Africans Aren't Poor
Start writing a post

Africans Aren't Poor

Why acknowledging the beauty of other cultures is important.

Africans Aren't Poor
Gabrielle Canterbury

About a year ago, I went on a trip to Tanzania with a group of students from my university. Our group was a cohort of global scholars, and this was our first trip abroad. We were learning about the healthcare system in Tanzania. I learned so much not only about the healthcare system but about the culture. The biggest lesson I learned was that Africans aren’t poor.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. How could I possibly be saying this when there are constantly commercials littering our television screens giving us proof of their poverty by asking us for our money to feed the starving children or provide them with a mosquito net? From a financial standpoint, you could consider many African countries to be behind or lacking resources in many ways.

What I’m talking about is that they are rich in love, rich in culture and rich in values. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a more welcoming culture in my life, and that made my transition into a completely unexplored environment so much easier. Every time I passed someone at a hospital we visited, or a village we went by, I heard the words “Karibu sana” (which means “You are very welcome” in Swahili).

To me, those words meant so much. To know that I was welcomed into another country (even another continent for that matter) with such love and open arms made me feel at peace. I felt so grateful to be surrounded by a culture that was so loving. We would be on the bus riding to our next destination, and I would look out the window and all it took was to simply make eye contact with somebody and the biggest smile would appear on their face and they would excitedly wave and yell out “Jambo!” (Which means “Hello!” in Swahili.)

These are things we definitely don’t see in America.

Many of you might also think what I saw were streets filled with debris, starving children and poor families begging with looks of despair on their faces. It was quite the contrary. Their culture is remarkable.

Tanzania was full of beautiful landscapes, vibrant colors and lively people to match it. I could see Mount Kilimanjaro from the front porch of the place I slept at every night. I went on an actual safari, and we drove through Tarangire National Park watching giraffes, elephants, zebras, and so many other animals roam free in their natural habitat (it wasn’t a zoo — how cool is that?).

I visited the native Masai Tribe and dressed in their clothes, held their hands and danced with them. I was not only able to observe the culture of Tanzania, but I was able to participate in it. I could completely submerge myself in the experiences I was having so I could really know the true happiness these people feel.

These people may not have everything they want in the world, and they definitely don’t always have everything they need. But they always have enough to live life simply and survive. They are working to live their lives just as we are. They have families to support. We could definitely learn a few things from these people.

This is why they are rich. These people have enough, and they are happy.

So the next time you see a sad commercial about Africa on TV, remember that there are so many people out there waiting to welcome you into the richness of their culture.

If you ever have the opportunity, go for it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

In an already unprecedented political landscape, things aren't looking so bright for mail-in voters heading into November's election. In 46 states and Washington D.C., post offices received a warning that mail-in ballots may not be counted on time to count on election day, according to a report by the Washington Post.

Keep Reading... Show less

"New Girl" is one of the best sitcoms of all time. Honestly, it is so much fun to watch, so much fun to relate to, just all around a great show.

Not only is a great show, it has so many different great settings, obviously including the loft. If you live by Nick Miller quotes and desperately tried to learn how to play "True American," you need to buy these things because you are a true "New Girl" fan.

Keep Reading... Show less

You know those items you've been pinning to your Home board on Pinterest for [insert amount of time]? Well, it's officially the moment to turn that wishlist into a married life reality, and it's going to be SO fun.

But, before you get to shopping and adding things to your upgraded bridal wishlist (sorry, Pinterest, it was lovely while it lasted), you'll first want to decide where you want to open your registry (or registries, if you want options). Here are 17 of the best websites and stores to consider saying "I do" to for your wedding registry, to have and to hold for as long as people are buying you wedding gifts.

Keep Reading... Show less

If you've ever been in the dating game, or currently are, chances are you've had a date gone wrong. These are often times super embarrassing, but they are always funny to look back on.

Keep Reading... Show less

I just recently got engaged and planning a wedding during a pandemic is actually kind of a nightmare.

A lot of venues are taken for 2021 because of corona brides and grooms who have had to reschedule their weddings and the same goes for other vendors and literally everything else.

Keep Reading... Show less

While promoting her most recent movie, "Work It," Sabrina Carpenter has divulged some of her favorite beauty products to interviewers.

Keep Reading... Show less

When I say we can't stop thinking about the relationship advice Miley Cyrus dropped on "Call Her Daddy" today, I mean it literally.

Her truth bombs hit me (and most who listened) like a wrecking ball and coupled with the release of her new song "Midnight Sky," we're going to need some time to process the greatness. In case you haven't listened yet (what are you waiting for?), here are 10 relationship tips Miley shared that we should all live by for the rest of time.

Keep Reading... Show less

Founders Of Color: Rec Room's Dre Taylor On What Blackness Can Look Like And Not Working For Free

"It mattered to me that when we were depicting racial diversity for Rec Room, we showed the broad spectrum of what Blackness can look like."

Rec Room

The world of sustainable fashion is inundated with marketing gimmicks, false advertising, and large corporations cutting corners — Rec Room is the pure antithesis of that.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 At-Home Therapy Tips You Need, No Matter What Your Therapy Routine Is

Whether you're in a Zoom session or live-chatting, make sure your home therapy space is good to go.

No matter what stigmas you held about therapy before this year, I'm sure 2020 has affirmed that we could ALL use a nice long therapy session. Between wildfires that took over an entire continent, a global health crisis, and what's sure to be one giant circus of an election in the United States, we need help and we need it now.

The fact of the matter is, therapy has been a helpful, valid resource long before the world decided to become one giant dumpster fire. Having a safe space to discuss what's going on in your life, worries you have, and struggles you're facing has become a very normal thing for individuals' mental health.

Keep Reading... Show less

Dunkin' just announced that they'll be releasing their fall menu earlier than ever — set to debut on August 19 — and that it'll include new menu options this season, including a new signature pumpkin spice latte. Let me just say, Starbucks has some fall-menu competition now.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments