Answering People’s Burning Questions About Africa


As an African in the wake of the new Black Panther Movie release, Wakanda Forever, I thought I would answer some of the people’s burning questions about Africa. These are some of the questions I have received when I tell people that I’m from Kenya. 


Is there water in Africa?

No, there is no water in Africa. The only water we receive is when it rains , and that’s only once a year. Once it rains, everyone in the village is allowed one bucket per family. We salvage that small amount of water till we get some next year. Another option is using our sweat. It never gets cold, so we sweat a lot; if someone is thirsty, their friends or family members offer up their sweat as a beverage. 

In all seriousness, stop asking this question. It’s not funny, and it’s getting old. Yes, we have water in Africa, and when the media depicts places that don’t have water, it doesn’t reflect the whole of Africa.

How do people in Africa get to school? Like with all the big cats and stuff?

Well, the journey to school is very tough for Africans, since we have to go through the thick jungles and there’s so much wildlife everywhere. Sometimes we even have to swim across rivers, but that’s okay. Because it’s so hot, the water in our clothes evaporates. Plus, passing through a river kills two birds with one stone; it helps us get to school faster and provides our shower of the day. 

Although swimming can be a mode of transportation if you want it to be, Africa has many other options. What a shocker. Africa doesn’t live in the stone age. Something else that will blow your mind is that Africans get an education. Woah. Are you okay? I know that’s a lot to process. Yes, Africans get an education and they have schools. They have everything from private schools to public schools to even boarding schools and universities, just like we do. 

Where do Africans live? Do they live in mud houses?

No, we don’t have houses in Africa. We wait for Americans to send over supplies so we can make a tent and sleep in for the night. But only one tent per family.

Are you serious right now? Asking this question is insulting. Google is something that has been around for a long time. If you are that curious or ignorant a google search is your best friend. Plus, it’s the safer option than getting a slap in the face. This ignorance is partly the US’s fault for creating this narrative that Africans are people who live in mud houses, are malnourished, and need water. Although it may be what you see in the media, stop associating this portrayal with the whole of Africa.

Is Africa a country or continent?

A county duh…

Do you speak African? How did you learn to speak english?

Yes, I speak African; the whole of Africa can. It’s not like Africa is a continent made of 54 different countries that have been colonized by different nations that speak different languages. Syncretism doesn’t exist in Africa. I learned to speak English by drinking a heart-shaped herb like the one you saw in Black Panther. 

Saying this is the equivalence of saying do you speak American? Or Canadian? Doesn’t that sound like a dumb question? No, I don’t speak African. There’s no language called African. I speak Swahili and Kikuyu, African languages. If you are interested in learning more about it, you can come up to me to talk about it. Also, English is a first language in many African countries, and if not, it’s taught. 

Where is Wakanda on the Map?

Wakanda is a secret place hidden on the map that nobody but Africans can see. Even though Black Panther finally opens up the barrier, you still need an African to help guide you to the location. Ask all the non-Africans who went to Wakanda. The person who led them to Wakanda was African. Also, the lip thing is real. 


These aren’t even a fraction of the questions that I have been asked. However, I understand it’s the school system and parents’ fault for not educating kids on other cultures and customs besides America. Gift Moses, a Junior at Enloe who is Nigerian, expressed that “I’m not mad at people for asking these questions, I just know that they’re not culturally aware”. However, some of these questions are straight-up rude. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know asking someone if they wear clothes where they come from is disrespectful. Do better. Stay safe my African Brodas and Sistas.