'How can y'all have a country inside a country?'
Charity Ekezie, a journalist from Nigeria, is doing a fantastic job of changing perceptions about Africa because she understands something very important: You can change a lot of people's minds by making them laugh.
Earlier this year, according to a report by France 24, Ekezie and her friends realized that a lot of commenters on TikTok, especially those in Europe and the United States, have a lot of incorrect perceptions of Africa, and many of them are racist.
Ekezie says that a lot of people see the continent as a prehistoric place that lacks running water, internet access and refrigeration.
“So I got upset because I thought these were things that people should actually know and I decided to do something about it,” she told TRT World.
“One day I was with my cousins at my house in the village. And I was like, ‘Let's make a TikTok. Let’s do something sarcastic. Let’s dress up like maidens and go to our village river and make a video,’” she told France 24.
The video has been viewed more than 22 million times since its January posting.
We don't have Water, pls send us some 😪😭 with my sisters @oge_smallie and @nameisbeee #charityekezie #kissmyacegoodbye #african
Since then, Ekezie has gone on to produce dozens of hilarious videos where she sarcastically explains how Africans get around without cars, drink without water and stay cool on a continent that lacks air conditioning.
In most videos, she stands right next to something that people think African people don’t have.
Here are some typical questions and her most popular video responses:
How can y'all have a country inside a country?
Fact: Africa is a continent with 54 countries fully recognized by the U.N.
@bebostunna With these few points of mine, I hope I was able to convince and not confuse you, that South Africa 🇿🇦 isn't a Scam.👉🏽👈🏽 #sacarsm #charityekezie #africa #southafrica
Why doesn't it ever rain in Africa?
Fact: Although Africa is one of the more arid parts of the world, an average of 1,000 millimeters of rain falls per year across most of the continent.
Sometimes the gods also cry cos of our suffering in Africa, and their tears drop heavily from the sky so we use it as water, cos it's blessed. #sacarsm #charityekezie #africa with @jgolby on Instagram.
Do you have air conditioners in Africa?
Fact: Yes, people in Africa do have air conditioners. More than 3.4 million were sold on the continent in 2021.
Reply to @maylan_r The African Elephant is not just an animal but a source of fresh air. btw what's an Air conditioner?🤔 #sacarsm #africa #charityekezie
Do you have stuffed animals in Africa?
Fact: Yes, they do. Watch the video.
Reply to @m4dh4tter12 Real animals are the real deal. #sacarsm #africa #charityekezie
How do you charge your phone?
Fact: About half of the people who live in Africa have access to electricity.
Reply to @lazyleopard_sh Now you know how.🥰 The African Hippo is powerful 🦛 #sacarsm #knowafrica #charityekezie
Is there makeup in Africa?
Fact: Yes, Africa is where people started wearing makeup.
Reply to @shinobi_2202 What is a makeup please? #sacarsm #charityekezie #africa #makeup
Do you have electricity in Africa?
Fact: Yes, we already answered that question.
Reply to @adeb451 What is an electricity?😩 I only know of lightning from the god of thunder, Amadioha 🥺 #sacarsm #charityekezie #africa
If Ekezie’s goal is reaching people, she’s doing a great job. Her videos already have more than 27 million likes and she’s just getting started.
Her idea of changing people’s minds through humor is a brilliant way to get her point across. According to Stanford University, humor is a great way to change people’s minds. It allows you to “connect with your audience, diffuse tension, elevate status, foster trust, and compel others to your point of view.”
“So I do hope my videos going to help demystify every single misconception and stereotype about Africa,” she told TRT World. “And I hope that video reaches a lot more people so that they'll get to understand that Africa is actually really nicer than what they think it is.”