5 Things Never To Say To An African

The African continent is rich and diverse, and while it has certain conditions that affect it, they don’t define it as a place. Apparently, not everyone seems to understand this.

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For an African, you speak really good English
This question is commonly asked of “new” Africans who live in some countries in the west. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t all make clicking noises when we speak, or struggle to understand simple grammatical constructs. Over twenty countries on the continent speak English as the official language and have English as the language of the government. Yes, accents are different, and understandably so. So the next time you hear us speak and want to ask us how long we have lived outside of the continent because our English is shockingly “good”, just don’t.

Do you live in houses or huts?
Well, I could say we all live trees (which some people might actually believe), but that would mean dignifying the question with a response.

But you’re too light skinned to be African
From being too light and to having “good hair” (still trying to figure out what this means), we have heard it all. The fact is that Africans come in all shades — Dark skinned, light skinned, caramel colored or high yellow, we’re all  proudly and legitimately African.

Do you wear ‘regular’ clothes?
As opposed to…..fig leaves or twigs? When I get asked this question, it means that people have been watching too much television or have been reading too many “Look at me going to save the African people” blogs. We wear whatever we want to, whenever we want to.  We have wardrobes that would put others to shame  and we know how to show out!

I visited Africa and I was disappointed to see grocery stores. I didn’t think I had the African experience
Depending on where you are in any given country, grocery stores are not luxuries. They are as common as they are in any other part of the world. However, to disqualify an experience  as not being “African” enough because of the prevalence of this basic necessity is simply a reflection of ignorance.

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