The Real Housewives of Atlanta Go To Africa
Neelika Jayawardane | January 18th, 2012


It’s too bad that Americans sees Atlanta, black women, and maybe even women in general through the lens of The ‘Real Housewives’ franchise. When the first episodes of Atlanta aired, my upstate New York hairstylist gasped and gawped about the wealth and glam. To paraphrase her: Oh, the hair! the really short dresses! (and the token white girl!) I had to reply, with that special brand of irony that educators cultivate: “Lovey, I think you’ve probably never seen rich black women before.” So I did my part to defend the Atlanta women.

But now, they are planning a trip to South Africa (free, of course). This week was the prep episode, including one of them calling the president of Ghana for advice for a trip to South Africa. (Serious.)

Here’s a bit of recap from Entertainment Weekly:

Phaedra is the new Countess (just one with a sense of humor and rhythm). She’s organizing a trip to South Africa for the women and she wants everyone to come. (“I wouldn’t go to the damn trash can with them,” NeNe sniffed to Cynthia. They haven’t told her yet the trip is free.) In preparation, Phaedra dragged Kandi’s enormous thighs to an African dance class. “When I think of Africa, I just think of…” said Kandi. “Naked women with their breasts out,” Phaedra cut in, handling her chest. “Jangy jangy jangy jangy!”

On Radio and TV Talk:

Phaedra and Kandi took part in a joyous African dance class so Kandi can lose some weight.

(So nice that African traditions, too, are now getting used for weight loss and body obsession, much like yoga—a practice meant to help us go of our attachment to our transient physical selves—has been adopted by OCD white women throughout the US to further draw attention to their physical and sexual selves).

But there’s even more:

Phaedra Parks (or the producers) also use this episode to teach audiences a little about the continent the ladies are about to visit, and so that she can “immerse herself in culture”. Parks takes Kandi to the Apex Museum, an Atlanta-based history museum about the African-American history. The pair then giggle over a “pec-tastic” slave statue and Sheree peeks under the loincloth, rather than paying attention to the tour guide.

Kandi can’t come up with one adjective to describe what she thinks when she hears “Africa.” Phaedra, however, is not at a loss for descriptions: Africa is, in the mighty Atlantan’s hands, the location of “naked women with their breasts out.”

Finally, Sheree, too, is invited to go to South Africa. “I would not pass up the experience,” Sheree delights. “We can put our grown panties on.” Phaedra’s response: “Hopefully, Africa will elevate us to college-level fights.”

NeNe, sadly, will not be going to Africa, despite the temptations of loincloths, “grown panties”, and the opportunity to elevate fights to the “college-level”. tells us:

[NeNe] told Cynthia she wouldn’t go to a trashcan with them. Prompting Sheree’s only real contribution to this episode, “I don’t think the b**** has ever been abroad. I don’t think she has any stamps on her passport. Get some damn culture!”


Oh, South Africa. I’m sorry that this is what you had coming.

The episode airs next week.

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13 thoughts on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta Go To Africa

  1. Reblogged this on Jesika Smith and commented:
    I love the people who write for this blog. Always on point. I really can’t stand these “reality” shows that take the dumbest people from around America and then give them a million dollars and video tape it. Is the only thing you can really think aobut when seeing a statute in chains representing a slave in America is “oh how sexy are those pecks.”

    I agree with the last statement, so sorry South Africa as if you don’t deal with enough on the regular. These ladies probably don’t even realize you are your own country not just the southern region of Africa.

  2. What a pathetic out look on one side and an adventerous mind on the otherside..pathetic is Africa is thought of as synonymous to South Africa and Yet for the Best of Africa every place you Visit is as gorgious as the next place..the Ladys’ mind on Atlanta housewives Just don’t understand Africa other than the biological connections..thinking of women with their Breasts out a perception and knowledge gained from the old books of history and a misconception is much out dated and the Ladys’ won’t believe the how much beauty is in Africa far from the high walls and ignorance in Atlanta..I suggest to the organizer’s to be more enthiastic in approaching the Land of knowledge and wisdom..


  3. Thanks for starting this discussion. Consequently, the Real Housewives is an entertainment program but shows a different life of Atlanta. First and Foremost, the education status of the ladies on this program is not established with the exception of Phaedra who is a lawyer. Equally, important, she articulates her ideas and answers during interviews but stop short to show another side that the show encourages “few successful women with little or poor etiquette. In respect to the few that are disciple they too are caught in the web of the show. Sadly, the program, to a greater extend, is not designed to show successful well educated black women. Their perception of Africa to a greater extend is so narrow and that is very disturbing. I visited the Black America History Museum in Baltimore Maryland. This was a wakeup call and created a deeper sense of the Black experience here in the United. Equally, in Africa, African did experienced colonialism and slavery on the continent. I strongly believed the Atlanta Housewives trip to Africa will create a sense of dignity in them and see that Africa is not just a place that was painted in their minds; a huge jungle with Tarzana, dark black people like salvages, monkeys and snakes running all over the place. It is true that parts of Africa are undeveloped but there are parts of Africa that are breath taking on the continent. I suggest the group needs to check out parts of Africa they don’t show you on Google.

  4. I have never watched any of those shows, but the media is so enthralled with them, I (regrettably) know some of their names! The saddest thing is that women from Africa, living here, have adopted the notion that this is American behavior and seek to emulate it. Have you noticed the growing trend of “Glamor Shot” ready, mask-like make-up with lashes and all cropping up? Women wearing false eyelashes in the daytime to fry fish! There was a time that they were reserved for female impersonators and showgirls. I know I am not the only one who has noticed this. The sense that one’s own natural beauty is inadequate to the extent of such cosmetic fakery saddens me. (I blame Oprah and Rue Paul too! Lol!) People are setting materialistic goals and being ugly to one another because they watch these shows. Some call it a “guilty pleasure” and others don’t have the sense to feel guilty! Garbage in=garbage out….

  5. OMG.. there are so many inconsistencies in this blog.. Did you skim through the show.. cause you have folks mixed up and the whole nine.

  6. @Nichelle: this show has not yet aired. The evaluations are based on media articles summarising the plotline, so any mixups/inconsistencies of names/characters are owing to their errors (sadly, no one at AIAC are devotees of the Real Housewives). However, what’s accurate are the “africa” related quips – someone on the show said that stuff.

    • so you’re making these judgements based off what other people are reporting without verifying (isn’t that how the whole jay-z drops the b-word story started)? I love AIAC but c’mon y’all can do better than that. At least watch the episode and then comment.

  7. Like the post, but “OCD white women”, really? OCD is an anxiety disorder, not an insult. It has nothing to do with personality. I’d expect a blog about combating ignorance to understand that.

  8. @jesikasmith: thanks for the kind words.
    @Abdul Ali: I could not follow you’re streaming consciousness.
    @Wilmot Adekoya Sr: Where is Tarzana?
    @DONISE STEVENS: Thanks for the best line of the week “Women wearing false eyelashes in the daytime to fry fish!”
    @Nichelle: Neelika’s comment suffices.

  9. I watched the episode interested in what would transpire regarding “Africa”. The call made to the VP of Ghana was “entertaining”,so who can’t get an audience with the VP??? And we would be calling him direct for??? As if he doesn’t have affairs of state he needs to attend to… I’m pretty sure the the females starring in the show still refer to Africa as a country instead of a continent, bunching us all together. I’m going to start calling everyone on this continent North Americans (forget Canada) and then refer to those females as the tribe of Atlantanians with “donkey booties” jiggling everywhere, a jangy jingy jiggaboo. The loin cloth scene was disgraceful, and was painful to watch, and Nene’s statement about her passport being taken….really? This female improperly pronounces words with more than two syllables “supposively”, “irregardless”, really? And I’m soooooo sick of these wannabe rich “pigeons” aka “I want to be old money but I’m almost new money, so I’m a socialite….” yeah okay. This episode has taken so many steps backwards it has given me a migraine.

  10. Kandi is so messy this year.Somebody needs to beat her ass.Marlo was suppose to tell Kandi ass off because she was being messy with that lady and she told Kandi off in front of everybody who she was trying to talk about Marlo in front of.The tables got turned and she was shame because she buy men.Sheree need to buy her kids some clothes and get their hair fix before putting them on TV.Pheadre need to be concern with her husband background and stopped being so messy.She was the first person to bring Marlo around and when They didn’t get Marlo to try and fight NeNe than they had a problem with her.So really those three ladies are so messy they belong together.

  11. All in a nutshell,” Went to Africa and acted like a “NIGGA”.”
    Arguing about Loui Battan bags, Gucci and Stratus, and what house they own, how may cars were repoed, and also garments that they return to the mall, debtsl, and mug shots and line-upsl.
    Embarassing and uneducated. As African women, this is not what we should strive for.
    WAKE UP!

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