TED Conversations

mary kariuki

This conversation is closed.

If you have NEVER been to Africa, when someone mentions "Africa" or you hear "Africa", what is the FIRST thing that comes into your mind?

People associate different regions/continent based on media, informational material, myths, stereotypes and such. The main idea of this discussion is to find out what people who never had "first hand experience" think about the continent. Thanks for your contribution.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Mar 24 2013: First thing that comes to mind is "I wanna go there and my gf won't let me!" I got an offer to go to Tanzania this summer and she freaked out. :( And Tanzania isn't even where I want to go. :P

    Second thing: Africa is huge. Absolutely freaking ginormous. People assume that it is much, much smaller than it is because of the way the standard maps look, but the gap between Dodoma, Tanzania and Johannesburg, South Africa is 2090 miles--slightly less than twice the distance between New York and Miami. HUGE!

    Third thing: the Africa stereotypes are annoying. "Isn't it dangerous!?" Well... yeah. So is skiing. :P I've had people gawk at me because I asked "where in South Africa" and knew what they were talking about, even though I've only lived in the US. :(

    Fourth thing: I know which languages have clicks and I practice the clicks when I'm bored even though they're not the languages I actually want to *learn*. I tried learning isiNdebele and failed miserably. :P

    Now you've got me depressed again. I wish I had a big group of friends to go to Johannesburg with. I have no idea *why* South Africa fascinates me so much. I have 90% British heritage and could care less about seeing Europe.

    Um. Can you tell this is a flash point for me...?
    • thumb
      Mar 25 2013: Hey DG,
      I would advise that you consult with you girlfriend and understand her underlying fears.
      Get some people who have been to the country you want to visit and get first hand information, that way your girlfriend will understand that it is safe and a nice place to visit.

      Don't get depressed, in fact been in Europe it is a simple task to identify people who have visited Africa.
      I have a female friend born and raised in England, feared to go to Kenya first time, when she went there she fell in love with it and now she operates a tourist business in Ngong, Kenya.....though she still live and work in England, she visit Kenya at least twice per year.
      • Mar 25 2013: :) Oh dear, now I feel like I lied accidentally. Oops. I look "British". I'm American, but my mom traced our family history line way back and all our ancestors are directly descended from British people. I'm the color of cooked chicken. I should include a pic on here, but that top hat's my universal logo across all my website accounts. I clicked your Facebook page link. (Same hat)

        Me and my gf both read a (thankfully now dead!) hypercritical blog about Africa a few years ago. What I got out of it: lots and lots of history lessons. What she got out of it: "Africa is where people get raped and get AIDS and die..." Her exact words about it were "I'm can't drive and get you when you get beat up in Tanzania!!" *sigh*

        Kenya's a bit out of my "familiarity" range. I'm aware of it, but most of what I know is centered around the South Africa/Botswana area, with some old history of the DRC. I only know Tanzania from a classmate and that one specific job. :(

        Good news though: I *just* got back from a different job prescreening that would let me go back and forth to all over Africa instead of just Tanzania, and for shorter durations (so she doesn't get as mad and I can go more places!) and I am bouncing off the walls hoping I can get hired. It's a sales job, so it shouldn't be *that* difficult. Cape Town here I come! (I hope I hope I hope. If I get the job...)

        Wish me luck!

        Having read more of this conversation thread, what country are you from, if you don't mind me asking? :D
        • thumb
          Mar 26 2013: Hey DG,
          Thanks so much for clarifying that you are American...forgive my assumption and human error of reaching a conclusion without enough evidence.

          Thanks for following me on facebook. I am from Central Kenya. East Africa

          Sorry you read a blog that created fear and uncertainty. Africa is a great place and safe place to be. If someone fear going to Africa because of safety, I would somewhat equate it to someone who has never been to USA....but out of fear and uncertainty, the person decide never to visit USA because she/he might be shot. No place is 100% safe, you just need right information to increase safety.....the same way you don't want to find yourself in some bad area of town.....same should apply in Africa.

          Lastly, I wish you best of Luck in job search. The right job will surely be yours. I hope you get this job....( you seem that you would love to travel across Africa)

          Love, Mary
        • thumb
          Mar 26 2013: Hey DG

          I am very sure to score 100%...Utah is a state. Within the state there is a city called Provo and university called BYU.
          BYU was one of my school option though I preferred Morgan State because of scholarship, in the process I learnt UTAH is a state.
          Big up Utah.......
          I hope my chit chat and history of UTAH will earn me some extra points...Professor DG?

          Mary

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.