A couple of years back when I was still in college, I used to work for an USAID funded NGO which used to focus on monitoring hate speech among radio presenters and also sensitizing many Kenyans on the need to practice peace and decorum during elections.
We had just come out of post-election violence in 2007 which was threatening to disrupt the peace and tranquility we have experienced since independence.
At one time I was assigned to accompany the driver to go and pick up the project manager, Dutch fellow who had vast experience working in War zones across Central Asia and the Middle East. This was his first time in Africa having been newly appointed in his position.
I remember the disappointment in his face when we exited the airport and there was no sign of a lion or zebras and horde of other African men hunting and chasing after wild boars. Mind you this is a man with an MBA in project management and in a managerial position in an organization with branches in over 50 countries across the world.
His pestering on whether he’d be sleeping in a hotel or outside and there were toilets in Kenya still gets to my nervous and his sheer ignorance aroused all manner of acrimony within me…trust me if I had a knife I would have surely stabbed him to death.
Sadly, he’s not alone. There are many other educated, polished people from America and Europe who have all this weird misconceptions about the motherland which if you would allow me I would like to debunk today.
First of all Africa is not a jungle. The likelihood of coming across a lion while attempting to cross the street is basically null and void and there is also no possibility you’ll stumble upon giraffes making out in the lift while going up to your hotel room; absolutely none!
There are animals alright but in designated parks and game reserves which are well manned and protected.
Otherwise there are modern airports, skyscrapers, hotels and computers just like the Western world. There is Wi-Fi connection in public transport here in Kenya for heaven’s sake!
The other misconception held by foreigners and especially men is that African women are slaves whose only role is to fulfill men’s desires and fantasies. There is also that misconception that they are submissive and harmless.
They are just like women everywhere else in the world…they rock Michel Kors watches, carry around Chanel bags and drink champagne in the club while expecting you to pay for it. They will also not hesitate cheating on you when you can’t bring your A game to bed or when you can’t afford trips to the Maldives anymore.
And No, they won’t sleep with your dog just to please your little perverted sick mind.
Africa is not a reigning war zone. Yes, there are people fighting of course just like other parts of the world but people don’t walk around in machine guns ready to shoot at anyone who doesn’t say good morning. As a matter of fact, Kenya where I reside is pretty peaceful and so is Tanzania and Mauritius where I transverse across.
The only people who carry around guns are the police and the military unlike the US where most people are licensed gun holders who not once or twice have used this privilege to bring forth unimaginable terror among their fellow citizenry.
The one that pisses me off the most is the misconception that Africa has no technological advancement and innovation whatsoever.
Well, let me shock you!
The uptake of mobile services by Kenyans for example continued to grow during the first quarter of the 2015/16 financial year spanning July to September 2015. According to the quarterly sector statistics report by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), at the end of the quarter, mobile penetration stood at 88.1per cent with 37.8million subscribers up from 36.1 million in the previous quarter.
Mobile penetration in the US right now currently stands at 90% so the margins are very minimal. In Nairobi for example or Kampala in Uganda, most malls have unlimited access to internet which is actually given for free.
In terms of innovation, Africa is an innovation hub which has brought forth notable solutions like mobile money transfer and Mubser, a breakthrough navigational aid tool designed for visually-impaired people. It is a wearable belt with a Bluetooth-connected headset that guides blind people to move and navigate around common obstacles such as walls, chairs and staircases in a safe and easy way.
Last but not least, there is also that misconception that Africa is poor. Well, there are poor people alright but there also very rich people just like any other part in the world. There are Africans out here leaving the American dream or like Dubai sheikhs riding around in Lamborghinis and throwing parties in privately owned yachts.
And how can Africa be poor when Nine-tenths of gas produced globally is exported from Nigeria, Libya, Algeria and Egypt?
When we have minerals like industrial diamonds, gold, bauxite in plenty?
Just to simplify everything, Africa is home to multi-billion dollar companies and innovations which rank in millions of dollars in revenue and profits.
And just a bonus point for the ladies, not everyone in Africa is a natural born sex god who is capable of causing ripples upon ripples of multiple orgasms. Some of us are selfish bastards with small dicks which cum 2 seconds after penetration.
So sorry to burst your bubble!