• Sunday , 28 May 2017

African Stereotypes

In my opnion the african’s stereotypes are the most negative around the world. Actually, our attention is always divided between poverty and HIV/AIDS. Here are the general stereotypes of Africa , not just South africa.

Our first aim is try to clear the problema that Africa is often depicted as if it’s one big country instead of a continent. So, do not make a mistake about Africa and South Africa.

Before you scream “Hey, my country or people are nothing like that!” Most countries depict their neighbouring countries as if they are all either lazy, evil, dumb, primitive or arrogant. Nothing new there and it proves that these stereotypical impressions about other countries are universal, rather than tied to one specific country.

Aids, War, Illiterate, Primitive, Victim, Poor, Famine, Violence, Slave

Aids, War, Illiterate, Primitive, Victim, Poor, Famine, Violence, Slave

  • The continent itself calls images of Darkest Africa with jungles, savanna, diamond mines, undiscovered civilizations or creatures, elephants, lions, monkeys, gorillas, chimpanzees, baboons, pythons, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, leopards, hyenas, ostriches, crocodiles, antelopes, wildebeest, etc. Usually whenever people visit Africa they almost trip over all these omnipresent animals, which they invariably always encounter at a dangerous moment.
  • Africans are generally assumed to an entire continent full of black people. If there are whites they are always Great White Hunter or Mighty Whitey: there are no other options. Apparently all the Coloreds, Indians, Asians, and all the rest of them have vanished overnight.
  • In addition, it’s a common stereotype that all black Africans essentially look like West Africans, with none of the variety in phenotypes found in Europe or Asia. This stereotype is especially common in the US, because it’s assumed that all Africans look like African Americans, who are mostly descended from West Africans. As a result, East and Northeast African phenotypes in particular are extremely rare in depictions of black Africans.

 

People: They all look alike: dark brown skin, flat noses, big lips and woolly hair. The women are fat, but that is how their men like them.

People: They all look alike: dark brown skin, flat noses, big lips and woolly hair. The women are fat, but that is how their men like them.

  • Most traditional images of Africa have their roots in colonial times (Ancient Africa). Black Africans are depicted as primitive, childlike, superstitious people who still worship idols, believe in witchcraft and voodoo and live in huts. They defend themselves with spears and shields. White colonists can easily trick them by selling them worthless junk in exchange for valuable items or scare them with modern technology.
  1. Pygmy tribes are usually small, pathetic little dwarfs who are depicted as if they are actually children.
  2. Black African tribes are often portrayed as if they are cannibals who put every stranger in a large black cauldron.
  3. Other stereotypical images are the woman with a lip plate in her mouth or a man with a bone sticking through his nose.
  4. Stereotypical female black African depictions include the bare-breasted woman with large hanging breasts and enormous buttocks (examples of this stereotype are the 19th century sideshow attraction Saartjie Baartman and Robert Crumb’s comic strip character Angelfood Mcspade) or the woman who wears multiple rings around her giraffe-like neck. . Note this type of neck ornament is also common in Burma with women from the Kayan tribe, but is generally associated with Africa.
More modern stereotypical images of black Africans are the starving little child (very popular in advertising campaigns) and the Idi Amin-like dictator.

More modern stereotypical images of black Africans are the starving little child (very popular in advertising campaigns) and the Idi Amin-like dictator.

  1. Also, a common image is the mother with multiple starving kids with flies swarming all over them, probably in some sort of refugee camp or hospital.
  2. All Africans speak Pidgin English in popular fiction or talk in sentences like: “Me very afraid, bwana!”
  3. All African countries are constantly torn apart by tribal warfare between ill-disciplined thugs wielding machetes and AK-47’s and committing genocide. This trope is usually thought of as applying specifically to sub-Saharan Africa (except for South Africa, which is run by that nice Mr. Mandela if it’s a recent depiction, or by might-as-well-be Nazis if it’s before 1990 or so).
  • Even other black Africans counsel you to have nothing to do with Nigerians as the country is viewed as irredeemably corrupt and criminal. This is probably an exaggeration, although it is true Nigeria is the point of origin of the vast majority of so-called Code 419 email scams (where you might receive, out of the blue, an email from a former finance officer who needs your help in getting several million out of Africa…)
  • BBC radio presenter Sarah Kennedy, a woman renowned for being forty years behind the times and a throwback to an earlier England, got into serious trouble for repeating, on air, two stereotypical depictions of Black Africans. She asked, in the run-up to an Olympic Games: “Why are black Africans such good runners? Answer – lions; and why are Black Africans such poor swimmers? Answer: crocodiles.”
All African countries are constantly torn apart by tribal warfare between ill-disciplined thugs wielding machetes and AK-47′s and committing genocide.

All African countries are constantly torn apart by tribal warfare between ill-disciplined thugs wielding machetes and AK-47′s and committing genocide.

 

  • Africans of any nationality are ostensibly lacking in beat ’em up videogames, especially as this medium is usually presented as some sort of tournament involving fighters from “all over the world”. This often leads to cries of ignorance and prejudice in fan-forums. Asian, American and European characters make up the lion’s share of characters and in the main beat ’em up series, Street Fighter’s Elena, a native of Kenya, is one of the few African fighters depicted. The reason for this (rightly or wrongly) is twofold:
  • Hollywood Atlas: Firstly, there is the stereotype/misbelief that Africa is just one big country, not a continent full of countries. Beat ’em ups rely heavily on exploiting well-known National Stereotypes when presenting characters (especially the pioneering Street Fighter series), and for many people, African culture, iconography and the multitude of nationalities therein all blend into one big melange, which Elena, as a Savannah-dwelling, Masaii-inspired Kenyan covers off nicely. It’s far easier to design characters from Japan, China, England and Italy etc, because there are such distinct, iconically familiar, universally recognizable national character/appearance traits that can be referenced and parodied for these countries — put simply, most of the game-buying public could not tell the difference between Kenyan and Tanzanian culture, so there’s no real need (again, rightly or wrongly) to present a character from each country. This very article page evidences this — the list of stereotypes for the African section is much smaller than the US or countries in Europe, for example.

 

 Some stereotypes about black Africa that I get from living in America:

Africa is a country: Africa is divided into dozens of countries, but those are just lines on a map: there is no important difference between most of them. Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone, for example, are pretty much all the same. They have no history worth learning and understanding.

People: They all look alike: dark brown skin, flat noses, big lips and woolly hair. The women are fat, but that is how their men like them.

Culture: They wear colourful clothes – or almost nothing at all – and love to play the drums and dance. They live in jungle clearings in little round huts. They eat monkeys.

Culture: They wear colourful clothes – or almost nothing at all – and love to play the drums and dance. They live in jungle clearings in little round huts. They eat monkeys.

Culture: They wear colourful clothes – or almost nothing at all – and love to play the drums and dance. They live in jungle clearings in little round huts. They eat monkeys.

Language: They speak in some mumbo-jumbo that is not even a proper language, the most important word of which is “bwana”. Some can speak in broken English.

Lack of civilization: Africa was a dark continent full of naked savages. They put bones through their noses and cooked people in big pots. Whites brought civilization, but unfortunately it has been falling to pieces ever since they left in the 1960s. Ancient Egypt does not count as an African civilization because Egypt is not truly African.

Lack of intelligence:
tests show that black Africans have an average IQ of 70, which, sadly, proves they are not terribly bright – as we suspected all along. So Africa will forever be screwed up unless outsiders step in to run things properly.

Black Savage Rule: Mugabe proves they are incapable of self-rule. Rulers are cruel and on the take. Rape and murder are out of control. Gone are the good old days of:

Colonialism: the left’s name for white rule. Yes, there were some “excesses”, but whites more than made up for it by bringing civilization and good government.

Neocolonialism: imagined by the left: whites have had little power in Africa since the 1960s.

Bono, NGOs and Nice White Ladies: white people who try to help Africa in spite of itself.

War: ever-present wherever you go, fought by heartless 12-year-old boys with machine guns.

Genocide: a common practice.

The slave trade: carried on by blacks and Arabs for thousands of years, long before whites showed up. They are still at it!

Cities: vast, violent shantytowns. At the centre: a few government buildings and maybe two high-rise hotels that are falling apart. There is one dirty, ill-equipped public hospital filled to overflowing. There is not even regular bus service, much less universities and libraries.

Disease: half are dying from Aids – proof they lack any kind of morals. Millions die of malaria, also incurable.

Religion: some follow a half-understood Christianity; a few follow Islam, most follow superstition.

Children: unwashed, half-naked, skin and bones for want of food. They sit listlessly on the ground with flies landing on their faces.

Wild animals: the only noble and truly interesting thing in Africa.

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32 Comments

  1. African Stereotypes | Society & Culture | S...
    August 6, 2013 at 12:01 am Reply

    […]   […]

  2. Thandah
    October 27, 2013 at 4:36 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing 55 stereotypes that have ruined our reputation as a people & as a race as a 32 yr old black South African woman I am always upset when I read about such things written about my continent and what’s sad is that it’s usually written by so called intelligent people fromthe civilized first world may the people who read this be informed that all of the above is stereotype and not necessarily true thanks to the guy who wrote this site and may he continue to do this noble job with dignity

    • Mr.logic
      March 25, 2016 at 11:37 am Reply

      Wow … Why are you here

    • john
      May 7, 2016 at 12:53 am Reply

      your people ruined south Africa, it actually a nice country for s period of time when whites ruled it.

  3. Laura
    February 13, 2014 at 3:04 am Reply

    All these stereotypes are so serioulsy offensive and upsetting!
    I’m like glow-in-the-dark white and have never been to other continents than Europe and North America, and all this, it’s just terrible. A very uncomfortable read that I will not be repeating.
    Smh… definitely not how I, nor anyone I know, or would ever associate with thinks. So messed up. I’m utterly shoked these stereotypes still exist to this day.

    • Luke
      December 9, 2015 at 4:02 pm Reply

      shocked*

  4. Innocent Awasom
    March 17, 2014 at 6:53 pm Reply

    http://www.africanbookscollective.com/getpaid-cart

  5. Gaël Mbala
    July 27, 2014 at 1:18 pm Reply

    very shocking

  6. Mwandiko Hamisi
    October 15, 2014 at 7:26 pm Reply

    I always try to think of a way to end discrimination in my new home, but I always fail to get the accurate cause of discrimination. Fortunately I just found that stereotypes are the number one cause of discrimination. In order for one to discriminate the next person, the individual has to feel superior , bigger than others. And the reason why we as citizens discriminate each other is because the people on top are feeding our brains with these terrible stereotypes. I live in Lexington, ky, ( in the US) when ever I see the word “Africa” posted somewhere, there has to be hungry children next to it or a very dark lady next to a hut. The world has to understand that a human brain gets quickly conditioned by what it encodes via the 5 senses. When the Western world young people see all these media stereotype sources, how do you expect them to have in mind that we are the same? They will always think that they are more special than other people around the world. Many nations think that showing the back side of Africa, only, will help the people understand different cultures around the world. However, that actually drops human equality from 99.9% to 0.1%. In order for people to stop thinking there are no cars anywhere else in the world, students have to be educated properly and the media has to be accurate and more educated.

  7. Steph
    January 19, 2015 at 6:46 am Reply

    itd be cool if the author left a name so that they could be cited. And if these stereotypes were actually bad… but theyre not bad. Were humans.

    • Luke
      December 9, 2015 at 4:03 pm Reply

      they’re

  8. Masopera
    February 1, 2015 at 8:36 am Reply

    All Africans look alike,,that’s a funny stereotype

  9. L
    March 5, 2015 at 3:24 am Reply

    Who is the autor of this article and when was this written?

    • BB
      October 14, 2015 at 8:51 am Reply

      Hey bro how are you, found Kira yet?

    • Luke
      December 9, 2015 at 4:05 pm Reply

      author*

  10. Hylda
    March 30, 2015 at 7:02 pm Reply

    I’m congolese and live in South Africa. Even here there are stereotypes regarding the different African people from other African countries tries. So we do stereotype ourselves as well. However, the world’s ignorance just makes me appreciate my country and continent better. Although I wouldn’t feast on reading these stereotypes because they are often offensive, to say the least

  11. Nkandla man
    June 1, 2015 at 12:06 am Reply

    I like chicken. Bwana

  12. Rafal Szczesny
    September 8, 2015 at 6:12 am Reply

    Well I have lived in Kenya now for 2 months and I can say that these stereotypes Are only slightly exaggerated. Basically Kenya is struggling and expensive for the common man.

  13. Tracy Lindsay
    November 5, 2015 at 7:38 pm Reply

    wow! 2 months good for you! because those two months just cover an entire history and an entire people.

    • Luke
      December 9, 2015 at 4:04 pm Reply

      2 months, good for you!*

  14. Interest Equals Understanding | QU South Africa
    November 21, 2015 at 7:06 pm Reply

    […] malnutrition children, dirty water, little to no food and death of parents are a few stereotypes my friends/family think about when people bring up Africa (and I even believed this before knowing […]

  15. Doreen Tumuhairwe
    January 9, 2016 at 9:44 am Reply

    This IS so pathetic. Am sure your lame ass has never been to Africa. fyi Africa has very beautiful women. Made differently for a reason Don't ever come up on the internet and prove how I'll informed and unlearnt yo ass is. Your fucked up stereotypes are farfetched and it just lowers your level of thinking to a discriminative ass hole. This really pisses me off. Eat A DICK

    • None of your business
      January 28, 2016 at 7:01 am Reply

      Doreen, the way your talking i definitely believe these stereotypes. you’re really talking ghetto and trashy. (which you probably are) Its people like you who give africans a bad name. You obviously have no respect for anyone.

  16. dorynneza
    January 9, 2016 at 9:49 am Reply

    This IS so pathetic. Am sure your lame ass has never been to Africa. fyi Africa has very beautiful women. Made differently for a reason Don’t ever come up on the internet and prove how I’ll informed and unlearnt yo ass is. Your fucked up stereotypes are farfetched and it just lowers your level of thinking to a discriminative ass hole. This really pisses me off. Eat A DICK

  17. JJ k R
    January 15, 2016 at 6:04 pm Reply

    Thanks to ‘mainstream media news and “charity” ads from UNICEF World Vision and the like, these stereotypes are all we get to see. Bald skinny kids with belly bloat, or dictators with enormous hats and a coat made of medals, or young guys with machetes. Thanks msm. Nailed it on the stereotypes but its a pity it offers no alternative images of normal everyday Africa. We know the stereotypes are not all there is but we don’t get shown anything else

  18. Taylor McQueen
    February 17, 2016 at 12:42 am Reply

    That was very shocking

  19. Osmar Alvarez
    March 25, 2016 at 11:37 am Reply

    at least his Facebook picture isn't slutty

  20. Stephen Carlisle
    April 15, 2016 at 8:10 am Reply

    The majority of Negros in Nigeria use skin lightening lotions, about 75% of them. Light skin is universally prized in all races in all lands and has been long before the white and delightsome Europeans colonized them. It's a law of nature. Learn to accept it. Geisha girls in Japan, long before the white European made contact with Japan, were painting their faces what color to make themselves more attractive to their clients? WHITE. Aztecs worshiped a white-skinned god, Quetzalcoatl, even though they had dark skin. I could go on with counterexamples to the falsehood that European colonizers imposed their standard of beauty on darkies around the world. But why bother?

  21. African king.
    June 12, 2016 at 10:48 am Reply

    Kkkkkkk.. Be glad you dint leave you detail here mr author… Otherwise, I was gonna hunt you down and shoot you stinky ass wth my machine gun!! Fucking liar. I bet you ass has never been to africa!!. Let me tell u something you motherfucker…you got nothing we Africans envy. FUCK YOU AND YOUR FUCKING ARTICLE!!

    • sluggo
      July 23, 2016 at 5:31 pm Reply

      The truth hurts. Instead of making childish threats, do something to improve Africa.

  22. sluggo
    July 23, 2016 at 5:28 pm Reply

    One almost never hears about anything good in sub-saharan Africa. Since childhood, we are bombarded by images of women with 15 children during a never-ending famine. Each child is naked, skinny, bald, and has a bloated stomach. Twenty years later, those kids are still starvin’ and now they need our donations again to support the next generation that each of their 15 hungry kids will produce.

    Half the countries are ruled by warlords and his armies child soldiers. Mandela ran South Africa into the ground. Mugabe turned the breadbasket of Africa into a famine zone when he kicked out the white farmers.

    Yesterday in the news, there was an article about “hyenas.” A hyena is a professional child-raper. It is common practice in Malawi for parents to pay these pedophiles $4 or $5 to rape their 8 year old daughters. Any family that fails to have their baby girls raped in the rape ceremony will get AIDS and die.

    Up to half the population of some African counteris have HIV/AIDS. The folk cure for AIDS is to have sex with a virgin. Thanks to the hyenas, most girls have lost their virginity by the age of 8 or 9, so HIV infected men have adopted the practice of raping toddlers because that is the cure.

    Meanwhile, the illustrious people of Nigeria (Nigeria is only one among many examples) are quickly breeding themselves into a disaster. Families still have 5 – 10 children, and their are no jobs and not enough food to support this practice. Thanks to the beautiful animals and endnagered mountain gorillas, the starving masses have invaded the national parks and begun eating the noble wildlife.

    Nigeria’s biggest industry is the famous 419 scam. Mugu-men fool stupid Americans into believing they are dispossessed royalty/lottery winners/heirs and collect millions.

    The Congo and surrounding countries regularly genocide one another. Hutus, tutsis, pygmies etc are being slaughtered by the millions.

    Any tourist who strays too far off the beaten path will soon be surrounded by the kindly locals and liberated of all of their cash and possessions.

    I know I’m missign a few things, but that is the gist of it.

    G*d forbid any NGO, charity, or Nice White Lady give the natives any advice on birth control, family planning, employment, sustainable farming, female genital mutilation, or the futility of getting pregnant during a famine. Because that would be racism, arrogant, neocolonialism, cultural genocide, and oppression by mighty whitey.

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