Created By: IuraCivium on October 3, 2011 Last Edited By: IuraCivium on October 18, 2011
Troped

Bulungi

A generic sub-Saharan country in Africa

Name Space:
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Page Type:
Trope
A Bulungi is a fictional little country nestled in somewhere in Africa away from the realm of the Maghreb (the Arabic-speaking countries in the north of the continent). If used as a setting, expect to see either a jungle environment, savannah grassland, or, if in the extreme southern regions, a slightly more temperate forest-type area. Bulungis are often populated by a mix of white and black residents, the former of whom usually feature British accents. The country's name is usually composed of simple syllables and stereotypically "African"-sounding. In many cases, the Bulungi is in the midst of the transition process from its former sort of government to a more democratic type of rule, though this might not be going well for them. Depending upon how it is handled, a Bulungi can easily lend itself to Unfortunate Implications.

Compare and contrast with Ruritania, Qurac, Banana Republic, and Darkest Africa.

Examples:

Comic Books

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • MacGyver featured several such countries over the course of its run. The country Kembezi from one episode of this show is unusual in that at one point it was actually shown on a map (it was supposedly in the vicinity of South Africa).
  • 24: Redemption features Sangala.
  • Zulabwe from Season Two of The A-Team.
  • Buranda from Yes, Minister, referred to on the show as a TPLAC--"Tinpot Little African Country".
  • In The West Wing, there was Equatorial Kundu, an African nation wracked by genocide.

Video Games
  • Kijuju from Resident Evil 5.
  • Far Cry 2 is set in a place like this, though it includes multiple environments one might expect in Africa (jungle, desert, savannah) in a very small space.

Web Original
  • The Trope Namer comes from The Onion, which had an article about Bulungi, a West African country whose existence was only attested to by its American ambassador.
Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • October 3, 2011
    KTera
    Kijuju from Resident Evil 5.
  • October 3, 2011
    PacificState
    I think it would help if you explained what Maghreb means. (Maghreb: Everything in Northern Africa that has a border with the Mediterranean, another with the Sahara, and none with the Red Sea).
  • October 3, 2011
    Prfnoff
    The Onion had an article about Bulungi, a West African country whose existence was only attested to by its American ambassador. Their book Our Dumb World also claimed that the "Central African Republic" was just a generic discount version of other Central African countries.
  • October 3, 2011
    MorganWick
    Too bad there isn't an existing name like Banana Republic, or that any of these examples would be familiar to most people (not that such Trope Namers are a good idea anyway).

    See also Darkest Africa.
  • October 5, 2011
    IuraCivium
    Bump.
  • October 5, 2011
    AP
  • October 6, 2011
    nitrokitty
    The name could very well be Bulungi. Names like Ruritania, Qurac, and Uberwald work because they sound like generic country names, even though I've never heard of the references, I can take one look at the names and instantly think "oh, that sounds like a generic Eastern European/Middle Eastern/Transylvania-esque country. Therefore, I support Bulungi as the trope name, with Generic Sub-Saharan State as a redirect. Ruritania has Generic Eastern European Rural Country as a redirect, after all.

    I mean, "Generic Sub-Saharan State" sounds out of place with the other related tropes, and let's face it, boring.
  • October 6, 2011
    ArtFever
    Bulungi works fine.
  • October 6, 2011
    aurora369
    I think Bulungi is a good name, too.
  • October 6, 2011
    Ekuran
    It's fun to say out loud, too.
  • October 7, 2011
    ClockStopping
    • From Yes Minister, there is Buranda, referred to Hacker as a TPLAC - a Tinpot Little African Country.

    I like Bulungi as well. From it I was able to pretty much guess the trope before reading the Laconic, which is what trope names are supposed to be.
  • October 8, 2011
    DaibhidC
    • Good Omens has Kumbokoland, an African country that was briefly Sir-Humphrey-Clarksonland, and which has been at peace for three thousand years. That is until War pays a visit.
  • October 8, 2011
    DaibhidC
    Double post, sorry.
  • October 11, 2011
    IuraCivium
    Bump.
  • October 11, 2011
    surgoshan
    I really like this. I think there should be variants for Europe, Asia, and the Western Hemisphere, too.

    I want to cast my vote for Equatorial Kundu, for no other reason than that it was an African nation from The West Wing that was, like, shitty. And junk. With genocide.
  • October 11, 2011
    foxley
    Ishmaelia from the novel Scoop by Evelyn Waugh, and it's 1987 film adaptation.
  • October 12, 2011
    foxley
    Zangaro from the Frederick Forsyth novel The Dogs Of War.
  • October 15, 2011
    IuraCivium
    Bump.
  • October 16, 2011
    ElCheViva
    Far Cry 2 is set in a place like this, though it includes multiple environments one might expect in Africa (jungle, desert, savannah) in a very small space.
  • October 18, 2011
    IuraCivium
    Hey, hey, hey, looks like we got the prerequisite five hats. Any objections to launching this?
  • October 18, 2011
    somerandomdude
    Needs a page image IMO, but that can come later.
  • October 18, 2011
    wuggles
    I'm going to launch this.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=2qnl3up8izma8he4c1pmoagx