Africa is Geography’s DMX
The other night, after watching the 10pm news on ABC, “Nightline” came on. I’m not a fan of that show, so I typically don’t watch it. Due to the fact that the remote control wasn’t within arm’s reach of me, and my sheer laziness, I sat there and watched “Nightline” come on.
The topic was an exposé on African children who are accused of witchcraft, and I sat there knowing I would not be pleased at all with what I was about to see but I watched anyway. They showed children that were crying while being told by their parents that they had evil spirits in them that they had to be exorcised. Then there was the part where they showed a child that had hot wax poured on him for his “exorcism”. This was just one of the many instances of foolishness. While they were rebuking the children of their supposed witchcraft, iRebuked THEM. After watching about 15 minutes of the show, I was pretty much done. DONE, I say!
iCan’t with the American media and their intrigue with seemingly uncivilized Africans. Between the Discovery Channel, National Geographic and these “investigative reporters”, Africa’s rap sheet is worse than DMX’s. We only seem to be only interested in the Africa that’s disease-ridden, poverty-stricken and with no sense of modern day living. The kids with the dusty hair and flies buzzing around their heads are apparently what’s lukewarm in the gutters. Let the media tell it, no one in Africa thinks bras exist. All they ever show are the women with the foot tits & men with the pinocchio wee wees. Unacceptable!
It’s on some “Crikey! Let’s watch the African in his natural habitat” crap. And the journalist who covers these stories is always a skinny white guy who “cares”. King Kong called. He wants his complex back (HI-YO!) That is a different post all by itself.
I’m not saying they ought not show the jungles of Africa and the people who wear fig leaves and nothing else. However, it should not be the only part of Africa that is everywhere. Methinks the flat views of Africa is ridiculous, misleading and counterproductive. Have you ever seen a special about the continent that was about city life? Hell, show ONE house that isn’t made of mud and I may be slightly appeased. Jeebs be some different viewpoints for the media & Africa. HMPH!
This 1-dimensional view of Africa in the media is part of the reason why when I was in elementary school, kids would ask me the dumbest questions. Since it was before I became the snark-master I am today, I never really replied. I should have responded with equally ignorant ish like “Does your Trailer Park blow away when it gets really windy?” or “Is your mom also your aunt?” But no, I was still un-IG and kind of shy. Then there were the idiots who used to be like “Luvvie, Mon!!” Me: *thinking* Look here, you fire-haired braceface! I’m not Jamaican.
Too bad that elementary school kids were not the only people who had ignorant questions for me. Some of the ones below have been asked by adults! Here’s the top 5.
Top 5 STUPID Questions
“Do you speak African?” – Please go stand in traffic. There is no such language as “African”. You see, it’s actually a huge continent, and not one country, so we all speak different tongues. Although the countries are a result of Europeans being greedy. Africa was doing bad all by itself then Europeans came and “developed” it. They drew asinine ass boundaries that barely took tribes into account, called them countries and left chaos in their wake. That’s like me putting the Bloods and the Crips in the same condo, and saying “Ok, now rule yourselves.” EPIC FAIL. So, no, I don’t speak African.
“When did you learn to speak English?” – One day, I was determined to learn this language they referred to as “English” so I went to the one library in the country, to the restricted books section and pulled out the only book in English and read it for many months. *STRONG side-eye* OR I learned at home and it is as much as my first language as Yoruba is. Go sat down.
“Do you wear clothes where you’re from?” – Yeah we wear clothes in Chicago. Oh, you meant Nigeria. Not only do we wear clothes, but folks have their seamstresses on speed dial. Slap yourself.
“Have you ever seen a lion?” – Of course I have. I too am a fan of “Lion King”. I even got “Circle of Life” on my MP3 player. I will bust into “Hakuna Mutata” at the drop of a dime! And when Mufasa died, my eyes may have leaked a little (remember that thugs don’t cry). Oh, you meant in my backyard? I oughta roundhouse kick you in the spleen for asking me that.
“Do you have light?” – This little light of mine is all I need to let shine. Besides, who needs light when you have the sun? When the sun comes up, we start our day. If the sun is down, we have no need for light. We go to sleep. *side-eye* Jeebs be some sense for you. IJOT!
And for a bonus one…
“Do you have cars?” – Who needs cars when you have the back of goats? That’s perfectly good transport! For extra big people, we use baby elephants. PLEASE go give yourself a papercut. Kthxbai!
One thing people don’t ask me enough is “Are you a princess?” – Why, yes I am. But my petal-throwers are on vacay (and the royal vajay stays clean). Lazy bastids! My Granny was a princess though (like for real). So does that make me a dutchess? In fact, henceforth, please refer to me as “Dutchess Luvvie (The Earl of IG)”. Kthnx *curtsies*
So the moral of this story is:
Kick t he next person that asks you a dumb qu estion about Africa in the shin Wait. I take back the strikethrough. The moral IS to kick the next person that asks you a dumb question about Africa in the shin.
For my readers, please regale me with tales of the foolishness you’ve encountered when it comes to ignorance about your culture. I’m sure they are infinite. We can compare notes on snarky responses to give.
Oh, and below are pictures of Lagos, Nigeria, a city with skyscrapers, beaches, cars… *GASP* They do indeed exist. The pictures you probably will never see on “Nightline”, CNN and the sorts. Enjoy.
Edit: Thanks to Jen for sharing this link. “How to Write about Africa”. It’s hilarious in it’s snark. This is an excerpt:
“Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these. If you must include an African, make sure you get one in Masai or Zulu or Dogon dress.
In your text, treat Africa as if it were one country. It is hot and dusty with rolling grasslands and huge herds of animals and tall, thin people who are starving. Or it is hot and steamy with very short people who eat primates. Don’t get bogged down with precise descriptions. Africa is big: fifty-four countries, 900 million people who are too busy starving and dying and warring and emigrating to read your book.”