Some African Chuckles

During our time in Kenya and Tanzania, Helena and I bought newspapers nearly every day. We did it in part out of interest in what’s going on, the issues that surround African every day life, which varied from a bus strike to the political developments of a full-on war with Somalia (in Kenya). We also wanted to take a glance at some of the more entertaining sides of the local culture, though, and in doing so we came across some classic lines, headlines, and a few other tit-bits I decided might be worth recording for posterity. We even found a front-page newspaper article that was clearly a press-release reprinted directly from a college offering courses in the psychology of hair dressing (because you can’t be a good hair-dresser without understanding the thought proces behind it… I kid you not). Here are a few of the best:

– Kenyan newspaper gets a little confused about where Italy’s located…

Europe remains Kenya’s biggest market, accounting for 47% of visitors, followed closely by the US and Italy

– Tanzanian beauty company ‘Disaar’ add a whole new ingredient to their body scrub, a special kind of thirty second boost (this has to be someone having fun with a translation job, right?)…

– Ugandan newspaper takes a slightly unusual angle on the death of a young lady in a car accident, the article even came complete with a picture of the woman’s body. This one comes from Helena’s previous trip to Uganda, but it’s pretty hard to beat:

Sexy Girl Dies

– (insert large number here)% of statistic are made up on the spot. Most of them are not, however, made up by people quite as stupid as this Tanzanian bar owner, though his motives were good…

Over 200 million people die of smoking around the world every minute

Or to put it another way, the world’s entire population is destroyed from smoking related problems around about every 35 minutes, going by this stat. Hmmm.

– A classic and not at all sexist bit of advertizing from the lovely folks at LG (the shop was basically full of hoovers and washing machines)…

– Sprite’s advertizing was pretty daft, too, with this bizarre attempt to sell drinks by telling you that your body will tell you when you need liquid… but you should drink before that anyway…

Listen to your body. Just a 1% drop in hydration levels is enough to send a signal of thirst to your brain. So don’t wait till you’re thirsty to have a drink

– Then we uncovered the personal ads in an Expat magazine (called, funnily enough, XPat) on a flight from Zanzibar to Nairobi. They were almost all either bizarrely sexual or focused heavily on money. I could have written them all down but for the sake of not diluting the affect, here are the two best (occasional odd grammar and capitalization left in)…

I am Candy and as sweet as ‘Hot Chocolate Milk with Honey’. I attract easily men but never the good one. You can be bad but need a good Sense of humor. You can be lazy but never in bed. You can lie but never cheat on me. If you fancy the flavour of Hot Chocolate, email…

Virginia, 5.7 feet tall, green eyes and a big smile is desperate finding her soul mate. Must hold the car door, be a successful banker or be its best client and be free 50% of the year to cruise the world. Email…

– Finally, having spent the early hours of 2012 drinking Kenyan Guinness in a nearby sports bar (we’d landed only 90 minutes before midnight and just went to the first place we found), we retreated to the 24 hour restaurant in the hotel for a post-drinking snack, which took the best part of an hour to be served. Fortunately, meanwhile there was a ‘totally sold out concert’ (no audience pictured at all) going on that offered plenty of amusement. Kenya’s very heavily Christian, and the music reflects this, but groups like the one pictured add elements of rumba and even the odd hip-hop edge (which I haven’t been able to track down on their YouTube videos, but still), and perform in full tribal Maasai dress. Great entertainment. Scroll down for a video, too…

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