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7 Important Things You should Know About Africa
7 Things about Africa
Have you ever been to Africa? Are you a native of Africa, the land of dark skinned people? You have probably heard a lot of stories about Africa, some have a basis in truth while some are exaggerations which stretch so far away from the truth.
The following subheadings will clarify some stereotypes about Africa.
Africa is not a country it is one of the 6 continents of the world. Within this continent there are 54 countries.All of them are marked territories with borders that are recognized and featured in maps. Most of them were colonized for many years and they have gradually gained independence over the years. At the moment Africa is free of colonization.
Movies and the media have given a portrayal of Africa as a war-tone place where wars abound and bloodshed is their way of life. Indeed Africa has seen many civil wars, strife and violence. Some countries have even faced genocide attacks that left many people grieving. However, this is not all that happens in Africa. Most of the countries have peace and a tranquil state in general. Politics and tribal wars seem to be the main cause of devastation. Note that this happens in other continents too.
Wild animals are usually associated with Africa to the extent that, some visitors on their first visit to Africa, expect to meet a lion or an elephant blocking the road or in the middle of the street. They become disappointed on arrival to Africa and they travel over well-constructed roads and cities with skyscrapers and no lion or baboon in sight. Wildlife services keep them away from towns. Wild animals live in the parks and forests, although you might see some even when you are not inside the national park.
Africa is famous for the big 5 animals: Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo. So when you visit Africa remember to visit zoos, national parks or forests where there are a diversity of interesting fauna like those, to marvel at.
The mention of Africa usually brings the idea of poverty. Donors and sponsors fund Africans, people donate second hand clothes to Africa. Many live below the poverty line, of less than a dollar a day. However, Africa is not solely made up of poor and suffering people. With education more people have the ability to develop meaningful careers and innovative businesses which have elevated their economic class. Although most of Africa's countries are still developing, they have riches below the ground's surface such as Oil, Diamonds, gold and other minerals. As a continent Africa is not poor, because of its geographical endowments.
For decades, Africans in general have been considered as having low IQ. However, currently there are many universities and other centers of learning which focus on the African experience and strive to make viable citizens who can work and positively contribute to the economy. Most IQ tests were culturally biased such that if taken by an African, they would have given low results yet there is evidently a number of geniuses and intellectually bestowed Africans.
Africa's diversity in culture is very evident in the languages spoken by people of Africa. There are very many tribes in Africa which are classified into larger groups such as the Bantus, Nilotes, Cushites and Semites. Most countries use the language of their colonial powers as their national or official language. However, the native tongues still exist. Africans are usually proud of their dialect and familial ties. Yes, Africans do wear clothes, although there are some indigenous people who simply cover their private parts. They live in hot areas or deserts, very far from urban areas. They cannot be judged negatively, can they? After all people walk around in bikinis or underwear in public beaches with no qualms.
According to Africans, not all of them are black. There are different shades of their skin. Some are lighter and some are darker. But to the world all of them are "black." A majority of Africans have tough hair compared to other races. It is a unique kind of hair (specifically confined to Africans) which is kinky and prone to shrinking, such that it may look shorter than it really is. Due to the influence of globalization, there are many hair products which can make African hair to lose its kinkiness and become very straight and long so that it can be styled easily. Some decide to keep it in its natural state, and maintain it by braiding, or plaiting. Or they can grow dreadlocks.