Flashback Photo Fridays: Funny (and er, black humor) street signs in Africa

It’s Friday which means it’s time for another post in my new Series Flashback Photo Fridays where I  reflect on my travels by selecting a photo and share a story, a moment or a feeling about a place!

One of my favorite past times is laughing. I’m amused easily. I find humor in the obvious, the weird, the awkward, black humor and often, the not so funny but it’s funny type of situations.

So your warned.

Traveling in Africa was quite the experience and I was continuously surprised to hear different commentary from Africans when I mentioned I was from California: Ah, Tupac is from there, Arnold Schwarzenegger  is your governor or there’s a big fire in Southern California now (news I didn’t know about until they told me). I became aware of how my state is perceived, what media blurbs are shared, what stereotypes people have and of course, people’s interpretation of the information.

Intriguing and interesting to see  how people view you and what they think. I got a kick out of the restaurant and street signs I’d see in each town.

Some are reminders that AIDS is rampant:  

Reminder that AIDS abounds in Africa

Reminder that AIDS abounds in Africa

Some to put a smile on your face while reminding kids education is key!

Life is a journey!

Life is a journey!

Some made you laugh at their sense of humor and taking the time to put up a sign such as:

Arusha National Park, Tanzania

Arusha National Park, Tanzania

Some made you scratch your head and think,

wow, they had some balls to put that this sign or maybe just maybe this was the name before 9/11, but they didn’t feel like changing the name.  

(This photo was taken in 2007)

Come and get your meat!

Come and get your meat!

And because a Butchery with the name wasn’t enough, there is also a bar where you can drink away your worries!

Coca Cola sponsors drinking at the World Trade Centre!

Coca Cola sponsors drinking at the World Trade Centre!

Some stated the obvious:

why of course, that's what you do when you shop!

why of course, that’s what you do when you shop!

What do you think about these signs? Find them funny? Inappropriate?

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6 thoughts on “Flashback Photo Fridays: Funny (and er, black humor) street signs in Africa

  1. I love weird signs. These are great! I got a kick out of many in Australia because they have a really black sense of humor. For instance, at the crocodile enclosure at the aquarium “Stay Back! If the fall doesn’t kill you the crocodile will” or on a furnicular tram ride “Keep arms, legs, personal objects and infants inside the vehicle”

  2. LOL! Hilarious – gosh, you should see some of the others!

    Some background information on the Black cultures here in SA… to many of them, a name is just a name – there is no meaning intended and there are no symbolic or sentimental attachments to it…

    So basically, many of them (not all) will name things (like their shops) and their children after names that they think SOUND nice (never mind what the name actually means or what it represents). I once came across a guy whose name was “Devilicious”. Names like “Innocent”, “Patience’, “Lovely” etc. etc. are also common.

    One must also remember that while most of SA is multilingual, and English is one of the standards, English as a whole means nothing to them. There are no distinctions between verbs, nouns etc. and the words are taken purely for the way they sound so for eg. World Trade Center sounds “important”, hence the naming. It has no bearing whatsoever on 9/11. I honestly don’t even think the owner knows that the twin towers were called The World Trade Center. The people here (especially the Blacks in rural areas) can be wonderfully ambivalent like that.

    • Thanks for the informative explanation! I had no idea but now makes a lot of sense! I’m sure there are plenty more “crazy and wild” ones! I really need to get back to SA. I miss that country! And would love to meet you!

  3. Hmm, I wonder why World Trade Center butchery? It was a famous place, so maybe the owner thought based on the name he would get more business? Who knows!

    I follow an American blogger who lives in Johannesburg, South Africa (2Summers, she is great!) and she recently did an entry with a bunch of pictures of all the penis enlargement advertisements that can be found around the city. Signs are definitely very interesting over there, that’s for sure.

    • Thanks for commenting! I’ll have to check out her blog!
      Don’t know why but as Azra (gratefully and graciously explained in comments) now I have a better idea of why I saw random signs: in a nutshell ” because it sounds good” (see her long explanation).

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