7 Genuine reasons to fall in love with an African Lifestyle
If you’re an African who has left the African continent, it might at first feel like a breath of fresh air not to feel like someone is always up in your business for once.
But sooner or later, you start missing the fact that random strangers feel the need to greet you on the street, that a friend just wants to drop by with a bag of fritters and chat about politics or that your neighbor cares that you cooked rice and beans today which led to the smelly consequences your unexpected visitor is about to witness in your house.
If you’ve met some non Africans in African countries, you’ve probably noticed how sad many of them are when the time comes to leave their African life.
Just so we’re on the same page: I’m referring to open-minded foreigners who are open to truly experiencing the African way of life.
Obviously, there is something about it all that shows true, genuine African values and the lifestyle that stems from them, are worth the experience.
So here are 7 genuine reasons to fall in love with an African Lifestyle.
Whether it’s acceptance of others through hospitality, acceptance of situations through optimism, or self-acceptance, Africans are one of the most welcoming people on earth by tradition.
In many areas of Burkina Faso for example, receiving a foreign visitor is like receiving a gift from the world. People show off their visitors and treat them like kings and queens.
Beware not to overstay your welcome though! If you stay long enough, you will be considered adopted and you’ll become part of the family. Which means you will be expected to participate in the wellbeing and daily operation of the household to the best of your ability like everyone else.
For Africans, food is life. In everything you do, thou shall invite food. If you don’t have food you don’t have anything.
When you show up to visit a friend, they give you water to quench your thirst and to the best of their ability they will cook up something just for you. You better take even a bite or my fellow African will feel insulted and offended that you are not feeling welcome in their house or that you are trying to tell them you’re angry.
Yes, food is so important it can be used to replace words and express emotions in a number of African cultures.
This life is the one thing that’s really only yours.
Africans like to take their time. They have adopted the practice so well that in the western world, people have come up with an unofficial standard in an African Time Zone: the African Standard Time (AST).
Many say it’s because most of the time, there is good weather so there’s no reason to run.
One thing’s for sure, we may have created snacking but we didn’t invent fast food; we remember there’s about 1440 minutes available to enjoy every day.
And then there’s the heat that might help to follow the slow life movement but that’s a whole other topic.
Africans had social media way before the likes of Mark Zuckerberg invented facebook and twitter. The only difference is our Facebook is face to face and we actually investigate the reality of the situation. No #timelineOnly fairy tale life, no #InstaFake profiles, no #onlyOnScreen fabulousness without substance for the world to envy.
One would argue that this is not always a good thing. I say if that means there are no elderly people dying alone in their house, if that means you can count on your neighbor to report burglars when you’re not around instead of them YouTubing it and hoping for a viral video, then I’m all for human Facebooking.
We care almost as much as we are curious. As my Cote d’Ivoire people like to put it in their street “nouchi” language:
Africans are businessed.
In proper English, this just means Africans are in the business of everyone and everything. Aside from wanting to know what is happening in other people’s lives, which is well illustrated by the tradition of asking how every single person and thing is doing in one’s household in the form of a greeting, we like to debate various topics for hours and come up with the most imaginative scenarios for solving the world’s problems.
On the other hand, I must admit keeping quiet is also appreciated and there’s no awkward silence in a peaceful conversation. It’s okay to just have nothing to say for a moment or three and to reflect instead.
Someone was born, it’s your birthday, it’s my birthday, the neighbor’s dog just died let’s get together and celebrate life, death, time, feelings, basically anything!
Remember: Life is a gift and all occasions where gifts are shared are worth celebrating.
If you haven’t done it yet, don’t forget to subscribe and get your own copy of this free e-book! You’ll find some tips on turning any occasion into a celebration!
There’s nothing like the African community spirit. Of course, as with anything, there are exceptions, but sharing is caring and you can always count on others to be there for you.
With globalization things are changing and people are becoming more and more individual and private; but in essence, this is what we are: a people’s people.
Creativity at it’s best.
Have you heard of Bisi Ezerioha, Arthur Zang, Christiaan Barnard, Godfrey Nzamujo, Yacouba Sawadogo or PathéO – only to name a few? These are just a handful of the numerous great African inventors and creators that answer local problems with internationally recognized solutions. When they see a need, Africans can do a lot with a little.
While we try to create comfort in our environment, at the same time we often contribute to protecting our dear planet earth from waste and pollution and preserve it for future generations.
And when not creating, Africans are usually experimenting new things and trying to get more living out of life – happily ever after.
In the end…
Acceptance, Food, Relaxation, Information, Celebration, Altruism and Novelty are just the beginning when describing great African values.
And if you add it all up, you get genuine traditional A.F.R.I.C.A.N lifestyle values. The ones we try to live by and hope shine through in the masterpieces we’re planning to share with you.