Mahogany Knowledge Tree

What Is Something Westerners Don’t Know About Africans?

Teeth Whitening 4 You
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In many African countries, money changers effortlessly swap bundles of cash by the roadside, operating under the implicit but rock-solid assumption that they won’t be robbed. And we walk out of banks with wads of cash, sometimes on a tiny nylon or envelope. Such security measures are largely unnecessary.

Lawyers and signed agreements may be the norm elsewhere, but in many parts of Africa, your word is more valuable than gold. Break it, and you’ve essentially declared social bankruptcy. A broken promise doesn’t just tarnish your immediate reputation; it haunts you for life, impacting your relationships and prospects. I, for one, have family members I wouldn’t lend a penny to, much less enter a business deal with. All because they failed to uphold their word when it mattered.

In most Western cities, shoplifting is a perennial problem, and law enforcement often turns a blind eye. In several parts of Africa, young people aren’t emboldened by societal indifference. On the contrary, the idea of swiping even a candy bar sends shivers down their spines. In our world, retribution is swift and comes from the community itself. Misbehavior is universally scorned.

Kids don’t engage in senseless acts like random street attacks, burning of shops, or joyriding in someone else’s car in many African countries. It’s not just the fear of punishment that deters them. Rather, it’s a collective societal understanding that these actions are fundamentally wrong. Our young people may admire your shiny sports car, but they’d rather beg you for money than dream of damaging or stealing it.

Respect is in our DNA. Children back-talking their parents happens rarely and is frowned upon. We quickly give up our seats to older people and pregnant women without being asked. Titles like Sir, Ma’am, Daddy, and Aunty aren’t just terms of address; they’re badges of honor for the wisdom that comes with age. We greet older people by bowing or semi-kneeling. Communities act as a self-regulating mechanism, making certain transgressions practically unthinkable.

Violent acts like School or public shootings of innocent people remain alien to many Africans, not because we’re oblivious to the global mental health crisis, but because the fabric of our communities simply doesn’t allow such chaos to unfold.

While discussions around the treatment of women in Africa often lean toward the negative, there’s another side to the coin. There are several parts of Africa where any man who dared to raise a hand against a woman in the presence of people would swiftly face communal justice even before the police arrived. Spectators don’t stand back to dial emergency numbers, we make the fight ours.

The Magic isn’t necessarily in governmental laws or policing. It’s in the unwritten code of conduct, the communal upbringing that checks our moral compasses and teaches us to respect one another.