“I read a lot of English books… I did not see myself as an African to begin with. I took sides with the white men against the savages… But a time came when I… realized … I was not on Marlowe’s boat steaming up the Congo in the Heart of Darkness. I was one of those strange beings jumping up and down on the river bank, making horrid faces… That is when I realized stories are not innocent. “ ~ Chinua Achebe
The truth is a large percentage of black Africans still feel this way even in 21st century and if you ask me I’ll tell you that’s why we are backwards.
We know nothing about our history. Forget the wishy-washy ancient African scenes Nollywood depicts in their movies, there’s more to that.
Our civilization runs deeper than “black, mumbling beings with no culture and significant history.” This isn’t an attempt to link up any form of ancestry to the Egyptians, in as much as they were and still Africans, I wouldn’t bottle them up into one race, they are neither white–as American movies depict–nor are they black–as other Africans like to believe.
Back on track, every Nigerian sectors in regards our history have been void of what we are supposed to exhibit. The schools do not even teach us these things. A handful of Africans have been brainwashed into thinking we had no history before Europeans came.
History will tell you that the great Pyramids of Giza were the largest earthworks in ancient Africa, even part of the seven wonders of the old world. But they won’t tell you that the Sungbo’s Eredo earthworks are much larger than the Pyramids of Giza.
Sungbo’s Eredo earthen; a vertical wall that stretches about 100 miles and rises 70 feet in the air was constructed something around the 10th century. A time when the world knew next to nothing about aided construction works. It’s only logical to say in the rain forest of Ijebu Ode, Nigeria where this wall is, there existed a kingdom for perhaps 3 centuries or more. Quite a contradiction that these guys “had no history”.
History books will tell you that the longest wall in the history of man is the Great Wall of China but they won’t tell you that the Wall of Benin were at some point in history “four times longer than the Great Wall of China, and consumed a hundred times more material than the Great Pyramid of Cheops”, according to the new scientist’s Fred Pearce as it is on the Guardian. At a point when Europe knew next to nothing about street lamps, Benin city had street lights. Benin City was one of the best planned cities in the world when the streets of London were brimmed with dirt and human feaces. No, they don’t teach us these things in school, they would rather teach you European and American history. As obscure as these guys made it be, the fact is Africa knew civilization long before Europeans knew where Africa was.
You might never have heard about the great Mali empire or the Ghana empire, because they won’t teach you these things. History will tell you that the Rothschild family are the richest of all time but they won’t tell you the great Emperor of old Mali empire, Mansa Musa still remains the richest of all times with a whooping net worth of $400 billion dollars. Bill Gates would be mopping his floor. This empire had a life span of 400 hundred years, from the 13th century to the 17th. It had the first university in the world with a massive collection of over 700,000 manuscripts, about 25, 000 students from across Africa were studying there as at the 12th century. They won’t tell you these things, they’d rather tell you about Oxford and Harvard.
“History” isn’t all that we know. The British museum is riddled with a handful of artifacts from Nigeria and the whole of black Africa. The things we looked down on today and claim are demon possessed are elements of wonder in another man’s land. Artifacts that were ancestral objects, heirlooms, displaced from their roots because we think these things are of no value, where as, they are objects that could point us to our roots, where we will rediscover ourselves, and quit living in the shadows of degrading stereotypes.
We need a massive mental overhauling. A mind revolution. Something that can spark a significant African renaissance: know your roots, unlearn somethings and learn your history.