When I was in secondary school, one of my teachers told us a story that I would never forget. She said that when she was younger, (this is pre-internet and pre-social media) she had a pen pal. Her pen pal was American – I believe – and they used to write letters to each other back and forth. They spoke about their lives and everything going on around them.
So, one day, her pen pal decided to come visit her in Nigeria. She was excited to see her and host her. So, her friend arrived in Nigeria and she was glad. When they got home and her friend opened her luggage, she saw lots of traps. When she asked her why she had so many traps, this lady said that it was because she thought we lived on trees and so she came prepared.
When I heard this story, I was shocked and taken aback at the pure ignorance. However, as offensive as it was, I did not get too upset because I wanted to believe that this lady is just ignorant because maybe she didn’t have access to enough information on Africa or anything like that.
So, it bothers me that in this day and age of serious science and technological advances, there are still people that believe that Africans are savages. A couple of months ago, I got seriously offended when rap group, the Migos came to Nigeria to perform and when they shared their experience on their time there, they said this:
They were looking, they paid attention to everything that was going on. They knew word-for-word and their English wasn’t even that good
I like the Migos but I abhor their blatant ignorance for my country and its people. The way they spoke about us, you would think that we only started learning English two days ago. The way they spoke about us was so condescending to say the least.
According to an article written by BET in 2012, a survey showed that Nigerians are the most educated in the United States. According to another article written by Bloomberg in 2015, Census data also showed that the most educated immigrant group in the U.S. are Africans with 43% of African immigrants holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.
So, you might want to check up on that Migos, since we don’t ‘speak English so good.’
The reason why I got so riled up today is because I just finished watching Basketball Wives and one of the cast members, Jackie Christie was going out with her friend Malaysia, to eat Ethiopian food. This woman had the nerve to say that, “Ethiopian, to me, sounds like an African Zumbable tribe, like the tribe where they’re in a forest and everybody is like naked and the women have like nipples and the men’s big dongs are hanging out…”
Girlll…you should have just said that you liked the food and kept it moving. This is a country that was has existed for several centuries and they do not live in forests or walk around naked. Again, it just irritates me sometimes that people can be so ignorant like that. I’m not going to act like there are things that I’m not ignorant about; there are but I try to ask questions or research on the internet when I do not know much about something.
So, it will be nice for people to just research more into who we are and our culture and what we are trying to build before making any assumptions. Yes, we have our flaws; So do many other places but the last thing that we are not, is savages.