When asked in which I was from, I’d reply Togo and Benin (as those people ended up the only two sites I’d at any time recognised up to that point) This solution would immediately be satisfied with
“Did you hunt lions in the wild?”
“Were you dwelling in a mudhut?”
“Did you have to stroll for miles daily to get water?”
“How did you get here? Did you have to wander all the way from there? That need to have been hard”
No make a difference how substantially I explained my incredibly spoiled town female upbringing in Cotonou, the economic cash of Benin, I was fulfilled with stares of disbelief. For some purpose, the image my interlocutor had in their head of “Africa” didn’t appear to match with my lived actuality. They wouldn’t consider me when I reported I’d by no means viewed a lion in my life and that the 1st time I did, was in captivity at the Antwerp Zoo. I’d under no circumstances experienced to walk to accumulate water, mainly because I’d just change the faucet open and there it was, flowing out. I did not stay in a mudhut, but in a 3 tale house with heaps of room to run all over and perform hide and find with my siblings. We experienced a driver that would choose us to school and back again, and relocating to Belgium essentially intended a minimize in the stage of comforts I was made use of to again residence.
Around the several years, all through my travels, I would and even now carry on to get equivalent remarks and questions. Upon mentioning that I am born in Togo or grew up in Benin, far more typically than not the following reply would be a thing together the traces of
“Ah Africa, I went to (fill in any other African region not remotely close to my countries) the moment, it was superb.
If in the other course my discussion lover experienced reported
“I’m from France” and I replied,
“Ah Europe, I’ve been to Prague when, it was wonderful”, I’d rightfully be met with looks of bewilderment. But why is it that when it comes to the African continent, that line of thinking is so widely approved?
Truth of the matter is, we know why…