“If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa.”~John Hemingway
Africa is the second largest continent in the world and it has the second largest population. Africa consist of 54 countries. There are over 1000 different languages spoken by Africans. Africa is literally the hottest continent on the earth.
There are a lot of misconceptions about Africa. So I decided to interview someone very special to me Uchenna Ani, a Nigerian native. He was born and raised in Enugu. He’s lived in Port Harcourt and Lagos. He loves his country Nigeria and he wanted to clear some misconceptions about his country and Africa.
What are the biggest misconceptions about Africa?
Uchenna: People think we are uncivilized and that’s not true. We are following suit with the western world. We don’t live in bushes.
What country are you from?
Uchenna: I am from Nigeria. I am a proud Nigerian.
How many states are in Nigeria?
Uchenna: 36 states/ Abuja Federal Capital territory
How many countries in Africa?
Uchenna: I don’t know, that’s what I have you for, lol.
It’s 54 countries in Africa!
Tell me what you love about your country Nigeria?
Uchenna: Everyone believes in God. People are very religious. We are family oriented and cherish family. FAMILY FIRST.
Can you tell me a little bit about Nigerian culture?
Uchenna: The culture is very versatile, because we have so many tribes. Nigeria has over 500 tribes and different languages. The three major tribes are Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa.
What’s your tribe?
Uchenna: Igbo. I’m an Igbo man.
Explain Igbo life and culture.
Uchenna: Igbo are very rich in culture and tradition. Igbo’s believe they are descendants of Israel. One of our most important events in Igbo land is the New Yam Festival. It happens every year between August and October. The yam is the most important and valued crop. It’s where you pray and thank God for the crop. The kola nut is also very important in the culture as it symbolizes respect, hospitality, and always at celebrations, cant start without it. Igbo’s are also very business minded people. We love business and education.
Can you tell me about the food?
Uchenna: We have a variety of food. A popular dish is jollof rice. Food varies by tribe. My favorite is bitterleaf soup, fufu, and pounded yam.
Ok, another huge misconception about Africa and African men, is that they can have more than one wife is that true?
Uchenna: In the past, it’s true polygamy existed. Presently in my tribe no one marries more than one wife. Some tribes still do marry more than, but not my tribe.
What’s the Igbo marriage process like?
Uchenna: You can have a court wedding or traditional wedding or both. The traditional wedding process is long and can be expensive. Depends on the family, it can take up to 6 to 12 months.
Uchenna: Yes, The first step is introduction. The man must go with an elder to the brides family to introduce himself and state his intentions.
After the introduction, both groom and bride will be investigated by each other family’s.
Once investigations are complete, there is a second introduction. The second introduction you must come with your family to visit bride family, it’s like a mini celebration. And the bride would be asked questions.
Once completed, your cleared to proceed. You will get a list for gifts for the family.
You can give the gifts the day of traditional marriage or before.
There is also a bride price you must pay which is also tradition.
The final step is the traditional marriage, which is the wedding ceremony. The bride has palm wine , she seek the husband to give the palm wine, when the husband accept the drink . The wedding has taken place.
Do Igbos marry foreigners?
Uchenna:YES, of course.
How do you feel about marrying from the western world?
Uchenna: I feel great. That’s where I found my soulmate, it has nothing to do with culture. You love who you love.
Do you believe your wife will be able to adopt to your culture?
Uchenna: Yes, she has interest and always making and effort to learn.
What do you think of the western world?
Uchenna: It’s a system worthy to emulate. Great people with mind of innovation. People with access to lots of freedom.
What do you do in your spare time?
Uchenna: I like to Read and Research.
What other countries in Africa you want to visit?
- Botswana 🇧🇼
- Kenya 🇰🇪
- Seychelles 🇸🇨
- South Africa 🇿🇦
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Uchenna: I want to set up a legacy for generations to come. I will be an owner of a multi national company. And I want to travel around the world with my wife.
What’s your nick name?
Please leave a comment below in regards to the misconceptions about Africa and what you love about your country?