have a certain nodding acquaintance with

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Senior Member
I would be very grateful if you could help me with this sentence.I have some difficulty understanding this sentence (a story from Saki, "The Unbearable Bassingtonby Saki CHAPTER XVI)

Comus sat and watched it all with a sense of growing aching
depression. It was so utterly trivial to his eyes, so devoid of
interest, and yet it was so real, so serious, so implacable in its
continuity. The brain grew tired with the thought of its unceasing
reproduction. It had all gone on, as it was going on now, by the
side of the great rushing swirling river, this tilling and planting
and harvesting, marketing and store-keeping, feast-making and
fetish-worship and love-making, burying and giving in marriage,
child-bearing and child-rearing, all this had been going on, in the
shimmering, blistering heat and the warm nights, while he had been
a youngster at school, dimly recognising Africa as a division of
the earth's surface that it was advisable to have a certain nodding

acquaintance with.

What does underlined part mean?
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