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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pygmy tribes are usually small, pathetic little dwarfs who are depicted as if they are actually children.
- Black African tribes are often portrayed as if they are cannibals who put every stranger in a large black cauldron.
- Other stereotypical images are the woman with a lip plate in her mouth or a man with a bone sticking through his nose.
- 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.
- 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.
- All Africans speak Pidgin English in popular fiction or talk in sentences like: “Me very afraid, bwana!”
- 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.”
- 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.
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.