I can still remember the feeling as I got off the airplane 17 years ago: like walking into an oven. My first trip to Africa took place 17 years ago in Lagos, Nigeria. I went with my family and friends for 1 week to the West African country.
I was shocked at many things at once: the weather, the tons of people, the poverty, the lack of resources, the beautiful women, and of course the food.
It made me really think about how lucky some people are to live in a western country with access to food, healthcare and jobs. Nigeria felt like a country with lots of potential that suffers from lack of opportunity.
Here are 10 things I realized during my first trip to Africa as a Black American:
1. Africa is Hot and Humid
You will experience incredible heat and humid weather. It’s like LA weather on steroids.
2. Many Cities are Overpopulated
Seeing masses of people in the street at times was unbelievable. There were times where I could not walk because everyone was packed in the streets like sardines.
3. Poverty is Real
It’s crazy to see African people struggle with basic needs like food, shelter and clothing. Beggars on the street are often so skinny they weigh less than children.
4. Africa struggles due to lack of business resources
Western countries provide business loans to boost economic productivity. Africa is seriously lacking financial opportunities for entrepreneurs to create jobs.
5. Africa women are beautiful
Wow. Africa ladies are stunning and I was falling in love every 10 seconds. Black american women definitely get their looks & grace from the motherland.
6. Food options are limited for most people
It’s shocking to live in a place where most meals consist of chicken, rice and bread. It’s not the best place for foodies unless you only eat at expensive upscale restaurants. Street food options are lacking.
7. Many African countries lack job opportunities
I’ve never seen so many unemployed men in my life. There are not many jobs available so many people seek work in western countries. This explains the large flow of African immigrants to America and Europe.
8. Many people still live in traditional African huts
Traditional homes are still popular, especially in villages. Most lack running water, electricity and other western amenities.
9. Your First Visit to Africa Will Be Overwhelming
It was eye opening and emotionally moving. I was shocked at every thing I saw. It was nothing like TV portrayed.
10. Every African American Should Visit Africa
Africa is a must visit for every Black person, especially African Americans.
What Was Your Experience During Your First Trip to Africa?
Have you been to Africa? Share your experience in the comments.