Is the African Continent A Hazard to White Supremacy?
The prospects of development in Africa continue to hit a brick wall even during the 21st century epoch. Spirited efforts by various continents and dominating powers have been put in place to curtail Africa’s evolution t and catch up with the rest of the universe. Colonisation and neo-colonial domination of Africa persistently reign supreme. Unjustified public debts, economic sanctions, extractivism and climate change form the most recent antics that are used to tighten the inferiority complexes on Africans.
During the turn of the millennium, a lot of investment has been put to tarnish the image of Africa as a lost world full of poverty, wars and political squabbles. The divide and rule tactic has not been spared in the crafting of manipulative propaganda about the history of Africa and the Africans. This boils down to Africa’s status as a historical threat to fellow global inhabitants. One might ask why the African continent has historically been viewed as a threat. Here is why;
The origination of humankind
The African continent is scientifically and historically understood to be the place of origins for human kind. The etymology cradle of mankind is often used to reflect Africa as the site that has produced a substantially large number of hominin fossils, some the oldest ever found, dating as far back as 3.5 million years ago. Modern Geologists such as Charles Darwin who wrote on the Evolution of man suggests that earliest human existence can only be traced in Africa. In his several texts, Darwin identifies South Africa, Tanzania and Ethiopia as some of the locations where the first human genus inhabited.
Earliest civilisations such as the technique to make fire and tools are highly attributed to the first humankinds who lived in Africa. Although these theories have been queried on various grounds, writings by ancient philosophers and researchers are in support of this view. Despite questions concerning the reliability of Greek scholars and historians like Scholia and Herodotus, their work highlights a very important narrative that did exist in ancient times.
Whether their words about Africa were true or not, they expose what the common discourse was in ancient times amongst elite, an ancient commentary that influenced later periods. Some of the ancient narrative suggests the belief or at least the consideration that Africans were the earliest people and among the first civilized humans. This presented an obvious threat to other races and continents since Africa being the earliest civilised continent, there existed a real and substantial possibility that it would maintain that grip.
The richest continent in the history of humanity
Africa was and is still considered the wealthiest continent. With vast natural resources, wildlife diversity, rich culture and a very young population, it represents the future of humanity. The wealthy tag that characterises the African continent dates back to the medieval era where rich African rulers like Mansa Musa of the Mali Empire flaunted the African treasure across regions.
The news of Musa's wealth and influence spread beyond Africa after his voyage to Mecca. Mansa Musa’s height of power and influence came at a time when European nations were on their knees owing to civil wars and the pressure for natural resources. Modern estimates of his wealth often range between USD$500 billion to the trillion value, backed up with the gold that was vast in the Mali Empire.
Biblical sources have also served to reflect the vast wealth that Africa is endowed with. The land of Ophir that is described in the book of 1 Kings 10:22. In this ancient wealth land, King Solomon was said to receive a cargo consisting of gold, silver, ivory and sandalwood every three years. It is also regarded as the ancient country that enriched the kingdoms of Hiram, Solomon, and Sheba with gold and ivory thousands of years ago. Archaeologists including Vasco Da Gama’s companion Tomé Lopes reasoned that Ophir would have been the ancient name for Great Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe, the main centre of southern African trade in gold in the Renaissance period.
The deliberate downsizing of Africa on the global map
Western propaganda made use of a number of intellectual moves aimed at instilling a sense of inferiority on the African people. The colonial education system was also moulded in a manner that undermines the beauty of Africa. Through the colonial model of curricula, inferiority complexes were cultivated into young learners such that when they became adults, they placed themselves below other races. This was a deliberate ploy after the realisation that Africa was a threat.
The first milestone in implementing a psychology of oppression in African people can be traced on the geographical map of the globe. The European cartographer Geert de Kremer, better known as Mercator, who created the world map in the 16th century did his projection on globes for sailors. In preparing this map, he is understood to have not placed the outlook of Africa against the rest of the world. The map was for use by European sailors and emphasis had to be placed on those.
However, the downsizing of the African map served to belittle the significance of the African continent and its inhabitants. The manipulation of the size of Africa on the Mercator has deep psychological implications. On international fora, African dignitaries do not have a major say based on territorial representation. Through the Western-biased Mercator map, the political, social and economic threat that Africa had historically was manipulated. Could it be that the What You See Is What You Get mantra worked to the advantage of the West?
Munashe O'brian Gutu
A pan-African son of the soil with a vision to impart and unravel the rich African history. Penning Afro-centric perspectives to de-mystify long-standing propagandist biases. Africa rise!
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