I’m on my way back to Nairobi after a week or so in the UK. As much as I like coming home the first few days are always spent answering the same questions over and over again. Most of it’s fine but there’s one question I get asked more than any other and which I always struggle to answer: How’s Africa?
It’s asked in a well-meaning way but it is impossible to say anything that makes any sense. For most people in the UK, Africa remains a continent we know little about. As the folk over at Wronging Rights so eloquently put it, Africa is the ‘Land of Rape and Lions’.
Over the past week I’ve been asked the question about a dozen times. At first my answer was along the lines of ‘well, you know, not bad’ and then go off into some anecdote about Kenya and mobile phones. By the end of the week I’d got sick of it. I was at a friend’s birthday party on Friday night when I was introduced to someone as ‘Steve, who lives in Africa.’
‘Wow,’ he said. ‘Africa.’
‘Yes, Africa,’ I replied.
‘So, how’s Africa?’
‘Africa’s fine. How’s Europe?’
He looked at me a bit funny. So we talked about football.