Alright. So, I’m not saying this is everyone’s thoughts but some were definitely of my own and I think a vast majority of people who has the news as their main source, more likely than not, hold the same misconceptions.
I’ve rounded up a few of these which were shattered after a visit to just one country in Africa: Morocco.
Of course it would be fair enough to argue that it’s not a sufficient basis as there are 53 other countries but it’s good enough to see that Africa as a whole continent is not at all that it seems as portrayed by the media.
Africa is poor
- Though it’s true that millions of people are living in poverty, it is very much untrue that all of Africa is poor. Speaking in the context of Morocco (and further research on other African countries), I can say that when visiting, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
- A lot of what we see are dirt roads etc. but roads we passed in Morocco were absolutely enjoyable travelling through with great views and were super clean.
The closest I’ve seen of what google would mostly show if you typed ‘roads in Africa’ is the first image and even then it’s not as bad.
It’s always hot in Africa (or ‘too’ hot)
- This is false; it actually snows in some parts of Africa and there are ski resorts in Morocco itself. Also, during our visit, it was hot but still quite chilly at the same time.
There’s only black people in Africa
- Writing about this replays that scene in the movie ‘Mean Girls’ lol. Anyway, a whole continent with only black people is a bit silly when you really think about it since in London alone, there are so many different people from different places and of different ethnic backgrounds but it’s a common misconception. And yes, false.
Misconceptions on visiting a Muslim- majority country
Just going to touch briefly on this.
Every article and blog post and videos I read and watched before visiting, I feel, have been way over the top.
On Fashion: Some suggested it’s almost a necessity you wear a head scarf and be completely covered from head to toe or you will basically face abuse
Of course when it comes to clothing, it’s good to respect their values but Morocco is full of friendly people who I’d say are tolerant. Don’t get me wrong, don’t go over board flaunting everything but so long as you look decent and respectable, your reception will be so. My point is that you need not to feel you really have to only wear traditional Moroccan clothing when visiting. I personally had a jacket on most times but it was more due to the fact the breeze was a little chilly. But on really hot days I’m positive I’d have felt comfortable with short sleeves.
Yes, I brought only one. I lived in it and loved it. What’s up? 😂
On women: I was given the impression that I should not expect to be greeted/ regarded as nicely for being a woman etc. because it’s what they believe in.
Again, a complete misconception in my opinion & have been blown completely out of proportion.
We were addressed politely and a man actually initiated a handshake. Something I read that was specifically not going to happen.
So just to summarize what I’ve said, it may not be true for everyone who go on to visit but for me, it was a definite eye opener visiting and seeing it for myself. If you’ve been thinking about it but have been put off by what you’ve read like I almost did, go for it and see for yourself too.
I’ll get back to the more touristy things I did in Morocco in the posts to follow but I felt this post was necessary. Hope you learnt something new.