I promised a few people an FAQ. This is that FAQ

If you’re African and out of the continent, I’m sure you’ve been asked at least one of these questions or something similar about Africa or your country. I created this post so that you don’t have to answer those questions repeatedly. If you have other frequently asked questions, let us know and we’ll add them to the list.

Without further ado, we’ll get to the questions and answers.

Do you have Milo in Nigeria?

If you asking this question is what led you here, then take a full minute to think about your question. Don’t continue reading. There you go. Think about it.

Did you think about it? Did you realize that Milo is made by Nestle, which is an international company and as such will have the product in as many countries as possible, Nigeria included?

What you probably didn’t realize, however, is that a lot of the cocoa used for Milo and most of the chocolatey goodness products you love so much comes from Africa—4 of the top 5 cocoa producers are African countries. It is only just natural then that we’ll be allowed to taste what we grew and sold to Western countries to be refined and sweetened, and sold back to us.

Does everyone have guns?

Yes, we all do. Every Nigerian and every African. I leave mine at the airport when I go out of the country so that as soon as I get back to Nigeria, I can easily get it and jump right back in the streets.

Again, if you believe any of that, please don’t speak to me ever again. Thanks.

No, we don’t all have guns. Yes, it’s probably a whole lot easier to get a gun in many parts of Africa than in some other continents and countries, like Malaysia, but no, we don’t all own guns.

It is almost absolutely illegal for a civilian to own one. Typically, the street-justice-style Nigerian police force has been known to shoot and kill people on sight (and site) for possessing a gun. They’ll just claim you were an armed robber. At least, you were armed.

Is it safe in Nigeria?

If you asked this question, I’m assuming you were probably hoping to visit the country at some point? And you’ve probably seen the news of all the kidnappings. You haven’t? Ignore that last sentence. Take the answer now; No, it isn’t really safe. At least not in relation to where I am now.

It’s not even very safe for Nigerians in Nigeria, and if you’re light-skinned or from anywhere outside of Africa, or even sound like you’re not African, then even more so. You heard about what happened to the father of Mikel Obi, the Chelsea football player?

Yep, that’s (almost) now a business. The government might as well ask them to register their kidnapping businesses and have them pay taxes. It could help generate national revenue when the oil exports end.

Do people wear shoes in Nigeria?

C’mon, did you really just ask this question? Where is this even from? From the videos of Boko Haram in war-torn villages? Those people are almost refugees in their own country. They’re trying to survive. You think having shoes on their feet is a priority?

There are also some tribes that want to maintain their original cultures and traditions and choose not to wear shoes. That’s their choice. Anyhow, we (most of us, at least) wear shoes. Some of us actually like nice shoes.

Do you live in, like, real houses or just thatched/mud huts?

We have thatched/mud houses, of course. We didn’t start out from the beginning of time building concrete structures. Many villages in Nigeria still have thatched or mud buildings. The cities, however, are like many other metropolises—they are/look urban.

Do you have lions (and other wild animals) as pets?

I can’t really speak for the entire continent or even my country anymore. I have found articles of some dudes and their hyenas. I can’t even….no comment.

What is Nigeria’s official language?

The English language. Some people also consider Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba (from the country’s three major ethnic groups) to be official languages.

How many languages/ethnic groups does Nigeria have?

526 languages according to Roger Blench’s An Atlas of Nigerian Languages. However, Ethnologue indicates that of those, “519 are living and 7 are extinct. Of the living languages, 509 are indigenous and 10 are non-indigenous. Furthermore, 19 are institutional, 78 are developing, 348 are vigorous, 30 are in trouble, and 44 are dying.”

What’s a typical Nigerian food?

There isn’t a typical Nigerian food. Different ethnic groups eat different things. But if I’m going to choose one, it will be whatever variant of fufu/eba/amala combined with one of the many soups.

If Nigeria is so great, why are you here?

Nigeria is a great country but it is developing and needs a lot of work. It’s old-as-fuck (almost 70 years old) but still growing, slowly. Very slowly.

What questions do you have? What (possibly ridiculous) questions do you get asked about Africa? We can include them on this list and maybe have a QR code that just directs people here.

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Deon Akitoye – Think like there’s no box

Deon Akitoye – Think like there’s no box

In this episode of the Other Expats podcast, we meet up with Deon Akitoye,

In conversation with… Tatiana Shulgina

In conversation with… Tatiana Shulgina

Welcome to Season 2 of the Other Expats podcast!