring African youth together, wherever they may be in the world, and recognize the diversity among Africa, and showcasing one another’s cultures.
The African Trip movement also does a great job in bringing together Africans, by using social media to connect and network. Lancelot said “Hosting Buja257, Rwa_250, and other pages was really a great experience. It allowed me to meet and connect with new people, reconnect with some childhood friends, and open doors and opportunities for me; Like this interview. I didn’t know there were many Burundians and Rwandans in Montreal. Since my hosting sometimes I meet people who watch me on those accounts, that’s so weird, I’m still not used to it, especially when they called me using my nickname or my Instagram handle (Sir Lancelot). But it feels great for a kid who used to be feel like an outsider among his people. Now I can say I am on the map.”
I asked Lancelot what the greatest challenge African youth faced today, and how can being connected help, and he responded by highlighting a big issue in African countries today. “To me the greatest challenge that African youth face today, is to realize how much our countries need us in any way. We don’t have to all go back home, but if each one of us could find a way to help our respective countries grow. And I do think that it helps to be connected because that way we can see what our brothers and sisters across the continent are doing, and perhaps partner with them in the development of our countries. As one my friend says “inspired to inspire” Promoting greatness allows us to dream and to think that it could be us if we get to work.”
Personally, I had the opportunity to host the Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda page. It was an amazing experience, getting to interact with Africans my age all over the globe. People i would have never met in life, all of a sudden one click away on my phone. It is often said that technology has made the world smaller, and indeed it has. With platforms like the African Trip, the world gets even more smaller. Lancelot describes it by saying “The potential connections are limitless!” African Trip also provides a sense of empowerment for Africans. By showcasing our daily lives, it changes the narrative that Africa has. It highlights the untapped potential within African youths, and it encourages us to reach in and make our dreams happen. When I was hosting the Rwanda page, I got a message asking if I would be interested in joining another platform for Africans who like me, are majoring in Political science, with hopes to improve the political climates in African countries. The networking and the closeness that African Trip has brought to Africans all over the world is truly inspiring.
Finally, I asked Lancelot if there were any future projects with African Trip, and he said “Yes definitely! I can’t say a lot for now but as they say “stay tuned and you will see”!!” I personally cannot wait to see how African Trip brings Africans around the world closer!