If you have never been to Africa, then you have a lot to learn about this vast continent. How was Africa before and after the colonization? Do Africans ever have enough food to eat? What type of food do they eat? These are some of the questions that could be lingering in your mind.
Interestingly, Africa is a very beautiful place. Many who visit gain a special connection that stays with them for a lifetime. As a matter of fact, most Africans were born, schooled, and flourished tremendously without setting their feet outside their home countries. Here are some of the most interesting questions asked on Quora about Africa that will get you thinking.
Colonization and its effects in Africa
#1. Is Africa poor because of colonization? If colonization never happened, how would Africa have been?
“Interesting question. I will give you my two cents as an African.
Is Africa poor because of colonization?
Simple answer: No.
Long answer: We Africans never learned from the events of colonization. Our leaders have kept dancing around with our colonial masters who exploited and continue to exploit our continent. This might sound harsh to my fellow Africans, but I honestly think that we deserve the whole blame for our situation today. If anything, it is our leaders’ stupidity and not the Europeans’ fault. Nobody has ever developed through the mercy of others. Everybody looks out for their own interests.”
Didier Champion, Kigali, Rwanda
“Civilization is part of the 3 Cs of imperialist Europe along with commerce and Christianity.
Imperialist Europe flipped the script of history.
By creating a Tarzan image of Africa. Tarzan is the white King of the Jungle full of “jungle static primitives”.
Truth must be told.
Africa has less forest than Europe compared to its land space. Most of our ancestors were farmers, not hunters. The Jungle is such a small part of Africa’s geography, concentrated in the Congo Basin. Most of Africa is the savannah.”
Françoise Marie, Master’s Degree Public Administration, Syracuse University
“No, not because of colonialism. More like the effects of Neo-colonialism.
Only to the extent that neo-colonialism derives from colonialism.
There is the unremitting, rampant looting of Africa by Africans as well as by outside multinationals and governments.
Africa is a victim of natural resources, which the rest of the world, mainly the West, has vowed to have for nothing. So…there’s the serious insidious, pervasive agenda to disrupt development in Africa. To ensure that Africa fits their stereotype.”
Theophilus E.Daniel-Kagbare, Student of Africa
“The civilizations of pre-colonial Africa were diverse across the continent in terms of spirituality/religion, architecture, laws, arts, and military.
Some colonial photos and pre-colonial paintings can give us a glimpse of these African civilizations.
It will be a pain to list and go into detail about every civilization that existed prior to colonialism in Africa. Therefore, I will only post three at the moment and then continue to edit my answer as time passes on.”
Yusuf Al-Yashar, B.S. Construction & Business Administration, Los Angeles (2021)
#5. If Africa is poor and backward because of colonialism, why is Ethiopia also poor and backward although it was never colonised?
“In his book, Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond noted that the richest countries are the ones that have the longest history of being conquered and reconquered by foreign peoples. He said this has been an important way that knowledge, technology, and ideas have been spread throughout history from one people to another, so that ideas can be combined and built, one upon the other.
He wrote that populations that were usually free of foreign conquest and which did not conquer other populations (usually because they were geographically isolated) are the ones whose cultures tended to remain the most primitive.
Of course, being colonized often temporarily results in poverty. But the claim that past colonization is a cause of poverty is not so much a scholarly idea as a political one that is based on the desire to deflect criticism from the poor society and to shift the blame onto others.”
“I was born and raised in Kenya, went to school in South Africa for four years, and have been living in America for 11 years.
When I was in Africa, I honestly never thought about Black Americans. Yes, hip hop was popular and some of us imitated the slang we saw in movies but unfortunately, that does not mean we thought about Black Americans. However, prior to coming to the U.S, I thought people were knowledgeable about each other. I mean to some extent, we knew of slavery and civil rights. I was taught geography, European history, and of course, learned the history of Kenya in Kenya and the history of South Africa. However, television also riddled us with stereotypes of gang violence, etc.”
Rimu Ngige, studied at Rutgers University (2014)
#7. What’s the difference between an African American and a black African? Are black people not always African American, and are Africans not always black?
“An African American is an American whose ancestors include a significant proportion of recentish (as in, not 30,000 years ago) sub-Saharan (black) African ancestors. It is a term usually reserved for people whose African ancestors came to the US hundreds of years ago, usually as slaves, rather than for recent arrivals from Africa such as Daveed Phoenix, who is more of an American African.
Almost nobody in Africa is an African *American* — they are just Africans.
African-origin people living outside Africa, but not in the US, are not African Americans. For example, black people in the UK are black Britons, or e.g. British Somalis or British Nigerians, or sometimes Afro-Caribbeans if indeed they came here from the Caribbean.”
Claire Jordan, worked at National Health Service
“There a lot of traditional African food but since I am only conversant with Kenya I will only talk about traditional Kenyan food, Ugali.
Ugali is the staple food of Kenya. It’s made with maize flour but others can be used like sorghum, millet, and cassava. Ugali is made by boiling water and then adding flour constantly as you stir until the mixture becomes a dough-like consistency. Ugali is eaten with various types of vegetables and meat. It can be literally eaten with anything except starch. Ugali cannot be taken as a single meal.”
Ronnie Otieno, I live in Africa so I know a thing or 10,000 about it
“I am only one African, but I suspect I am much more African than the vast majority of my readers. So, let me tackle this one.
- Frosting: yuck! It’s basically pure sugar. If I want to gulp down sugar, I can just get the powdered stuff and shove it into my mouth. Where’s the creativity, people? Go to Europe. They will teach you how to make a proper, rich, creamy dessert. What is the matter with all these sugary abominations?
- Eggnog. Why? What in the world is this monstrosity? I expected it to taste… comestible. People willingly drink this stuff?
- Mountain Dew. It’s not disgusting; it’s just that I just don’t understand why I would willingly pay money to drink this stuff. I should be paid to put up with such a beverage.”
Daveed Phoenix, Lived 15 years in Africa
“I live in Africa, I mean I’m African. So anyone who is not African and by that I mean “if he/she doesn’t live here or has never lived here for at least 5years” isn’t qualified to tell you what happens here.
I will speak for Uganda. Most districts in Uganda have got plenty of food like aloooooooot of food….we literally eat and throw some away and at the same time we got fruits hanging on the trees right there for us.
However, in northern Uganda for example, due to the NRA (a rebel group headed by Joseph Kony), the people in that region do not farm because they are afraid of the rebel soldiers, who if they find you all alone would either kill you, if you’re a man, kidnap you, if you were a kid, or sexually abuse you, if you were a woman and possibly force you to become their wife/sex slave.”
Marz Ivan, Creative Director / Events Co-Ordinator at Dream Nation Productions (2016-present)
“Starvation today has zero to do with available land and everything to do with corruption. China has six provinces that would rank in the top 20 most populous countries. No starvation these days. India, known for corruption, has finally shrunk its starving population to a rounding error.
Starving people is a political problem. Where there is corruption there is starvation. The countries in Africa all mostly have the ability to feed themselves. Those that can’t, can develop the local industry to trade for food. Corrupt governments destroy the economy and plunge their people into conflicts that lead to unrest and migration.”
Dan Bradbury, I read (& love parentheticals)
“Having grown up in Zimbabwe I can tell you why. When it was Rhodesia it was called the breadbasket of Africa. You can look up the stats. In the ’60s and 70′ Rhodesia could feed the whole of Africa. They were among the top producers in a number of crops. Then came independence and majority rule. With it came corruption and tribal fighting at unprecedented levels.
To deflect from the corruption the government of Robert Mugabe turned on the white farmers – kicking them off their farms and giving the land to other corrupt politicians in turn for their support. These politicians had no desire to farm as they wanted to live the good life in the cities so the farms went fallow and the people started starving to death. But zanu pf did not care and continued stealing and pillaging the land.
The story in the rest of Africa is pretty much the same. Corruption, greed, tribe, etc. have resulted in countries reverting back to ancient methods of subsistence farming which destroy the farmlands and mean people live from hand to mouth. Bottomline is that with the right education and methods and the elimination of corruption and tribal infighting Africa could feed itself and the world.”
Riccardo Brizzi, been skiing and snowboarding for more than 20 years, 50 or so days a year
Interesting facts about Africa
- In South Africa, residents are legally allowed to attach a flamethrower to their cars to deter hijacking.
- In Ethiopia, clocks are turned upside down, with their 6 where our 12 would be.
- The official title of Idi Amin, the Ugandan dictator, was “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”.
- Almost half of the gold ever mined on earth has come from South Africa
- Before colonial rule, Africa comprised up to 10,000 different states, each with its own unique customs and languages.
Pesachya Glixman, B.A. Law and Psychology from University of the Witwatersrand (2021)
“That most Africans are poor, not because they really are poor, but because someone decides to describe them as such.
My grandfather is ‘poor’. He certainly lives on “less than a dollar a day”. He is now 95 years old. In his nine and a half decades on earth, he has never lacked, and he has never begged. He only attended one year at a mission school in the 1930s and learned how to read and write. This is how he pulls it off:
When he wants food, he goes to the banana plantation, looks at tens of bunches of matooke (banana), and decides which to harvest for the day’s dinner. Adjacent to the plantation is a sweet potato garden, cassava garden, yams, and finger millet. To the south of the banana plantation are beans, cowpeas, or peanuts gardens. Down the valley is grazing land with tens of Frisian and cross-breed cattle. They provide him with milk daily, 365 days a year.
He also has about 20 goats. In Uganda, goat milk was generally not considered palatable, possibly due to the abundance of cow milk, so we never milked goats. He would sell a couple of them to supplement income from other produce to send his children to school. He also reared a couple of chickens, more as a hobby.”
Innocent Masengo, Lecturer Language and Communication at Makerere University (2008-present)
“The 20 Best Places to Live in Africa
If you are thinking of moving abroad and want to experience a different culture, then one option is to make a move to Africa. Each of the countries on this continent has its own culture and landscape, so each location offers something different in terms of lifestyle. Every location has both pros and cons, so it is important to consider the options when choosing the best location for you.
Some of the factors that people consider when deciding where to live in Africa include access to healthcare, education, the landscape, crime rates, the cost of living, facilities, amenities, and the general lifestyle on offer. Based on a combination of these factors, here are the 20 best places to live in Africa.”
Mo Khamis, lives in Juba, South Sudan
Africa can only be summed up as the land of diversity. From its cultures, cuisines, and people who hail from different ethinic groups and races, this humongous continent has a lot to be proud of. The weather in most countries is friendly throughout the year making indoor and outdoor activities fun in equal measure.
What other questions have you heard about Africa and Africans that was debatable? Kindly share with us in the comment section below and we would gladly tell you our viewpoint.