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What's it REALLY like in africa?





loyal
Peace.

I like in the UK, and the only time i ever hear about africa is when it's undergoing huge suffering from racism, or it's being oppressed by dictators, or everyone's got aids, or they are all starving and living in mud huts.
Clearly this image which constantly thrown at me, isn't true, except for a few places.

What's it really like in Africa? Have you ever been? Sorry for the stupid questions, but what are their cities like? They have roads and pavements and buildings and internet connections, don't they?

Thanks. Sorry about my total ignorance on this matter. I hope i haven't offended anyone.
chi0
I think you've answered one of your own questions, asking on the Internet about whether we have the Internet? Razz

I grew up in South Africa (I'm currently away in Japan for a couple of years, will be returning next year). We have roads, pavements, buildings, big cities... we don't ride elephants to school and we don't have lions in our back yards. Wink

Africa has a *lot* of problems. That's a given. I can only really speak from the standpoint of a South African, and a Zimbabwean, but I haven't been anywhere else.

They are both very poor countries (compared to what I've seen in other countries). South Africa has a roughly 40% unemployment rate, and currently in Zimbabwe around 80% of people are living under the poverty line (they've just released the 100 billion Zim dollar note, worth roughly 250 pounds - today, as inflation is somewhere insane like 15 million percent or something).

There is a huge division between rich and poor. I'm lucky enough to be from a fairly well-off family (for an African family, again, nothing compared to what I've seen elsewhere), so my life can be compared to any middle-class family in the UK, I think.

But then, all you need to do is head to a news website to see any of this stuff (www.mg.co.za is a goodie). From my point of view - it's tough living there. The crime rate is really high, so there are restrictions on the things you can do. But, it has a spirit I've not seen anywhere else. When I've gone into Cape Town (a big city with world-class hotels and resorts) and walked around Long Street, there's a feeling there unlike any other in the world. Maybe I'm biased, cuz it's my home. But I wouldn't want to live anywhere else!!

Urrr.... I rambled on a bit there. Anyway, it's good that you're asking the question rather than staying ignorant. Wink The questions I've been asked while I've been overseas are a lot more insane than those you asked. Razz
johnny99
hi

i went on holidays to west africa earlier this year, i spent three months travelling from ghana to mauritania via togo, benin, niger, burkina faso, mali and senegal. obviously this was a bit of a whirlwind tour for a large area so i couldnt generalise about the whole continent. they did have roads, internet, the odd highrise in the city centre etc. however many roads are in poor condition and lots of roads and streets, even in city centers, are unpaved. in general the infrastructure was well behind western/northern standards, and peoples lifestyle is totally different. many people spend their lives living from day to day providing for themselves and their families and dont have time or a opportunity to do anything beyond that, such as planning for the future or saving or making big changes to their lives, or travelling. it made me appreciate a lot more many of the things i take for granted.

what i remember most about my visit is the positive outlook people seemed to have despite the tough lives they live. maybe its the sunshine or maybe i just didnt see it. people were always remarkably quick with a smile or a friendly greeting. as an obvious stranger to the place (being white) i often had people smile at me and say welcome as i passed. also i had a sense that there was a stronger sense of community and trust than you would see in europe or the usa. people are always out and about interacting with one another - buying and selling on the streets etc rather than in faceless supermarkets, and spending their free time socialising rather than on internet message boards etc. thats definitely something they have that a lot of places have now lost.
loyal
chi0 wrote:
I think you've answered one of your own questions, asking on the Internet about whether we have the Internet? Razz


Lol true.

Quote:

I grew up in South Africa (I'm currently away in Japan for a couple of years, will be returning next year). We have roads, pavements, buildings, big cities... we don't ride elephants to school and we don't have lions in our back yards. Wink


Ah! It all sounds obvious now, but it wasn't originally.

Quote:

Africa has a *lot* of problems. That's a given. I can only really speak from the standpoint of a South African, and a Zimbabwean, but I haven't been anywhere else.

They are both very poor countries (compared to what I've seen in other countries). South Africa has a roughly 40% unemployment rate, and currently in Zimbabwe around 80% of people are living under the poverty line (they've just released the 100 billion Zim dollar note, worth roughly 250 pounds - today, as inflation is somewhere insane like 15 million percent or something).


Wow, and over here in the UK everyone is complaining about like a 3% rise in inflation or something...

Quote:

There is a huge division between rich and poor. I'm lucky enough to be from a fairly well-off family (for an African family, again, nothing compared to what I've seen elsewhere), so my life can be compared to any middle-class family in the UK, I think.

But then, all you need to do is head to a news website to see any of this stuff (www.mg.co.za is a goodie). From my point of view - it's tough living there. The crime rate is really high, so there are restrictions on the things you can do. But, it has a spirit I've not seen anywhere else. When I've gone into Cape Town (a big city with world-class hotels and resorts) and walked around Long Street, there's a feeling there unlike any other in the world. Maybe I'm biased, cuz it's my home. But I wouldn't want to live anywhere else!!

Urrr.... I rambled on a bit there. Anyway, it's good that you're asking the question rather than staying ignorant. Wink The questions I've been asked while I've been overseas are a lot more insane than those you asked. Razz


Thanks alot for what you've written! It sounds a great place with flaws just like any other place. Maybe i'll visit it one day! Smile

----------------------------------------
johnny99 wrote:

hi


hey Smile

Quote:

i went on holidays to west africa earlier this year, i spent three months travelling from ghana to mauritania via togo, benin, niger, burkina faso, mali and senegal. obviously this was a bit of a whirlwind tour for a large area so i couldnt generalise about the whole continent. they did have roads, internet, the odd highrise in the city centre etc. however many roads are in poor condition and lots of roads and streets, even in city centers, are unpaved. in general the infrastructure was well behind western/northern standards, and peoples lifestyle is totally different. many people spend their lives living from day to day providing for themselves and their families and dont have time or a opportunity to do anything beyond that, such as planning for the future or saving or making big changes to their lives, or travelling. it made me appreciate a lot more many of the things i take for granted.

what i remember most about my visit is the positive outlook people seemed to have despite the tough lives they live. maybe its the sunshine or maybe i just didnt see it. people were always remarkably quick with a smile or a friendly greeting. as an obvious stranger to the place (being white) i often had people smile at me and say welcome as i passed. also i had a sense that there was a stronger sense of community and trust than you would see in europe or the usa. people are always out and about interacting with one another - buying and selling on the streets etc rather than in faceless supermarkets, and spending their free time socialising rather than on internet message boards etc. thats definitely something they have that a lot of places have now lost.


Thanks for this insight you've offered me of the strong community sense. It makes us think that if many of them are poor, and yet still managing to be happy, why are we complaining when in the UK and America we have alot of money?
I think there's alot to be learnt.

Thanks everyone! Peace Smile
qsl1985
I've been in Southern Africa in May 2002. I went there for 3 an a half week with my mother and younger sister. We knew a man, living in the same country as I do, who was born in Zimbabwe. So he knew about the nature and culture of southern Africa. We got good friends with him and he decided to travel with us to Africa and show us the non-tourist spots; the most beautiful parts inside the nature parks and beyond! And I did never regret it that he went with us! Africa is known for aids, poor people, living in mud houses.. that is true for sure!! But the locals are used to it, and learned how to live with it! That's a part of their culture! They respect living that way.. they just have to deal with it! That's their life! For us, it seems very negative, because we live with good health & wealth, and we got used to it.. so we just can't imagine how it really is to live like the African civilication. I've seen placed where children (6-10 years old) work harder than a western streetworker. You just can't compare us (the rich western people) versus the African people!

I give you all just one big advise: SEE IT FOR YOURSELF AND THINK ABOUT IT!
johnnyb
Africa is really a nice contry with really nice people in it...especialy south africa its very very nice for visiting
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