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17 August, 2015 14:31

August 17, 2015

Africa is not for sissies. This seems to be one of the white African’s favourite sayings. It is said with a mix of pride of obviously not being one (a Sissy), since you were born there and a kind of warning to any non-African who might dare to think it’s all adventure, fun and relaxing with a cold beer in your hand. Any expat who has proved he is worthy, by having stayed at least a couple of years and not left screaming with his tail between his legs, is entitled to repeat the expression to newcomers or fellow non-sissies. Provided of course you have actually done, or tried to do, some business and not sat in a compound drinking gin and tonics and playing the odd round of golf or squash, only meeting Africans on your way to the office in your air-conditioned and chauffeured 4×4. Of course there are sissies in Africa. But they tend to stay in the larger cosmopolite cities, where the only difference with the civilized world is the temperature outside and the odd occurrence of the generator turning on when the electricity has decided to die off again.
For me, high highs and low lows better define the live a white dude like me will experience when living in Africa.

I once read that there are 3 types of expats in Africa. Those who love it and (want to) stay forever, those who after an initial high get into a depression hating everything African (including Africans), and finally, those who had an interesting time and are able to weigh the cons and pros. I hope I am one of the later.

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