I’m an African.
I live in Africa.
I’ve heard about African buffonery.
I probably understand it to mean cultural shock that intimidates or entertains those of us in human race who are not Africans.
There are some realities about living in this tropical
paradise,known as africa – and not all of them are about halcyon days
and balmy nights.
Warm places are full of life, and
the challenge with life is that it moves.
The first rule of living in hot regions is that you
should always shake out your shoes before you wear
This is because shoes are conveniently stored
in warm, dark places and they are just the right
shape and size to form a comfortable maternity ward
for many tropical creatures.
I have lost count of the number of friends who have
dislodged nursing cockroaches, spiders, lizards and
even mice from their footwear,needless to add scorpions.
I cannot comment
about what this implies for the said creatures rights of mother and
child but it certainly has not done much for the
eardrums of people in the vicinity of the awful
What,with eardrum shattering screams that accompany such rude discoveries,especially from our female species!
Anyone who has discovered an uninvited shoe dweller of the ugly species,sometimes even dangerous to life develops
a certain type of paranoia, where she/he spends an
inordinate amount of time shaking things out:
clothes, curtains, bed linen, and more are shaken – in
the hope of evicting any unexpected squatter.
Unfortunately, she/he is never quite sure, and every
bump or wriggle near her/him causes her/him to tremble with
If you still have the courage to do it, the second rule
of tropical existence is to always shake hands.
know it doesn’t make sense to rub palms in sweaty-
palm haven but every adult knows that culture
supersedes good sense.
For some reason, no one
feels greeted unless their finger bones have been
painfully crushed, and any failure to observe this
ritual causes offence.
If you are lucky enough to be invited to a tropical
dance, don’t forget rule three – which is to shake your
I notice that dancers from colder climes tend to
keep their midriff frozen while throwing their limbs
This is probably because (1) they need to warm
themselves up quickly and (2) dance avoidance by
many northerners creates plenty of room on the
People in Africa love to breed and
they love to dance too.
We therefore produce a lot of
people who head for the dance floor on weekends so
there is room for only a few subtle moves in the mid
Shake shoes, hands and hips but rule four dictates
that you should never shake your purse.
grandfather was the originator of this strange piece
Of course he grew up in an age when the
clink of more than one coin was enough to draw in
every felon within a 10-mile radius.
The advice is still
good although the reasons for it have changed
dramatically with pick pockets.
First of all, shaking a silver-rich purse, a century
later, sounds particularly cheap.
A circular metal disc
in the name of money is the seal of the analogue
man who is in sharp contrast to the digital user of
Despite this caution it is estimated
that seven percent of our national wealth is locked up
in lost coins – down trouser pockets and sofa set
If you are shaking your head at this statistic then
please stop it!
The fifth rule of african lifestyles is:
“Never shake your head.”
African people are
generally very nice, probably because they have
never been forced to gulp in some icy air.
midst of all this geniality “No!” is definitely a “No.”
So, If you feel like saying “No.” just give a tiny,
ambiguous shake of the head.
You can sort out the
The last thing you should not bother to shake in the
tropics is the salt.
It is probably too damp to make it
through those tiny holes in your average, imported
cellar; so just pinch a dollop and sprinkle it on your
You are shaking your head about all this?
That’s Africa for you!
Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….