The Shocking Truth About What People Really Think When They Hear ‘Africa’

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While scrolling through my favorite internet forum, I encountered an engaging question, “What comes to mind when you hear Africa?” Of course, the number one answer was some variation of Toto's world-famous song ‘Africa,' with heavy upvotes for “Missing the rains down in Africa.” Nonetheless, here are the additional top-voted responses. 

1.  Starving Population

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“I believe some of Africa has some of the highest obesity rates in the world. But I think that's mostly Northern Africa, which we separate for some reason. It's interesting how it switched from starving in Africa to starving in China, in most phrasings of that,” one person noted.

2.  People Think It’s a Country, It’s a Continent

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One person said, “That so many people think it's a country!” Another added, “In sixth grade, a kid thought it was both a continent and a country like Australia.” “Wait, what?!? You mean to tell me Africa isn't a country and a continent?” a third person joked.

3.  Hot Weather

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“Yeah, average temperatures in summer are between 35-40 degrees Celcius. So it's hot,” replied one. Another argued, “It depends where you live. Only countries in the Sahara have an average temperature like that. That's not to say other places can't get that hot occasionally, though.”

4.  Charity Ekezie on TikTok

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“That woman (Charity Ekezie) who answers stupid questions on TikTok about living in Africa comes to mind. Do you have air conditioning in Africa? No, in Africa, we stand next to the elephants and wait for them to flap their ears,” one person joked.

5.  Safari and Animals

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“A vast, diverse continent with many genetically different people and unique open spaces animal herds, deserts, apes, zebras, elephants, giraffes, tigers, and lions,” one shared. 

“Yes, to lion prides—such beautiful animals. Also, safaris are spectacular and they are on my bucket list,” another volunteered. 

5.  South African Style BBQ

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“I'm from Africa, and I can safely say that every time I hear Africa, I think of braai's,” one said. One person asked, “What's braai?” Someone replied, “South African (and maybe other countries?) barbecue – a proper good time!”

7.  Poverty

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“Yeah, it's just really, really bad. I hope we find a way to lift them out of poverty as a world collectively,” someone suggested. Another shared, “If my people were honest, this would be the top answer.”

“And that is not a dig at African countries; that's a dig at continued colonial perceptions about an enormous, culturally rich, and widely diverse part of the world.”

8.  Cultural Clothing

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“Bright colored and bold patterned fabric,” one person commented. Another replied, “This is what I like to hear as an African!” “African textiles have some incredible patterns and are super underrated. So glad someone mentioned this,” a third person stated.

9.  The Elephants

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“One of the ways to tell an African elephant from an Asian elephant is that African elephants have ears shaped like Africa,” replied one. “And African elephants' ears are much bigger than Indian elephants,” another person replied.

10.  It’s Shape

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Finally, someone said, “Probably the easiest continent to draw in a mostly correct way.” “I could probably draw Africa with my eyes closed, to be honest. And Geography wasn't my favorite course in grade school,” another confessed. 

Honorable Mentions

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Honorable Mentions: Incredible dancing, glass cola bottles, beautiful landscape, Wakanda Forever, music, art, style, and beautiful black women. We hope you enjoyed this Reddit picks list of what people think of when they hear the word Africa. Also, check out the best places to travel in the U.S.

This post originally appeared on The Impulse Traveler.

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