It is not uncommon to have Western countries publishing a travel advisory for their citizens that plan on traveling to an African country. In August this year, for instance, the US had done one of such travel advisories for their citizens traveling to Nigeria.
Declaring twenty states in Nigeria unsafe, the Department of States statement had enumerated various reasons why the states were unsafe that included kidnappings, extremist activities, pirate activities off the coast of Nigeria and internal displacement.
The travel advisory had also cautioned against travel to the Gulf of Guinea.
The tourism sector in Kenya has also been hit quite hard by travel advisories that warn people off regions in Kenya that are close to Somalia.
A Kenyan political cartoonist Godfrey Mwampembwa, better known as Gado, decided to retaliate for all these many affronts arising from travel advisories issued by Western States against African countries.
It is for this reason that a travel advisory appeared in a Kenyan newspaper this week warning Africans visiting the United States to be aware of continued instability and civil unrest in places like Charlotte, North Carolina, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The places mentioned have had an eruption of protests in the last few months over police killings of black men. After its publication, the travel advisory was circulated widely on social media and reported by local media.
A part of it reads;
“The African union warns African citizens of continued instability in the United States of America (USA)”
The Kenyan cartoonist Gado spoke to Quartz about why he considered it funny;
“It’s funny because many African countries go through those travel advisories—issued by mostly by Europe and US, all the time,”
It must be admitted that the travel advisories published by Western States do have some merit; African countries are, after all, facing security problems that arise from various insurgents, but this travel advisory by the Kenyan cartoonist for Africans traveling to the US also tells some truth too.
On September 27, California police fatally shot Alfred Olango, an unarmed, 38-year-old Ugandan immigrant who came to the US as a child refugee. He is only one of many other examples of black death in America.
So every country has their own unique security threats and dangers. This travel advisory is a great reminder of that fact and particularly reminiscent of the saying; “those who live in a glass house should not throw stones.”