Among all other continents Africa has the most superficial history dating back two or three hundred years back at best and which was recorded by the foreigners who had come as colonial masters in search for raw materials for their burgeoning industries back at home in Europe. I have never even for a second blamed the colonialists for their imperialistic actions because at least they brought civilization in the so-called Dark Continent. Furthermore, were it the Africans who reigned over the whole of Europe and the Whites inhabiting Africa with the backwardness of the time, I am cock-sure that exactly the same would happen with the Africans (Europeans) – they would colonize Africa (the whites) in the exact same fashion or even worse.
While the history of other continents numbers tens of thousands, this owes much to the skill of reading and writing which was the main deficiency with the Ancient African. But I can attribute this more to complacency than lack of opportunity. Picture this: the African climate is usually relatively favorable throughout the year while the climate in other places like Europe fluctuates mercilessly with the downsides of it being the extremely snowy weather which scares the hell out of me. Probably this motivated the European and the other races in other continents to seek other ways and inventions in order to have a more quality life.
The other factor is government. It is not until the colonialists arrived that we the Africans realized the need to have civilized forms of government that would necessitate peaceful coexistence and growth in wealth as a result of increased trade practice both internally and universally.
Barbarous forms of worship are perhaps the major cause of backwardness among all races that lagged behind at any given point in time in the history of mankind. Religion makes people comfortable with the preexisting circumstances and the status quo. For instance for Europe to begin to develop hastily after the medieval period the monarchies that ruled the masses by the religious iron fist had to be weakened first to set in a democratic system of government. The ancient African was notoriously superstitious (and still is, at least to some extent) and this made borrowing new ways of life from other races a taboo sometimes punishable by death.
Having been born and raised in this beautiful continent, I have interacted on deep levels with people of varying perspectives and I have witnessed the degree to which the environment of a people can evolve while the people in it only change in a slight manner as opposed to an overhaul of change and transformation. But by good luck the millennial generation is now here to stay and the face of the Earth will never be the same again.
I have a strong distaste for African politics. I have seen many leaders in my country come and go, enriching themselves to the brim while they leave the citizenry more impoverished than ever before. For some of us, the politics have offered little attraction or hope for a real change and development; because we view the social system with the eyes of youth, seeing the cruelties and absurdities of the governments, and judging them not as older men, by comparison with the worse cruelties and greater absurdities of earlier days, but by the standard of common fairness and common sense, as set out in the lessons we have learnt in schools, universities et al.
It is not easy to fathom how wide is the intellectual gulf which separates the young generation of today and our forefathers. Our forefathers, who never had the opportunity to read great books and works by men and women of substance, lived in an intellectual world which bears no relation to our own; and cut adrift as we are from the intellectual moorings of youth, recognizing as we do, that earlier African generations are useless as guides in religion, in science and in philosophy.
Some clever youths feel instinctively that we cannot accept much from those who still believe that the early chapters of Genesis accurately describe the origin of the universe.
By Philip Kamau