Saturday 24 February 2024


The Zulu Kingdom sometimes referred to as the Zulu Empire or the Kingdom of Zululand, was a monarchy in Southern Africa that extended along the coast of the Indian Ocean from the Tugela River in the south to Pongola River in the North.

The kingdom grew to dominate much of what is today KwaZulu-Natal and Southern Africa. In 1879, the British Empire invaded, beginning the Anglo-Zulu War. After an initial Zulu victory at the Battle of Isandlwana in January, the British Army regrouped and defeated the Zulus in July during the Battle of Ulundi. The area was absorbed into the Colony of Natal and later became part of the Union of South Africa.

Shaka initiated many military, social, cultural and political reforms, forming a well-organized and centralised Zulu state. The most important reforms involved the transformation of the army, through the innovative tactics and weapons, and a showdown with the spiritual leadership.

Another important reform integrated defeated clans into the Zulu, on a basis of full equality, with promotions in the army and civil service becoming a matter of merit rather than due to circumstances of birth. #africa

Ancient Voices, Enduring Histories: Unveiling Africa's Pre-European Contact Historical Records

African history did not begin when Europeans arrived. The evidence from African written sources and other sources provides a rich and extensive record of historical accounts that predate European contact. These sources encompass a wide range of periods, regions, and themes, shedding light on the complexity and diversity of African history.

One significant source of African history is the collection of written sources from ancient Egypt. Egyptian hieroglyphics and inscriptions on monuments and stelae provide valuable insights into the civilization's political, religious, and cultural aspects.

South of Egypt, in Sudan, the Great Triumphal Stela of King Piye recounts the exploits of the Kushite king, demonstrating the existence of powerful additional African kingdoms. The Dream Stela of Kushite King Tanwetamani narrates the restoration of the double kingdom of Kush and Egypt, emphasizing the interconnectedness of African civilizations.

The Nubian kingdoms, such as Kush, Meroe, Makuria, Nobatia and Alodia, left behind a wealth of written sources. Inscriptions, royal letters, land sales documents, and tomb texts provide historical accounts, genealogical information, and insights into religious practices. These sources offer a nuanced understanding of the social and political structures of North Sudanese societies.

Furthermore, accounts by Greek and Roman historians, such as Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, and Strabo, mentioned the Kingdom of Kush and its rulers, indicating the interactions between African kingdoms and the ancient Mediterranean world. These accounts demonstrate that Africa had a long-established presence in the historical narratives of the ancient world.

Africans played a significant role in the birth of the United Israelite states, the division of Israel and later the city-state of Judah. Egypt, mentioned over 700 times in the Bible, had interactions with Israel, Babylon, Assyria, and Persia. African regions and individuals are mentioned over 1,417 times, with Africans like Hagar, Joseph's Egyptian wife, and Moses' Cushite wife playing important roles. Africans were present during the Israelites' stay in Egypt, and African descendants settled in Canaan. African influence continued in the Old and New Testaments, with Africans contributing to the early church and the spread of Christianity, even reaching England through Hadrian the African. The African church also played a vital role in preserving and transmitting the teachings of early Christian fathers.

Coptic manuscripts, written during the medieval period, offer valuable historical accounts of early Christian communities in Egypt. They provide information about the lives of saints, the development of the Coptic Church, and interactions with African society. The Acts of the Martyrs and The Life of Saint Anthony are examples of Coptic manuscripts that contribute to our understanding of religious and social history in ancient Egypt.

The African Church Fathers (Tertullian, Minucius Felix, Cyprian, Lactantius, Optatus of Milevi, Augustine) belonged to the rather short-lived African Church of the first five centuries of Christianity. It was a soil mostly plowed by sufferings from persecutions and fertilized by heresies and threatening schisms.

The early African church had a significant impact on the preservation and transmission of the teachings of the early Christian fathers. They engaged in copying and transcribing manuscripts, translating texts into different languages, and utilizing durable materials like parchment. The African church established monastic libraries and schools, where scholars could study and learn. Bishops played a crucial role in overseeing the proper copying and translation of texts, while disciples passed down teachings through oral tradition. The African church actively participated in councils, produced apologists and commentaries, and involved women in copying and translating texts. Martyrs, letters, confessions, creeds, liturgy, hymns, icons, and the use of libraries and scriptoriums were all part of the African church's efforts to preserve and transmit the teachings of the early Christian fathers, ensuring their dissemination throughout the Christian world.

In East Africa, Aksum (encompassing Yemen, Eritrea and Tigray, Ethiopia), the kingdom of Zagwe, the Solomonic dynasty of Abyssinia, the Kingdom of Warsangali (1218-1886AD), and the kingdom of Mogadishu also left records about their societies.

Arabic chronicles from the medieval period also provide significant insights into African history. Works such as "Tarikh al-Sudan" and "Tarikh al-Maghrib" offer accounts of various African empires, including the Ghana Empire, the Songhai Empire, and the Mali Empire. Various states also kept their written and oral records such as Ghana, Mali, Songhai, and Kano. These chronicles illuminate the political, social, and economic aspects of African civilizations.

European travelers' accounts from explorers and adventurers who journeyed through Africa provide additional perspectives on African history. Figures like David Livingstone, Mary Kingsley, and Mungo Park documented their observations of indigenous cultures, geography, and the impacts of the transatlantic slave trade. These accounts offer valuable firsthand insights into African societies before European colonization.

In conclusion, African history predates European arrival, and a wide array of written sources and accounts from diverse periods and regions provide evidence of this rich history. From ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics to Kushite writings, Aksumite records, Arabic chronicles, Coptic manuscripts, West African records, Swahili manuscripts, and later European travelers' accounts, these sources collectively demonstrate the depth and complexity of African civilizations, dispelling any notion that African history began only with European contact.

Some societies developed writing late, but this happened on all continents. It wasn’t a unique occurrence in Africa.

Friday 23 February 2024

The Yoruba People

The Yorùbá people are a Niger-Congo ethnic group of southwestern and north-central Nigeria, as well as southern and central Benin. Together, these regions are known as Yorubaland. The Yoruba constitute about 44 million people in total. Majority of this population is from Nigeria, where the Yorùbá make up 21% of the country’s population, according to the CIA World Factbook, making them one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. Most Yoruba people speak the Yoruba language, which is tonal, and is the Niger-Congo language with the largest number of native speakers.

The Yorùbá share borders with the very closely related Itsekiri to the south-east in the North West Niger delta, Bariba to the northwest in Benin, the Nupe to the north and the Ebira to the northeast in central Nigeria. To the east are the Edo, Ẹsan and the Afemai groups in mid-western Nigeria. Adjacent to the Ebira and Edo groups are the related Igala people found in the northeast, on the left bank of the Niger River. To the southwest are the Gbe speaking Mahi, Egun, Fon and Ewewho border Yoruba communities in Benin and Togo. To the southeast are Itsekiri who live in the north-west end of the Niger delta. They are ancestrally related to the Yoruba but chose to maintain a distinct cultural identity. Significant Yoruba populations in other West African countries can be found in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The Yoruba diaspora consists of two main groupings; one of them includes relatively recent migrants, the majority of which moved to the United Kingdom and the United States after major economic and political changes in the 1960s to 1980s. The other dates to the Atlantic slave trade and has communities in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Brazil, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago, and other countries.

Thursday 8 February 2024


THERE ARE two kinds of Africans in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The first had been on the Mendel, Bambara, kru etc lands and had never moved. The second were returnees from the trans-atlantic slave trade when slavery was abolished, who were dropped on Freetown, Joseph Cinque was one of them. For example Helene Johnson is among decendants of returnees while George Weah is of the long inhabitants of the land. Among the returnees were the 'mulatos' who were product of Caucasians raping female slaves who were confronted with the words 'nothing is free in Freetown' when they arrived.

Comparing this situation with something similar during Trans-Saharan slave trade; there are two kinds of fulanis among the bororo herdsmen, fula etc. The original Fulani is fula from Guinea who spread out into west Africa. There is another group of Fulanis who were the product of Arabs raping African female slaves they captured during slave quest in East African and jihads in West Africa. These ones grew to become stateless with no identity and just got mixed up with the fula through Islamic scholars of the region. They were dropped in on them and they learnt the fula cultures and language.

The male slaves of the Arabs were castrated, that's why there is no black neighborhoods in Arabian cities, because they didn't procreate. The Arabs female slaves of African decent had children from being sex slaves to their captors. These ones' decendants were dropped in on the fula people. Others ended up with the Bedouins.

They were rich when they arrived northern Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Niger etc, no historian knew how. Their secretive way of life made it difficult till date. The indigenous population taxed them heavily until they turned the tables around and made the indigenous people like hausas and wadaoobe etc, their slaves. Today they had gotten mixed up with these group in languages and Islamic cultures, so much so that it's hard to differentiate them from the indigenous people. The only thing that stand them out is that they are always the elite of all the places they dominate through Islam. Even those among beggars end up as leaders of the beggars.

These ones had a different Agenda on West Africa... and it had never been of good cheers as long as history can provide. The other group of the fula people had no understanding of what the agenda is... They only see it as Islamic expansionism.

Source :the origin of Fulanis of West Africa. #africa

Hausa Cultural Festivals; A Nexus To Symbol of Unity And Social Awareness

Hausa Nigeria, Hausa people represent a huge ethnic African group (over 54 million people) located in the Northern part of Nigeria and some other countries nearby. Like many other local tribes, these people also like to celebrate holidays and organize Hausa festivals. This is an interesting society with its unique traditions, beliefs and cultural symbols. Advertisements by Festivals in Hausaland about Hausa festivals in Nigeria are often exclusive to locals only and amazing to observe by foreign visitors and tourists. We would like to mention the names of Hausa festivals, describe their types and most interesting features that make this group stand out in Nigeria and Western Africa. Hausa Cultural Festivals Hausa-speakers from Kebbi state participate in the cultural festival called Argungu Fishing Festival. It is a tradition since 1934.  At first, this festival wasn’t celebrated regularly. It used to be irregular gatherings of fishermen. However, today it is a big event, and it truly attracts tourists and Nigerians from different corners of the country and world. Another interesting cultural festival celebrated in Hausaland is called Kallon Kuwa Festival. It is an annual event for many local villages and towns. People enjoy this cultural holiday because it symbolizes the ending of the cropping season and gives them hope that ‘Kaka’ will arrive (this is a symbol of wealth for different spheres of life, from social to economical). Farmers love Kallon Kuwa festival because it means the time has come to rest and enjoy music and various entertaining activities. People enjoy some traditional sports such as dumb (this is how boxing is called in Hausa land) and koko (the local name for wrestling). They also sing and dance everywhere across their territories. Hausa Music Festival Music is a big part of Hausa people’s life. Little Hausa kids start to learn dancing and playing musical instruments when they are young. The main topics of Hausa songs are praise of local historical people, historical events and prominent figures in Hausaland. Hausa group plays folk music on a Goge or Goje (one-string fiddle), algaita (huge flute) and kakaki (trumpet). These musical instruments are used in the music festival of dances that include drummers, dancers and performers who do magic tricks in public. Drummers use special instruments. Dancers also wear leather and accessories. Such groups go from town to town to make the friendship between Hausa people stronger. READ ALSO: Hausa culture and traditions in Nigeria: top facts to know Islam: Names of Hausa Festivals Most members of Hausa group are Muslims. They celebrate two major religious festivals called Eid Al Kabir and Eid Al Fitri as well as Durbar festival that is the culmination of the main two Muslim celebrations. Both festivals are also Nigerian public holiday dates, so the whole country (citizens who adhere to Islam) follows similar traditions for festival celebrations.) Eid Al Fitri symbolizes the ending of Ramadan. It lasts for 3 days, from morning to night. Hausa people like many other Muslim Nigerians help poor people through charity events and have family reunion celebrations. Durbar festivals are celebrated in Hausaland (Kano, Zaria, Katsina etc.) at Ramadan’s end. This event is a popular attraction for citizens and foreigners who visit Nigeria. The festival starts with prayers. Then you can enjoy the parade of the Emir. This is incredible celebration with horsemen, music, traditional clothes and amazing mood. These are the main and most interesting Hausa festivals in Nigeria. You can become a part of celebration and observe the group’s traditions when you visit the Northern part of Nigeria.

Sunday 4 February 2024


In the 1970s and 80s, Fidel Castro sent 350,000 Cuban soldiers, civilians and doctors to support the African liberation struggle, especially in Angola 🇦🇴 , Namibia, Mozambique 🇲🇿 , Guinea Bissau , Cape Verde 🇨🇻 , and Sao Tome and Principal 🇸🇹 . The Cuban effort eventually hastened the demise of apartheid in South Africa.  More than 3,000  Cubans died fighting for Africa.

After the Cuban and their Angolan, Namibian and ANC allies decisively defeated the then feared South African defence forces in Angola, it brought independence not only to Angola and Namibia, but also accelerated the death of apartheid itself in South Africa. 

About 600 Cuban soldiers, including 70 doctors, went to Guinea Bissau to help the African guerrillas for 10 years before “independence” from the Portuguese came in 1974. Cuba fought in Ethiopia on the side of Colonel Mengistu Haile Miriam’s troops in the Ogaden campaign in 1978 against an invasion by Somalia. In 1965, Cuba sent the legendary Che Guevara and fighters to Kibamba, near Fizi, in DRCongo’s province of South Kivu, to help the supporters of Patrice Lumumba.

Then came Mozambique and Angola where the biggest Cuban action in Africa was staged against apartheid South African troops backed by America and its Western allies. Castro takes up the story in his memoirs:  “ While Cuba was in Angola, and Angola was being invaded by South Africa, the USA made arrangements to transfer to South Africa–racist, fascist South Africa–several atomic bombs, similar to those it exploded in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”


Ibn Battuta, The Great Explorer

Ibn Battuta (1304 – 1369), was a Maghrebi traveller, explorer and scholar. Over a period of thirty years from 1325 to 1354, he visited most of North Africa, the Middle East, East Africa, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, China, the Iberian Peninsula, and West Africa.

Ibn Battuta was born in Morocco  and set out on his travels at the age of 21 from his home town on a hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca. He was eager to learn more about far-away lands and craved adventure. No one knew he would not return to Morocco again for almost three decades.

However, unlike many pilgrims , Ibn Battuta's thirst for adventure and knowledge led him to continue traveling far beyond the holy city for nearly three decades.

During his explorations, Ibn Battuta took on various roles and responsibilities, such as a judge (qadi), diplomat, and advisor, which allowed him to gain insights into the societies and cultures he encountered.

His adventurous spirit and curiosity for exploring new lands and cultures earned him the title of one of the greatest travelers of all time.

His account in the book  "Rihla" which means "The Journey" is the only source for Ibn Battuta's adventures.

He travelled more than any other explorer in pre-modern history, totalling around 73,000 mi, surpassing Zheng He with about  31,000 mi and Marco Polo with 15,000 mi. Ibn Battuta's travels covered a far wider geographical area than those of Marco Polo and Christopher Columbus. Unlike Marco Polo, who mainly focused on trade and commerce, and Christopher Columbus, who had a more colonial agenda, Ibn Battuta's travels were driven by a genuine curiosity and interest in exploring new lands and cultures.

Ibn Battuta's accounts of his travels have been highly influential in shaping our understanding of the medieval world and continue to be studied by historians and scholars today.

Source: -The Travels of Ibn Battuta, AD 1325–1354,H.A.R. GIBB AnD C.F. BECkInGHAm.


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