Climate activist pushes back on media

She went to the World Economic Forum to make an impact — but ended up cropped out of a photo next to Greta Thunberg and other global climate activists. Here's how Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate is fighting climate change in Africa.

Discrimination in the media

Vanessa Nakate was purposely scrapped out of the photos from an event she was attending as an activist by the AP news agency. She is Uganda’s first Fridays for Future climate strikers and has been an activist since 2018. She explains one of the reasons she became an activist for climate change is because “Africa as a continent is the least emitter of carbons but it is going to be the most affected by the climate crisis.” She elaborates, “In Africa, we have the Congo Rainforest that rarely appears in the news but it was estimated that by 2100, it would be gone and the forest has indigenous people, the forest has various species, so we all need to stand up for Africa.”

Young activists inspiring one another

She was also inspired by Greta Thunberg and began striking alone against climate inaction in January 2019. The destruction of the Congo Rainforest, food insecurity, and climate injustice have been central to her activism. Uganda has some of the lowest fossil fuel emissions in the world but is already dealing with first-hand consequences of the climate crisis. The country relies heavily on agriculture. Farms have been destroyed by both droughts and floods due to global heating which leads to food and economic insecurity. Nakate traveled to Davos and slept outside for the World Economic Forum with Arctic Basecamp, an organization raising awareness of the melting polar ice caps. There, Nakate also took part in a news conference alongside other climate activists.

Advocating for change on behalf of those who can’t

She recently shared why it’s so important to her to be an activist and revealed, “I was just thinking about the people from my country and how I’ve seen people die and how people lose their families, people lose their children, people lose their homes, and everything that they ever dreamed of and hoped for. Who is going to be able to speak for all these people? Who is going to try and help these people bring their message across? Because even the people we expect to share our message, that’s the media, they’re so disappointing.” AP said the photo was cropped on composition grounds, and the executive editor of AP has since apologized. Other agencies like Reuters misidentified Nakate in a photo caption, mistaking her for Zambian activist Natasha Mwansa. Reuters has since posted a caption correction. “This is the first time in my life that I understood the definition of the word “racism”. You erasing our voices won’t change anything. You erasing our stories won’t change anything,” Nakate concludes.


01/28/2020 10:57 AM


  • Ewa K.
    01/31/2020 17:02

    By cropping her out of the photo they directed everybody's attention to this girl. People say that every cloud has a silver lining :) so keep up Vanessa!

  • Tomme M.
    01/31/2020 02:20

    Where was she cut out??

  • Rachelle E.
    01/30/2020 11:42

    Keep up the great work, Vanessa👏🏾

  • Kike A.
    01/29/2020 21:15

    Not impressed with this. Fight racism instead of climate change

  • Andreas L.
    01/29/2020 20:50

    Thats why people shouldn't care about these showbusiness celebrities. The real actors for the climate are on the field doing actions for saving endengered species and the ecosystems not spending their entire time on CNN and taking selfies with others celebrities doing virtue signaling.

  • Richard C.
    01/29/2020 19:05

    The BIGGEST problem in Africa is the clearcutting of the rainforests by jihadists in a mad rush to fund Islamic terrorism. Restore the rainforests, restore the climate.

  • Jay M.
    01/29/2020 15:31

    Boo hoo. Probably cuz she ugly

  • Maria C.
    01/29/2020 14:49

    Africa is much more likely to suffer from exploitation by capitalist countries than climate change. This is possibly the reason why she was cut out. The puppet Greta thumberg will not discuss exploitation of slave labour and resources from Africa, China or India by the people who pay her wages and fund her lifestyle. Blaming all the harm they are doing on ‘climate change’. It’s really sad!

  • Tarma T.
    01/29/2020 03:47

    Some self-centered people cannot handle the presence of more qualified colleagues, it's about Greta or cut, can't warm up to childish and selfish diva Greta, her expression is very jealous, pity the brat claims it her solo show off instead of cooperation of many diligent and dedicated people.

  • Tiến T.
    01/29/2020 02:02

    How dare youuuuuuuu

  • Paula M.
    01/28/2020 22:45

    Hold your head high Queen. They did you a favor. I did not know you before this and now I will never forget you and your journey.

  • Paula M.
    01/28/2020 22:44

    Hold your head high Queen. They did you a favor. I did not know you before this and now I will never forget you and your journey.

  • Tina D.
    01/28/2020 22:09

    You are beautiful inspiration Vanessa!

  • James G.
    01/28/2020 21:44

    Its all a big crock of shit

  • Toby W.
    01/28/2020 21:33

    They are all Frauds & Criminals !!! Put them all in Juvenile Prison !!!

  • Starr N.
    01/28/2020 18:56

    “ you eracing our voices won’t change anything...” POWERFUL !!!!

  • Julia G.
    01/28/2020 18:40


  • Lu M.
    01/28/2020 17:19

    You are an amazing person! Everyone else: Don't fall for the divisive b.s. such as that awful cut of your photo. It's merely the attempt of your opposition to inject hate and divisiveness into the world.

  • Fàřâż J.
    01/28/2020 17:19

    Discrimination on its peak..

  • Sumal S.
    01/28/2020 16:58

    You Vanessa Nakate are an amazing person! Don’t let people get in the way of your goals. Photo or no photo, you are making an impact and because of that you will change your reality and reality of others for good. Be very proud of that darling. Racist people and media will always be there, unfortunately. but it doesn’t matter what matters is YOU were there, and you knew what was happening. Keep up the momentum. keep doing!! you go girl! 🌺♥️🌺

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