I am not the biggest fan of generalizations. Matter of fact, it irks me when people make sweeping generalizations especially so when they negatively affect people. So I completely understand if this list does not tickle your funny bone. However, allow me to defend myself a bit. I have interacted with several West Africans from across the region to safely say that based on my experience, we all have one or two things in common. This list is not a one size fit all. But I want to bet it has at least one relatable thing for 1 in 10 West Africans. Okay maybe 3 in 10.
So without further ado, let’s jump into this highly stereotypical compilation of some sure ways to annoy West Africans:
- Ban Rice: Two words – Jollof Rice. If there was ever a ban on rice, West Africans would wage war. There would be three major coalitions: West Africans United for the Protection of Jollof Rice (WAPJR), People United for the Advancement of Rice & Soup/Stew (PUARS), and United Rice Fighters (URF). Heading the WAPJR would be Nigerians and Ghanaians because let’s face it, those folks spend a lot of time arguing about who makes the best Jollof Rice. Liberians would lead the PUARS since about 90% of Liberian diet involves some form of rice and “soup.” Give a typical Liberian man a burger and he will tell you that he has not eaten “real” food, and by real he means rice. The URF would be a group backed by our Asian counterparts because as you know, they too would not take infringements of their rights to rice lightly.
- Ban Fufu: I would personally lead the formation of the uprising against a fufu ban. Fufu to many West Africans is like the burger of America, like the beer of Germany. Fufu is West African Unity. Ban it and you will get fufued.
- Demand Us to Show Up on Time: There is time. Then there is color people time, black people time. And then there is African People Time. West Africans or I should say Africans, are so accustomed to showing up late to events that it would be stressful to demand us to show up on time, let alone early. If the party starts at 3:00 pm, we usually roll up there at 7:00 pm. Even those hosting events often cannot keep up with their own times. They would tell you something starts at 2:00 pm. Meanwhile, at 1:59 pm, they are still in their wrappers heading to the kitchen to fry puff puffs. Did I mention the classic I’m on my way; I’m almost there?
- Limit the Number of Guest at Your Event: West Africans move with an entourage. Inviting one person is basically inviting two or three others. +1 invitation? Try again.
- Have an Invitation Only Event: How dare you have your birthday party and restrict it to only people who have invites? What are West Africans supposed to do? We put the crash in party crashing. We like to go places uninvited. Matter of fact, we like to invite others when we ourselves are not even invited. “Have you heard the lady in the pink house down the street is having a party tonight? I’m going. You should tell your cousin to come too” “Okay. I will see if my gateman wants to come also.” That’s how we roll.
- Don’t Play Afrobeat at Your Party: Your party is not a party when we cannot Azonto, Shoki, Alkayida, Coupe Decale, Skelewu, or do that one dance that Mc Galaxy does. When the spirit of Afrobeat hits us, we move. If you cannot make us move, you would cause some serious annoyance. But we just may cut you some slack if you have some good Jamaican Dancehall.
- Offer Us a Plate of Raw Vegetables: West Africans do not tolerate eating “grass” or as my Liberian folks say “funny funny leaf them.” Yep, apparently raw lettuce, mix greens, and spinach on a plate is grass. And broccoli is a tree. Some of us just don’t roll like that. But please do serve us some greens/okra cooked with red oil and some fufu on the side.
- Offer Main Course With No Meat: A main course meal with no meat, chicken, or fish is like one of the greatest insults to West Africans. I am sure our East African brothers and sisters can relate. I mean, Africans own the jungle. Let that sink in.
- Deny Us Visa to the US or UK: A lot of West Africans want to experience the milk and honey that the US and UK are said to have. We want to see the money that grows on trees. We don’t want anyone telling us. So please upset us by denying us visas.
- Tell Us To Leave Our Bones for the Dogs: Which dogs? I’ll let this meme do the talking: