I recently read this article that truly resonated. Coming to America from Nigeria has quite a few differences, but one of the biggest shocks was what other people thought growing up in Nigeria was like. I’m here to set the record straight. Here are the most common misconceptions about growing up in Africa from someone who actually grew up there.

  1. Africa has many countries, and they are all very different

You’d be surprised how often people lump every country in Africa together as if it was one giant country. Every country is unique. Some are much more developed and modern than others. They also have different environments. Some are completely dessert, some are savannah, and some more closely resemble a jungle. With this great variation, it’s important to learn about the country that you are referring to instead of just calling it “Africa”.

  1. Poverty-stricken

While there are parts of Africa that do indeed struggle with poverty, it’s not nearly as widespread as most people think. Many places in Africa are hubs for technology and business. There are plenty of people with money. However, like any other place, there are areas that struggle.

On top of that, it requires less money to live quite well. If you are in Paris or America, you won’t be able to live as well on the same salary that you would make in Nigeria.

  1. There’s nothing to do

Some people seem to think that if there isn’t a mall down the street that there must not be anything to do. The truth is quite the opposite. We not only have urban areas with plenty of restaurants and bars, but we also have plenty more to do because of the majesty of the natural environment. Children and adults can play in nature and socialize with each other in ways that people in only areas don’t do nearly as often. Swimming, hiking, hunting, singing, and playing games are all very common.

  1. It’s bad

People talk about living in Nigeria like it’s a horrible place to be. It’s simply not the truth. There are plenty of opportunities and things to do. While it might not be quite the same as other countries, there’s still a pride of being from the motherland. It’s also a wonderful thing to watch the community grow and prosper.

Hopefully with these attributes in mind, visitors can better recognize the differences throughout Africa and its communities.