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3 Things before travelling to Africa: know language and culture

With these three tips, travelling to Africa to experience their language and culture is a win.

Hi, friends welcome to my world of adventure.

Today, we will be taking a look at tribal cultures in Nigeria and what you must do if you have to travel to any African country.

Let’s dive in…

Know The Culture of the people.

I will explain this point with the true-life experience of mine. As a fresh graduate in Nigeria, everyone is expected to serve the country.

This means that you will have to travel to another state to learn about their culture and ways of life.

Sometimes, some people gained a lot from this exercise or should I say enjoy their experience but the reverse is the case for others.

For me, I could not wait to pack my bags.

Now, I was posted to Kwara state. By the way, Kwara is a state in Nigeria. I was to serve in a remote village called Gbugbu. Which I was so enthusiastic about.

I have always loved culture and an opportunity to learn a new one, Is a welcoming idea. So the thought was in a good shape.

The drive from the main town to the village took about two hours plus but I certainly did not get bored because there was so much to fill my eyes on.

Village travelers
Travel market vehicle with sellers.

On arrival, it was a typical village setting. I stopped at the school which I was supposed to carry out my practice. The school, however, closed early on that day.

I decided to take a rest under one of the big trees before I continue on my quest. In my mind, I was thinking about how I was going to carry my loads to the main town. The thought made me feel lazy.

Thanks to Yahweh, as I was sitting a man just walked out from the back of the school. From my uniform, he knew I was a copper. I explained my self to him and he offered to carry me to my destination.

Gbugbu Kwara state
Gbugbu town square

Huh, what a relief. The Samaritan happens to be the biology teacher in the school as I later got to find out.

When I arrived at the lodge, he asked if there is anything he could help me with to make my stay comfortable. What a nice guy right?

I told him I wanted to get some few stuff from the market. He said the bigger market takes place every Wednesday but there are little shops around that I can get what I wanted. I agreed to visit some of the shops.

Market day
Big Market day
Wednesday market
Market day
Woman selling herbal drink
Woman selling herbal drink

As we ride along, some of the villagers were hailing him. I could not get my head around it but I just shove it outside.

Fulani men
Passers by in the town

These gestures continue as we journey deep into the town. However, I was becoming sensitive but he was enjoying the whole performance.

Young Hausa girl
Young girl along the road to the town

I thought to myself, what am I missing out? We got to the shop at last. I picked up the bucket I wanted and he decided to pay for it. Even when I told him not to, he insisted. Then I gave in.

He dropped me back at the lodge and asked to give him a call if I needed any more assistance. That’s so sweet I thought?

Later in the evening, I melt my fellow coppers and they lectured me on how to behave in the community and a bit about their culture. The older copper warned. This is not your usual community or any other village you travel to. So be careful how you relate with them.

The community is made up of three tribes. The Fulani’s, Hausa and Nope people. Each of this tribe has their cultural practices and they sometimes share cultural ties.

Notice the body language and silent Rules

  1. Always put on clothes that cover the body. They frown at anyone who exposes any part of the body. This might warrant some attack on you.
Nupe market women
Cover up clothes for ladies
Nupe woman
Tribe woman coming from the market

The men here love women a lot. So as a lady, you must be careful how you relate so you don’t give out the wrong signal with what you wear. It is said that some men might be so obsessed with a lady and may decide to charm her or rape her. So everyone is advised to set their boundaries and be vigilant.

That was why the teacher was being so kind as it was a big deal for any of the tribesmen to have a copper as a girlfriend. This was the reason for the hailing.

2. As a young man, you do not talk to any female as regards to affair no matter the age. Any female you see whether old or young might be married and her husband might just be around the corner.

A girl child as young as ten years old can already be married. It is believed that as soon as the girl child starts seeing are monthly flow, she is an adult.

The Fulani’s are always protective of their women. It is rear to see a woman from this tribe married to another clan. As protective as they are, they also do not value their women as much as one may think.

As women put on accessories so also are the Fulani men in this area. They are usually called the Bororos here. However, the accessories am referring to is not the usual bag, but a pouch with a cutlass inside.

Fulani man with cutlass
Fulani man with his bag of cutlass
Tribal man with cutlass
Men with their cutlass
Fulani man
Fulani man
Tribal men
Tribal men with a cutlass
Tribal man with a cutlass at Gbugbu

This bag is carried by both the young and old men. When they change their outfit, they change the pouch to match it. The cutlass is always with them. It is like a must-have to every male.

Imagine talking to someone with a weapon on him 24/7. One will not be free and I was defiantly not comfortable with the idea. If this is fashion, I do not admire it. Another reason why should know about African culture and language before you travel.

These set of people usually gets angry easily and with a weapon always with them, they don’t fail to use it. Your rights do not work here only wisdom. By the way, their women are really beautiful.

I know they say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder but mine, mine, I could not stop myself from the steering. Even in their working state, no extension of any kind, no make up, just name it. They looked enchanting.

Know about the current affairs of the country, and traditions of the tribe

This is really important guys. So you don’t get cut up in whatever drama that might be ongoing.

Have always had the desire of travelling to South Africa. I love their rich culture and want to experience it but when I head about xenophobia attacks on Nigerians, I had to rethink.

I watch a video on Instagram showing a man being burnt alive. I was cold to my bones. Even when he was trying to help himself, they were still hitting him on the head. I hardly slept that night.

Imagine me travelling to South Africa at that time. What would be my fate? My desire about that African country as change ever since. This is not to say all south Africans are cold-hearted, but I will rather go to a country where my nationality does not put me at the hands of death.

Also, I travelled to Togo for some relaxing time but I never knew that at Benin, they were having a festival and I will have to pass through Benin before getting to Togo. A passenger sitting close to me asked if I knew about it.

What is the festival all about? I enquired. He said it was just the local’s rituals but it is not a good tale for an outsider — because periodically human rituals are involved and most times they use people who are not from that town for their rituals.

Thanks to Yahweh I was told on time. I would have walked into the den of the lion because of lack of information but now I know better.

Be open-minded to their beliefs

As a visitor, you do not have any idea of how people perceive your race or country.

Others will always have opinions about your race and they might transfer their hatred towards you. You should try and understand and let it go.

Sometimes the words they say are really spiteful. Some of these people do not really have in-depth knowledge about you so they tend to speak as far as their knowledge can take them.

Always go with a guild if you are going to a remote village. A friendly one, please! Not one that easily gets angry but accommodating. Also, they should have a good command of the language.

Do not forget to take extra cash please as this will come in handy if anything unexpected happens.

Thanks for staying with me till the end guys. I hope your time was well spent. With these few tips, I believe you are good to go.

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