Latest Posts

Common Western Myths About Africa

by Evelyn Masaba

Thoughts of African still living in Mud huts, image source; keyword-suggestions.com

Africa is a beautiful continent full of warm receptive people from the many different countries which you can easily access. Most countries, unlike what you see on the media are very safe apart from the very few turbulent regions in those states.

Yet, unless you have been to or were raised in Africa, you will not realize how wonderful the continent is. To most people Africa is still a dark continent swirling with mystery and rumors of what they see in the media, of the many things the West thinks of our continent; here are a few of them.

 Mud Wattle Huts

When the first foreign explorers landed on the continent, they saw a wild thick place with animals roaming all over the place and when they found homesteads all they could see were mud huts. They wrote home about that and to some people in the west, it is what they think Africans live in. It might seem like a ridiculous thought to us, but to most people who do not study as much about Africa’s individual countries, it is hard to understand that over the years the continent has had massive development in infrastructure and especially in housing.

 AIDS All Over The Place

It always seem like a silly joke on social media when a person going to visit a country in Africa talks about their fear to “catch AIDS” whilst there, but the truth to some people it is an actual fear. They think Africa is a continent riddled with sick people spreading AIDS like whooping cough, the moment you breath the same air or touch them, you catch “the AIDS.” If you studied science or biology, you would remember that the disease is sexually transmitted that can also be transmitted orally. AIDS is all over the world not just in Africa; so whether you travel to Europe or the Americas, one out of 10 people you interact with has it.

Africans Are Always Hungry And Poor

When you watch the many sad ads with malnourished African children whose faces have tears and mucus; you can easily jump to the conclusion that there is nothing in Africa but sadness and poverty. That we never have food to eat, our children are always dirty and constantly crying because life is unbearable. The fact is, the whole world has poverty, sad children in circumstances but Africa has healthy beautiful babies who never notice what poverty is. Our children even when half naked in tattered clothes, they see beauty in everything and giggles in bumbling brooks.

 No Civilization Whatsoever

If History is correct, Africa is the cradle of civilization. Thousands of years back before Alexander the Great landed on the continent before they discovered Zinjathropus, communities were thriving. We had leaders built on a system that had been passed down for years, these very systems are still in existence till today. There are prominent kingdoms and chiefdoms that were not cut down during the colonial era such as the Buganda kingdom in Uganda for the Baganda, a prominent tribe in the country.

 Just A Country Off The Ocean

This being one of the most common misconception of people who have never bothered to look through google or pick up a book to notice that there are over 40 countries that makeup the continent. These individual countries have their own government with different governing systems in place that might seem different from their neighboring states. Some of the countries adopted state mannerism from their former colonial masters and others stuck to their traditional leaderships such as Ethiopia and are thriving individually. You need a visa to visit each country and if there are good political terms between the said African country and your home country, you will find a consulate that represents it in your capital city hence showing you that there is nothing like the country that is called Africa.

Guns, Spears and So Many Rebels

Most African countries have been at peace for decades and will be peaceful for decades more to come; but there is a perception that comes from a well scripted Hollywood description of African countries. There are always power hungry dictators, running the country into the ground and living lavishly while their people starve in the streets and littering the country with so many guns plus angry bloodthirsty rebels.

In some countries you will find a little bit of anarchy but that is not the whole of Africa.

Speaking African

There is not language called African, every country in Africa has over many different tribes and ethnic groups that comprise of languages. Most of these languages might sound alike, but that is just because the ethnic background is the same. An example would be the Bantu ethnic group that has tribes scattered all over Africa that have a similar sounding dialect when you hear people speak.

Each tribe has its own cultures and norms that they have followed for generations even after colonialism disrupted most of them.

 Typical African Accent

Hollywood might lead you to believe that as Africans when we speak English we all sound like the King of Wakanda or Nigeria, yet the fact is we sound so different from each other that you can clearly hear it when you speak. This comes from the fact that not all countries in Africa have English as an official language nor teach English in their schools but if you try to speak our languages, you might find it easier to understand us.

About Evelyn Masaba (123 Articles)
Public Relations Manager, Jumia Travel Uganda. PR Girl. RTs ≠ endorsements. #ThisMugisu. Travel.jumia.com is Africa's No.1 hotel booking website, allowing you to get the best prices for more than 25,000 hotels in Africa and more than 200,000 hotels around the world.