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These Are The Africans Who Actually Like Donald Trump — Really

Proof that the Trump Effect literally knows no boundaries.

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So why does a candidate whose supporters scream “white power” online and call for black Americans to return to Africa at rallies appeal to anyone ~in~ Africa? Do they secretly hope the motherland will benefit from a black exodus?

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The Igbos welcome you, Jay Z!

Some of Trump’s rhetoric resonates among Africans watching the American election who are facing many of the same insecurities as those in the U.S. Firstly there’s the fear factor. Witness Trump’s take on South Africa. It may sound familiar to many.

I really like Nelson Mandela but South Africa is a crime ridden mess that is just waiting to explode-not a good situation for the people!

In this fan club's worldview, we're all hurtling toward a bloody showdown between Christian crusaders and ISIS-type radicals. Which is why Trump’s response — a no-nonsense “bomb the shit out of them,” then grab the oil approach — is appealing.

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BuzzFeed has reached out to Shane Ryan Brody, the group’s creator, and other members for comment.

Trump also taps into the type of populism politicians spew everywhere, promising to upset the status quo.

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“At first we thought: Trump is an evil man,” said Joseph Juma, 34, from Kenya, who used to post “very negative” comments on Trump’s Facebook page.

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That changed, Juma said, when he read a speech in which Trump allegedly promised to kick out long-time regional rulers Yoweri Museveni and Robert Mugabe for their “dictatorial tendencies.”

The supposed speech came just as a corruption scandal erupted in Kenya. “Then I realised Trump is just a patriotic American trying to play a unique type of politics. He doesn’t pretend like most of the world politicians,” Juma said. “I really like Mr. Trump and so do many poor and oppressed Kenyans here – we would like to see him deal decisively with corrupt leaders.”

But there’s a grand irony in even imagining Trump overturning autocrats, given that he actually shares their classic personality traits. Call it the African strongman complex, or the Latin American “caudillo."

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There's the constant self-aggrandizement. Bullying critical media. The calls to use "far worse" forms of torture against enemies than the U.S. already does.

For some, like Christian Ebere Nwamadu, 28, who runs the "Donald J Trump For President – Nigerian Supporters" Facebook page, it's no bad thing for an aspiring president. "I admire Trump for his non-mincing of words. He's outspoken and throws the truth like a bomb," Nwamadu told BuzzFeed News by phone from Lagos.

But its appearance in the U.S., in the form of Trump, is a new — and worrying — phenomenon. “I knew Africa’s despots…and I’m not laughing, I’m terrified,” Herman Cohen, a former U.S. ambassador and assistant secretary of state, told BuzzFeed News.

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During 38 years across Africa with the foreign service, Cohen held court with many of the strongmen who seized power after independence swept across the continent.

To Cohen, Trump mostly recalls Mobutu Sese Seko, former dictator of then-Zaire.

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“It is the self-perpetuated cult of personality: Trump puts his name on ties, towers, and vodka; Mobutu put his likeness on huge billboards, Zairean currency, and shirts,” Cohen said.

“And it is paternalism. Trump calls American voters 'stupid,' as if we don’t know what’s good for us, a view also held by Mobutu about his own people. The African strongmen I knew, and Mobutu in particular, regularly saw themselves as fatherly figures to a childish populace, a necessary 'chief' providing guidance to the weak.”

Cohen pointed out a crucial difference: "Americans, unlike Africans [then], have a choice."

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Ghanaian pastor Samuel Asante Beecham holds daily prayer sessions urging God to grant Trump the presidency, in part because he’s unlikely to “legalize gay marriage, which is bad.”

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"Trump is a god-fearing man who is promising to make Christianity strong in America. We know there are a lot of Muslims creeping into the U.S. doing bad things. And this same ISIS wants to destroy Africa, too," he told BuzzFeed News from Accra.

Hardline conservatives and religious zealots aren't rare in Africa, but the ones who share Trump’s views enough to put up with his other…qualities are. There’s no hard data, but many probably agree with “Dumb Trump," a popular song in Ghana.

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And for all the problems African countries do also face…

As I have long been saying, South Africa is a total - and very dangerous - mess. Just watch the evening news (when not talking weather).

Monica Mark is the West Africa Correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Dakar, Senegal.

Contact Monica Mark at monica.mark@buzzfeed.com.

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