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15 Things Africans Hate

It always bears repeating. These are out of the question.


1. Turbulence

If you want to see prayer warriors in action, just watch how Africans react to flight turbulence. "Jesus is lawd!" is a favorite. Depending on the route of the flight you just might hear that aunt that checked in excessive luggage on route to Nigeria speaking in tongues.

"Shokolokobangoshe!"

2. Incorrect Western Union control numbers

There's no better feeling than when cousin Kwasi who lives in D.C. sends money home to Nana in the village. But when that wire doesn't hit because he gave her the wrong code, Kwasi is guaranteed to get cursed by the gods.

Don't be surprised if you lose your phone or house keys the next day.

3. Salad as a meal

So you mean to tell me that you want me to eat the same stuff we feed goats for lunch?

4. Nigerians

OK, Africans don't really hate Nigerians but they do. Nigerians simply do the most, they're loud, obnoxious, confident and ostentatious.

Obviously, this isn't true of all Nigerians, but because Africans perceive them to be, well...

5. Darkness

Every African has heard the stories of witches and demons engaging in rituals coming out of the bush at night. We hate that shit.

6. Cold Weather

It's hot as fuck in Africa, what do you mean I gotta wear a coat?

7. Atheists

We bind you in the name of Jesus!

8. Disrespectful Children

The only time-out a spoiled child gets is one from nursing his/her swollen butt cheeks from a leather slipper beating.

9. Europeans

Colonialism, never forget.

10. NGO images of shirtless kids with big stomachs and flies swarming

Do I really need to explain why we hate this shit?

11. Wrinkled Clothing:

If there were an Olympics for ironing clothes Africans would get all of the medals. It's like every uncle learned how to press creases into his pants from the Navy or something.

12. Natural hair/dreadlocks

This one's tricky, because while the natural hair revolution has been a thing with Africans in the diaspora, many on the continent still see weaves and extension as the beauty standard.

13. Packing light

This is a sign of selfishness. How dare you come back home and not bring loads of random shit back for your 12 aunties, 15 uncles and 5,022 cousins.

14. Building numbers

With the exception of maybe South Africa, if someone gives you their address, you better ask them to describe the color of the house, what kind of trees grow in front of it, churches and mosques in the neighborhood and more.

15. Sunglasses

The African sun shines bright like a diamond, but rather than cop a pair of cheap sunglasses to block them rays, folks would rather squint.

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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