Couple of months ago, Nigerian award winning novelist Chimamanda Adichie faced a similar ordeal. She was asked by a French journalist whether “there are libraries in Nigeria”. Adichie responded, “I think it reflects very poorly on French people that you have to ask me that question.”
The journalist tried to explain herself, arguing, “We speak very little about Nigeria in France, certainly not enough, and when we do it’s about Boko Haram and the problems of violence and security. I would like to take advantage of your presence for us to talk about other things and things that we don’t know about your country.”
It is clear that despite access to information via the internet, alongside the growing opportunity to travel to the continent, there is still widespread misinformation about Africa. The misconceptions are then made apparent through the questions people around the world ask Africans. Below is a short list of the ridiculous ones and why.
10. Are you from Africa?
Finally, yes, we are from Africa. But, Africa is not a country.
9. When did you move here?
This one is less ridiculous but worth mentioning nonetheless. There are a growing number of Africans born outside of the continent and many hold onto their African identity even if they were born elsewhere. It is worth being mindful about the assumption that all Africans are born in Africa.
8. Why are you here?
This question can be insensitive if not asked with the proper context. Africans, like everyone else, have a right to immigrate and travel the world. An African may want to share the reasons for their travel, or may not. Either is okay.