Learning the Truth About Our Heritage
In light of the recently celebrated Africa Day this past Monday, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts around the African continent. This is a place that I am truly passionate about and that I love. I recently read an article (100 African Cities Destroyed by Europeans) which discusses the truth about Africa – where it has come from and what it lost along the way. I must say it did make me really angry all over again about the injustice that this beautiful continent has had to face, and the effects that racism and greed has had on the continent and its people.
The article discusses the fact that the history that we are fed regarding Africa is incorrect. This amazing continent that I call home once stood glorious and majestic. There are so many things about our continent and the black man that we do not know. All we are made to believe is that Africa has always been so backward and can never catch up to the Western world. We’ve essentially been taught that Africans were dumb and animalistic in their nature, and needed the help of the West to become a better place and land. The message that is continually drilled into our minds is that the African continent has always been (and will most probably) remain poor, dark and striving. Most African history is depicted as having “savages” for its inhabitants that the West came to teach, groom and better. We are made to believe that the African continent was basically done a favour by the West because its people were clueless.
Now, as you read the above article, which presents factual information, you will come to realize that this was actually not the case. Africa was just as (if not more) civilised and advanced as the West was in the 14th century. In fact, the article reveals that the Westerners came and saw Africa and how organized, wealthy and advanced it was in comparison to their disease-riddled land which was still behind in terms of development. They sought to disrupt the progress of Africa and to take back to their own land what had been discovered in Africa and call it their own. Africans had advanced so much and were wealthy in all aspects of life. For example, did you know that the wealthiest man in human history was Emperor Mansa Musa of Mali? Or that the West came and destroyed about 100 African cities leaving no ruins or mark of the once wealthy state of Africa? Or that there were libraries of knowledge within Africa, and the African people were advanced in their understanding of various subjects such as astronomy, maths, law, medicine and poetry? Or that the West came and killed or enslaved the strongest, smartest Africans leaving behind the weaker, less intelligent ones? Or that the cities of Africa back in the 14th century were well-organized and advanced? The list is endless. Do yourself a favour and go read the article in the link above. It’s long but so worth it. You can also check out the article on Understanding Slavery for more.
In a nutshell, the truth is that Africans are amazingly gifted, powerful and intelligent beings. Something that struck me in the article was the fact that the West managed to conquer African cities because they took advantage of the loving and embracing nature of Africans. The people of Africa believed in peace and love. They took care of the weaker people in their land believing that no-one should be without. Thus, they did not ever find the need to have weapons because they did not anticipate violence in humanity in general. It was the nature of their value system – respect and love for fellow human beings. They had developed the mind-set that people must be all-loving and respectful to others (a mentality I think we as Africans are beginning to lose – look at Xenophobia). This was such a beautiful strength to possess, yet it left us vulnerable and led to our greatest downfall. Our historical buildings and monuments were utterly destroyed so that future African generations would have no recollection of their great past. And the author highlights that this is what has kept Africa back for so long. We have nothing to stand on and to build up from. We have no true understanding of our heritage, our past, and this hinders our progress.
I believe that as Africans it is so important that we look back and learn about where we have come from. It will aid us in avoiding those same mistakes that perpetually leave us in a state of poverty and struggle. We will continue behaving in ways that undermine us and our true value if we do not learn the truth about our heritage. The truth is, my fellow Africans, we are powerful, intelligent, creative, more than capable and innovative! The sooner we learn this, the better and the more empowered we shall become. It is my wish that every African understand this truth. That they realize that God created them with such powerful faculties, gifts and talents to wonderfully impact the world. Not because He has not blessed all other races and nationalities with this same gifting, but to realize that He has put something unique in Africans just as He has in Europeans or Asians etc. The enemy (Satan) and society in general are doing their best to get us to forget this and not believe in our greatness. And as Pastor Myron Edmonds said, “You can tell what the devil is afraid of by what he tries to keep you from doing.” He’s been working overtime for centuries and centuries to keep the African continent in the dark about their true heritage and power!
This is just the tip of the ice berg, but as they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, acknowledging that you are powerless is the beginning of recovery. By acknowledging that we have been missing the mark for so long as Africans (whilst not spending too much time dwelling on the injustices we have endured for centuries), we can begin to re-learn our truth and build up to our former glory and beyond. My dear fellow African, do yourself a favour and invest in yourself and your future, and the future of this world. Learn the truth about your heritage.
Remember that I’m praying for you!