Sunday 30 June 2024

African culture played a significant role in ancient Greek history

📌 Influence of Ancient Egypt: The ancient Greeks had contact with Ancient Egypt, which had a diverse population that included individuals of African descent.

This interaction influenced various aspects of Greek culture, such as architecture, art, and even religious practices.

📌 African Figures in Greek Mythology: Greek mythology showcases the presence of African figures. For example, Memnon, a hero and king from Ethiopia (present-day Sudan), was known for his bravery in the Trojan War.

His story highlights the recognition of African individuals in Greek mythology.

📌 African Athletes in the Olympics: The ancient Olympic Games held in Greece featured athletes from various regions, including North Africa.

These athletes, known as "Ethiopians" by the Greeks, were admired for their athletic prowess and often achieved great success in events such as running and wrestling.

📌 African Communities in Ancient Greece: Ancient Greek city-states were diverse, and there were African communities within them.

These communities contributed to the cultural fabric of Greece, participating in trade, art, and other aspects of society.

📌 African Philosophers and Scholars: Ancient Greece was a hub of intellectual activity, and there were African philosophers and scholars who made significant contributions.

One notable example is Aesop, a storyteller and philosopher believed to be of African descent, known for his fables that taught valuable moral lessons.

📌 Artistic Representations: Ancient Greek art depicted individuals of various ethnicities, including African individuals. 

African figures were portrayed in sculptures, pottery, and other forms of art, highlighting their presence and influence in Greek society.

📌 Cultural Exchange and Migration: The ancient world witnessed migration and cultural exchange, allowing for the blending of different cultures.

This exchange likely contributed to the presence and influence of African culture in ancient Greek society.

It's important to note that the understanding of African culture in ancient Greece is still evolving, and scholars continue to explore and uncover new insights.

By examining these historical connections, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the diversity and richness of ancient Greek civilization.

Saturday 29 June 2024

Reconstruction of Roman Julia Tertia, by Reading University, United Kingdom

The year was 1901, and deep in the heart of York, a team of archaeologists unearthed a grave that would challenge everything we thought we knew about Roman Britain. As the dirt and stones were carefully brushed away, the outline of a skeleton emerged, delicate yet telling. This was no ordinary burial; this was the final resting place of Julia Tertia, later known as the Ivory Bangle Lady.

But who was Julia Tertia, and what secrets did her grave hold?

The Unveiling of Julia Tertia:

The discovery of Julia's grave was nothing short of a revelation. She was buried with an array of grave goods so lavish that they immediately spoke of high status and wealth. Among these items were exquisite ivory bangles, a luxurious glass jug, and a finely crafted mirror. Each item whispered tales of a life lived in opulence, but it was the ivory bangles that stood out the most. Ivory, a precious material sourced from the tusks of elephants, hinted at connections far beyond the borders of Roman Britain.

The Mystery of the Ivory Bangles:

As the archaeologists examined the ivory bangles, they were struck by their craftsmanship. Ivory from North Africa, fashioned by skilled artisans in Italy, had made its way to Britain. What did this mean for Julia? Was she a trader, a noblewoman, or perhaps someone even more influential? The answers seemed to lie in the items she chose to be buried with, suggesting a life intertwined with luxury and status.

A Story Written in Bones:

But the grave goods were only part of Julia's story. Her skeleton held secrets of its own. Through careful analysis, scientists determined that Julia was young and healthy at the time of her death. Yet, it was the bones of her skull that revealed a surprising detail: one of Julia's parents was likely from North Africa. This revelation shattered the common perception that African Romans in Britain were predominantly slaves. Here was Julia Tertia, a woman of high status, with roots reaching back to the African continent.

The Secrets in Her Teeth:

Teeth can tell tales of childhood, and Julia's teeth were no exception. Chemical analysis showed that the elements embedded in her teeth from food and water indicated she had not spent her childhood in North Africa. Instead, she might have grown up in the warmer southern parts of Britain. This suggested a life of movement, perhaps reflecting the migrations and diverse nature of the Roman Empire itself.

A Life in Roman Britain:

So, what was life like for Julia Tertia in Roman Britain? The opulence of her grave goods suggested a life of significant wealth and social standing. The jet bracelet, sourced from Whitby, and the glass items, likely made locally, spoke of a connection to both local and distant trade networks. The bone plaque with its Christian inscription, “Hail Sister, may you live in God,” hinted at personal beliefs that were just as complex and varied as the empire she lived in. Julia was more than a symbol of wealth; she was a bridge between cultures, a testament to the cosmopolitan nature of Roman Britain.

A New Understanding:

Julia Tertia’s grave forces us to reconsider our understanding of Roman Britain. Her North African heritage and high status challenge the simplistic narrative of Roman Britain being a remote outpost populated by soldiers and local Britons. Instead, it was a melting pot, a place where people from across the empire could settle, thrive, and leave behind legacies that would echo through the ages.

The Ivory Bangle Lady Lives On:

As students of history and archaeology, we are left to ponder the life of Julia Tertia. Each grave good, each analysis of her skeleton, reveals another layer of her story, drawing us deeper into the world of Roman Britain. Julia Tertia, the Ivory Bangle Lady, was not just a resident of ancient York; she was a symbol of the diverse and interconnected world of the Roman Empire. Through her, we glimpse a society rich in cultural exchange and human stories that defy simple categorization.

As the lesson draws to a close, one thing becomes clear: Julia Tertia’s story is not just about the past. It's about understanding the complexities and the humanity of those who came before us, reminding us that history is a tapestry woven from countless lives, each thread as vital as the last. And so, Julia Tertia, in her silent, skeletal way, continues to speak, teaching us about the world she lived in and the enduring connections that bind us all.

Source: Reading University Research Findings

Friday 28 June 2024

JERRY JOHN RAWLINGS

Jerry John Rawlings was a charismatic and fearless leader, known for his unwavering commitment to justice. When he first took power in 1979, he was determined to root out corruption. His early years were marked by bold actions, including the execution of several high-ranking corrupt leaders such as Generals Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, Fred Akuffo, and Akwasi Afrifa. This decisive move sent a powerful message across Ghana.

By the late 1980s, Rawlings began steering Ghana towards democracy. He initiated vital economic reforms that stabilized the Ghanaian economy. In 1992, he introduced a new constitution and won the presidential elections, transforming from a military ruler to a democratically elected president.

Rawlings' legacy is powerful. He brought stability, championed anti-corruption, and laid the groundwork for modern democratic governance in Ghana.

FACT: IS FELA THE REAL FATHER OF BURNA BOY?

I am pretty sure everyone is agitated to confirm their suspicion of the legendary Afrobeat King Fela Anikulapo Kuti as being the father of fast growing Afro pop icon Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu aka Burna Boy.

Who is Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu "burna Boy's" father?

The truth is Fela was indeed Burna boy's father, from a musical orientation, but not his biological father. Damini was born into a bombastic music loving home. His father Samuel Ogulu was a Jazz lover and an occasional singer too (aside managing a welding company). His mother Bose Ogulu (née Idonije) was once a dancer for Fela and the daughter of a famous icon of Nigerian journalism Benson Idonije.

Burna boy's grandfather was a broadcaster and music critic known for being the first band manager of Fela Kuti. Little wonder his daughter Bose Ogulu became a Kalakuta dancer and radio translator. He (Burna's grandfather) is regarded as one of Nigeria's most revered music critics, and was part of the pioneering group of broadcasters who started Radio Nigeria 2 (now Metro FM) in 1977.

In 2012, the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism awarded Benson Idonije the Life Time Award for Journalism Excellence.

On June 19 2016, media experts, business personalities and friends gathered to honour singer Burna Boy’s grandfather Benson Idonije – who was Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s first manager – as he turned 80. A clip of the event where Pa Idonije was seen praying for Burna immediately went viral and caused social media users to wrongfully state that "parents and grandparents are willing to pray for any successful child regardless of what they do for a living."

To better understand the importance of Damini's grandfather, his 80th birthday celebration was a week-long event featuring paper presentations and musical performances organized by the Committee of Relevant Arts and Culture Advocates Caucus in several parts of Lagos including the Ojo campus of the Lagos State University, Freedom Park, Broad Street and the MUSON Centre.

Benson Idonije has also published books.

Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu (Burna Boy) is the only son and second child of Samuel and Bose Ogulu. And also the grandson of legendary journalist and Fela Band manager Benson Idonije. It is no surprise that Pa Idonije is also Burna boy's music director.

The question is, "why is Burna Boy's biological father (Samuel Ogulu) not being celebrated like his mother. Why is the boy silent about him despite him being alive"?

Why was Burna Boy given a Yoruba name (Ebunoluwa) even though his supposed father is from Rivers State?

Is Fela the real father of Burna Boy?

HISTORY LESSON

"A stone inscription found in Cumbria shows that in the 3rd century AD a legion of Roman soldiers from North Africa were stationed in Britain.

"The ‘Aurelian Moors’ were named after Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD). The word ‘Moors’ tells us that they were from ‘Mauretania’ – present day Morocco and Algeria.

"They were stationed along Hadrian’s Wall, probably between AD 253 and 258. Based at the fortress of Aballava, they defended the Roman Empire’s northern border.

"The ‘Aurelian Moors’ are the first recorded African community living in Britain. It is likely that they settled and had families in Britain.

"A stone bearing the name of the ‘Aurelian Moors’ was found in 1934. How might this discovery have changed people’s ideas about Roman Britain?"

https://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/families/black-londoners-through-time/african-romans#:~:text=Based%20at%20the%20fortress%20of,Moors'%20was%20found%20in%201934.

Drafted by Mariama Myers

Thursday 27 June 2024

FANTE WARRIOR SHRINE

This is a section of a Posuban (Fante Warrior Shrine) and there's a figurine of a mermaid as part of the elements making up this structure.

Asafo Flags was asking if this was just mythology or folklore and if anyone had actually seen this with their own eyes before.

Well, for most cases, what is seen is what is spoken or written about. If you talk to some of our fishermen, you would realize that the sea is a scary place especially at night. I think what they see the most is what we call mermaids and known as Maame Water in Fante.

Mame Wata as other West Africans like to call it comes from Maame (Fante/Akan word for a female) and Water (signifying their domain or residence). This mythical creature and its tales spread across West Africa and other coastal polities adopted this name. In other cultures outside Africa, mermaid figures are not absent and that leaves us to think that these creatures are really in existence.

God bless our brave and fearless fisherman!!!🔥🙏🏾

AFRICAN SPIRITUAL CLEANSING

Our ancestors had a profound way of dealing with P.T.S.D. It was believed that after a war when a man had returned from war, before he could be accepted back into society. He had to live with a shaman for 3 months to do some spiritual cleansing.

It was said that after war, the human spirit was off balance and required to undergo some ritual in order to restore it back in harmony with nature and the community. A horn was used to draw out stagnant and dsyfunctional blood to the surface.

This is one of the ritual that was performed on the worriors to cleanse them of any mental illness and trauma that they might experience later on in life after the war.

This process was carried out by Africans long ago before it was allegedly deemed a Chinese invention. It was called "African suction cup," by the colonizers. This is one of the many practices that have been lost due to African s.lavery and colonization.

#Africa

The Origins of T1a Y-DNA male ancestors

T1a (T-M70) is a subclade of haplogroup T (M184), a Y-chromosome haplogroup that traces paternal lineage. The history and distribution of T1a provide insights into human migrations and interactions over millennia. Here is an overview of its history:

Origins:

- Ancient Origins: Haplogroup T is believed to have originated around 40,000 to 50,000 years ago, likely in Northeast Africa or the Middle East. The T1a subclade (T-M70) is estimated to have emerged around 15,000 to 20,000 years ago.

- Initial Spread: Early carriers of T1a likely moved out of the Middle East into various regions, including North Africa, Europe, and South Asia.

Historical Distribution:

- Middle East and North Africa: T1a is found at moderate frequencies in the Middle East and North Africa. It is particularly prevalent among populations in the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, and parts of the Levant.

- Europe: The presence of T1a in Europe is more scattered. It appears in low frequencies but can be found among certain Mediterranean populations, such as those in Italy and Greece. Its distribution in Europe suggests movements during prehistoric times, possibly related to the spread of agriculture or other migratory events.

- South Asia: T1a is also present in low to moderate frequencies in parts of South Asia, indicating ancient migrations from the Middle East into the Indian subcontinent.

Notable Findings:

- Ancient DNA: Ancient DNA studies have identified T1a in remains from various archaeological sites, providing evidence of its historical presence in different regions. For instance, T1a has been found in Neolithic and Bronze Age sites, highlighting its role in early human migrations.

- Historical Populations: The haplogroup has been identified in several historical populations, including ancient Egyptians and populations from the Arabian Peninsula, illustrating its widespread distribution and historical significance.

Modern Distribution:

- Current Populations: Today, T1a is relatively rare but can be found in diverse populations around the world. It is most commonly observed in the Middle East, North Africa, and certain parts of Europe and South Asia.

Genetic Studies:

- Research: Genetic studies involving T1a often focus on tracing human migration patterns and understanding the genetic diversity within populations. The haplogroup’s distribution provides clues about ancient trade routes, cultural exchanges, and demographic shifts.

In summary, the history of T1a Y-DNA is marked by its ancient origins in the Middle East or Northeast Africa and its subsequent spread to various regions through prehistoric and historical migrations. Its presence in modern populations, although relatively rare, offers valuable insights into human history and the complex web of migrations that have shaped our genetic landscape.

HISTORY LESSON

They won’t teach you in school that in Ethiopia 1896 🇪🇹, the Ethiopians trained Lions to capture the soldiers of the enemy and fought side by side with Cheetahs, bees, and lions.

Ethiopian soldiers with their fighting lions. The Ethiopians went to war with dangerous a.nimals and insects such as bees, wasps, lions, or cheetahs trained to capture the soldiers of the enemy camp, which enabled them to win all the wars of colonization against them and  to be the only country in the world to have never been colonized. At the battle of Adwa Ethiopian warriors skilled in sword fighting called Shotel destroyed the invading Italian soldiers in hand to hand combat.

The Battle of Adwa was the climactic battle of the First Italo-Ethiopian War. The Ethiopian forces defeated the Italian invading force on Sunday 1 March 1896, near the town of Adwa. The decisive victory thwarted the campaign of the Kingdom of Italy to expand its colonial empire in the Horn of Africa.

The Ethiopians surrounded the Italians for two weeks and, upon Empress Tayitu's advice, cut off the fort's water supply. The Italian commander agreed to surrender if they would be allowed to leave with their firearms. Menelik agreed that they could leave the garrison unharmed. 

#Africa

Wednesday 26 June 2024

THE WITCHES AND WIZARDS IN CONGO

In 17th January 2022, The witches and wizards in Congo took their fellow country men & women by surprise after they organized a grand durbar to display their magical powers in front of the entire citizens.

Before the D-Day, the great people of Congo thought the witches and wizards were lying about the occasion because of the stigma attached to the possessing of demonic powers.

But these sorceresses and enchanters proved them wrong as they proudly showed up at the premises of the event dressed in red & yellow apparels to treat the people around with electrifying performances.

One can clearly see the witches and wizards happily flying in some of the pictures which has landed online from the event.

Social media users reacted differently to this news, whiles some applauded them for their braveness, others  bashing them to use their super natural powers for good purposes rather than always causing pain, misery and havoc.

Source: cbgist

KIMPA VITA

Over 314 years ago, [7/2/1706], Kimpa Vita was burned alive by Catholic missionaries. 

Kimpa Vita was killed for preaching the return to roots, African/Kongo traditions, the return to Mbanza-Kongo land of her ancestors that was abandoned after the death of the sovereign Vita-A-Nkanga in the famous Battle of Mbwila (Ambuila - 1665).  Kimpa Vita was killed because she advised the Kongo people to abandon foreign beliefs (Catholicism), and for conducting a spiritual struggle against the Portuguese.

She was baptized with the name of Ana Beatriz when she was a child.  But when he started her fight, she rejected the baptism name and adopted the name, "Kimpa Vita or Kimpa Kya Nvita" which means " NEW WAY TO MAKE WAR". A war that she considered spiritual.

Kimpa Vita was burned alive with her son on her back by Catholic missionaries.

#Africa #Congo

A FLASH BLACK MOMENT IN HISTORY

In 1963, the photographer Richard Avedon took a picture of a man named William Casby.

William Casby, born in 1857, was 106 years old at the time.

In his hands, he was holding his great, great, granddaughter, Cherri Stamps McCray.

The image is amazing because the elderly gentleman holding his descendant so tenderly, was born into slavery more than a century prior.

Casby would eventually live until 1970, dying at the age of 113.

His great and great grandchildren are alive today, and many of them remember him.

It puts into perspective just how relatively recent slavery existed. Because as far away and distant as it may feel now. Even in modern-day America, there are people who have active memories of talking to former slaves. #Blackhistory

Tuesday 25 June 2024

THE EXTINCT ABORIGINES OF EAST AFRICA -1000 BC -1 AD

The original inhabitants of the Kenyan capital Nairobi and central Highlands were the Athi, Gumba and Yaaku people who are largely now extinct (see photo).

This was due to the Aborigines intermarriage, assimilation and absorption with the immigrant Bantu from West Africa and the Maasai from Sudan (1000 BC-1AD).

In turn, the Bantu-present day Kĩkũyũ, Embu and Meru people-and Maasai were violently displaced by British colonialists in 1902, as the Europeans preferred the cool climate of the region for settlement.

INFORMATION / REALITY FACT

India Has Much To Teach Nigeria and Africa About Self Confidence 

My greatest education is not my British education. Rather, it is travel. One country that blew my mind is India. Few countries have as much self confidence as India has. In India, they painstakingly renamed all their towns and cities from the names the British gave them. Bombay was restored to Mumbai, Calcutta reverted to Kolkata, Bangalore changed to Bengaluru, and so on. And you do not see brides getting married in white dresses. Indian brides generally marry in red. Red is their traditional marital colour.

And the only books that they translated into Hindi were science books. Only 2% of their population is Christian. They retained their ancient religion, Hinduism. Today, they are more prosperous than the tithe payers of Africa and their Daddy GOs.

Another culture shock you get from India is that you can spend a week there and not find anyone named John, Michael, James, George, or even sillier names, like Cletus, Remigius, Urbanus, or any other -us ending name.

If it is not Deepak, it will be Rahul, Tribhuvan, Sanjay, Pradeep or Rajiv. If you cannot pronounce their names, that is your headache!

And we can learn from that in Nigeria. Port Harcourt was named after a sexually deviant British Lord. Let's restore it to its precolonial name. Escravos in Delta State means an enslaved person in Portuguese, partly because of what my ancestors did to some ethnicities. How can we call ourselves enslaved people? Forcados in Delta means forced labourer in Portuguese. Lagos means lagoon in Portuguese. Why do we not revert to Eko? Even the name Cameroon means shrimp in Portuguese because the Portuguese found much shrimp there. How can your country be called shrimp?

Then, we must begin to localise science. Let us normalise translating science books into our local languages. Insult me, but I believe it is more important than translating the Bible into Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Ijaw and many other languages. Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who first translated the Bible into Yoruba and helped translate it into Igbo, was still rejected by the bishops of the Church of England even after his elevation to the bishopric.

How much has changed since then? Have they given you a Black Pope or Archbishop of Canterbury?

Even the Church of England was founded in 1534 because the British people did not want to be dictated to by the Catholic Church and its Pope, partly because they refused to elect an English Pope after the first and only one, Adrian IV, was appointed in 1154, and Henry VIII felt they were biased against him and his choice of wives.

Fact-check me: Catholicism was illegal in England for almost three hundred years, and Catholics could not legally hold, buy or inherit property, or be appointed as judges, squires, mayors, join the military or be elected into public office.

And why must we marry in white dresses, black suits, and ties under our humid tropical heat? What is wrong with our native wear, which suits our weather better? In India, their land was colonised, but their minds were mobilised and liberated. But here in Africa, it seems both our minds and lands were colonised. We have to recolonise both.

But it is not all hunky-dory in India. They have two major institutional and cultural problems that we do not have in Nigeria. A caste system that is almost impossible to break out from, and some of the most uneven distribution of wealth on Earth. India is now a wealthy country. But except you are a light-skinned, high-caste Hindu, it is very difficult for you to have upward social, economic, and very definitely political mobility.

Reno Omokri

DUTTY BOUKMAN

Dutty Boukman (Also known as "Boukman Dutty") (died 7 November 1791) was an early leader of the Haitian Revolution. Born in Senegambia (present-day Senegal and Gambia), he was captured, enslaved and transported to Jamaica. He eventually ended up in Haiti, where he became a leader of the Maroons and a vodou hougan (priest).

According to some contemporary accounts, Boukman, alongside Cécile Fatiman, a Vodou mambo, presided over the religious ceremony at Bois Caïman, in August 1791, that served as the catalyst to the 1791 slave revolt which is usually considered the beginning of the Haitian Revolution.

Boukman was a key leader of the slave revolt in the Le Cap‑Français region in the north of the colony. He was killed by the French planters and colonial troops on 7 November 1791, just a few months after the beginning of the uprising. The French then publicly displayed Boukman's head in an attempt to dispel the aura of invincibility that Boukman had cultivated. The fact that  authorities had to do this illustrates the impact Boukman made on the views of Haitian people during this revolution.

THE UNTOLD HISTORY OF HAUSA LAND

The exact origins of how the Hausa cities are started are not known, but theories include a migration of peoples from the southern Sahara who, abandoning their own lands following the increased desiccation of that area, established new settlements in what would become known as Hausaland. An alternative theory suggests that the Hausa people originally lived on the western shore of Lake Chad and when the lake shrank (as a consequence of the same climatic changes that affected the Sahara) they occupied this new and fertile land and then eventually spread to the immediate north and west. There is  archaeological evidence to support  these two theories as there's a canoe found in Dufana town in Yobe which was believed to be the canoe used by Hausa people to arrive lake Chad 8000 years back. But there is a third hypothesis, which argue with the above two this theory said that the Hausa had not migrated from anywhere but were indigenous to the region. Support for this theory lied to the fact that there is no tradition of migration in Hausa oral history instead many people migrated from Hausa land to other parts of Africa including the Ancient Egyptians they originated from Hausa land there's many evidence gathered by some Nigerien Egyptologist who found many evidence from the Egyptians museum that proves the relationship between Hausa and Ancient Egyptians.

IN MEDIEVAL TIMES:

The early history of Hausa land dated back to many centuries as they're parts of the descendants of NOK culture. Hausa KINGDOMS was all started from The Ancient city of Daura where the females rulers rules from 7th century to 9th century as kufuru became the first Kabara or magajiya of Daura after the death of her father Abiddar as she's the only heir of his House she was crowned the first Queen of Daura.

Kabara and or Magajiya is the title used by the matriarchal monarchs that ruled the Hausa people in medieval times.The Kano Chronicle gives the following list of matriarchal monarchs that was said to have culminated and ended with the rule of Daurama II, the last Kabara of Daura. The matriarchal monarch system show that Hausa people civilization is one of the greatest in the world and women has a great value and position in Hausa traditions.

List of Kabaras or Magajiya (Queen):

(1). Kufuru (also known as Kufano) (c. 700)

(2). Ginu (also known as Gufano)

(3). Yakumo (also known as Yakwano)

(4). Yakunya (also known as Yakaniya)

(5). Wanzamu (also known as Waizam)

(6). Yanbamu

(7). Gizir-gizir (also known as Gizirgirit or Gadar Gadar)

(8). Inna-Gari (also known as Anagiri)

(9). Daurama I(also known as Daura)

(10). Ga-Wata (also known as Gamata)

(11). Shata

(12). Fatatuma (also known as Batatume)

(13). Sai-Da-Mata (also known as Sandamata)

(14). Ja-Mata

(14). Ha-Mata

(15). Zama

(16). Sha-Wata 

(17). Daurama II(c 9th) The last Kabara of Daura.

(18). Daurama c. 9th century) was a ruler of the Hausa people who, as the Last Kabara of Daura, presided over the upheaval that saw a transference of power from the matriarchal royal system of the Hausa people. Oral traditions remember her as the founding "queen grandmother" of the Hausa empire started in the area we know today as the monarchies of northern Niger and Nigeria.

Unlike many medieval and early modern era kingdoms in Africa and elsewhere, the Hausa Kingdoms existed not as a centralized empire, but as a loose confederation of city-states. Although often working together, they also competed with one another through trade. This vibrant trade helped them remain independent of the other large empires nearby for a thousand years before finally being conquered.

Gold and steel Mining:

Hausa people are specialist in Gold mining and it works that they can mine anything from ground and make it something useful.

Hausa Kingdoms' Location:

The Hausa Kingdoms' location was in the Sahel region of northern Africa. The Hausa Kingdoms, sometimes simply called the "Hausa Kingdom" or "Hausaland," were located between the Niger River and Lake Chad, in present day northern Nigeria and Niger. They were made up of 7 principal city-states.

CLIMATE:

The Sahel is the region that runs across north-central Africa where the geography, climate, and ecosystem transitions from the harsh Sahara Desert to the savanna. It has a semi-arid climate, and during the Hausa Kingdoms' time period was fertile land for agriculture.

The Hausa States were located at an important crossroads for trade between several other kingdoms and empires. To the west were the gold mines of the Kingdom of Ghana and later the great Mali Empire and Songhay Kingdom. This location allowed the Hausa Kingdoms to become an important nexus between the trade that flowed between West Africa north and east to Egypt and the Middle East or across the Sahara to North Africa.

FUN FACTS ABOUT HAUSA LAND:

Despite their location close to other great empires, the Hausa Kingdoms were not conquered by any of them. They also never consolidated under one leader or state, although each Hausa Kingdom did try to conquer the others at various warring attempts.

Regardless of the Hausa Kingdoms' exact origin, it's clear that by the 11th Century, the 7 Hausa Kingdoms had emerged as important trade centers.

The 7 Cities of the Hausa Kingdoms and What They Specialized In

(1). Daura kingdom Trade with the sub-Saharan caravans

(2). Biram kingdom Soldiers and protecting the borders of the kingdom

(3). Gobir Soldiers and protecting their borders of the kingdom

(4). Katsina Trade with the sub-Saharan caravans

(5). Kano Cotton and textiles

(6). Rano Cotton and textiles

(7). Zaria The grain and slave trade

Key Cities & Government:

Wherever they had sprung from, by the early 15th century CE many small Hausa chiefdoms had come together to create several walled cities which controlled their respective surrounding countryside.  The most important were

(1). Biram (HADEJA)

(2). Daura (the ritual mother city of the group)

(3). Damagaram 

(4). Gobir

(5). Kano

(6). Kebbi

(7). Katsina

(8). Rano

(9). Yawuri

(10). Zamfara

(11). Zaria (aka Zazzau)

Each city had its own king or ruler, the sarkin kasa, who was advised by a chief councillor or vizier, the galadima, and a small council of elders - typically consisting of nine members who also determined the next ruler in line. Various officials were appointed by the king to, for example, collect taxes and customs duties, lead the city's cavalry units or infantry, maintain security on roadways, and look after certain crops. The city ruled over various smaller chiefdoms or villages in its immediate vicinity, each ruled by a chief or sarkin gari. The third tier of this political pyramid was the family clan or gida, many of which made up an individual village.

Rural Hausa populations were farmers who worked the land which belonged to the community as a whole. Over time, as the city-states became more centralised, this system was corrupted by the kings giving out parcels of land as rewards to certain individuals. Hausa agriculture also became heavily reliant on slaves, too. Meanwhile, the society within the main city of each kingdom was cosmopolitan, although dominated by the Hausa. There were slaves, craftworkers, merchants, religious officials, scholars, eunuchs and aristocrats (masu sarauta) related to or favoured by the king.

TRADE (FATAUCI):

The Hausa states traded gold, ivory, salt, iron, tin, weapons, horses, dyed cotton cloth, kola nuts, glassware, metalware, ostrich feathers, and hides. There was trade with the coastal region of West Africa, Oyo in the Bight of Benin, and the Songhai Empire (c. 1460 -1591 CE) to the east. Slaves were an important source of revenue for all the cities but Zaria, in particular, specialised in acquiring slaves via raids to the south.

Cities specialised in the manufacture or trade of certain goods, for example, dyes - especially indigo - at Katsina and Daura or silver jewellery at Kebbi and Zamfara. Hausaland became famous (and still is today) for its finely worked leather goods such as water bags, saddles, harnesses, and sacks to transport goods for the region's trade caravans. Various crafts were organised into guilds which ensured standards were maintained and prices were kept fair. Hausa agriculture, boosted by such techniques as crop rotation and the use of fertilizers, produced crops which included millet, sorghum, rice, maize, peanuts, beans, henna, tobacco, and onions. In addition, fishing and hunting were carried out and goats raised (important for ritual sacrifices) and donkeys bred (the principal form of transport). Each city had its own markets where both men and women sold their wares, and many cities also had international trade markets where merchants sold in bulk. Goods were exchanged in kind although salt, cloth, and slaves were often used as a standardised form of commodity-currency.

Architecture:

Traditional Hausa houses are made from dried mud bricks which are pear-shaped and laid in rows using mortar and with the pointed end facing upwards. The walls are then faced with plaster and given either painted or incised decoration. Houses were further decorated with sculpted additions, again using mud, creating three-dimensional geometric designs such as interlaced patterns and spirals. A secure roofing is achieved by creating a mud vault which is strengthened by a frame of split palms and palm fronds, an architectural feature particular to Hausaland. Each house is enclosed in its own high wall which may have additional buildings set into it. The chief cities were protected by massive fortification walls - an indication of the frequent siege warfare that went on in Hausaland throughout its history.

CONVERSION TO ISLAM:

the  Hausaland people start converting To Islam  since from 11th century through trans Saharan trade Arabs and wangara people from Mali brought Islam and Hausa people accept it as their religion without any fighting. But Islam was not announced as the religion of Hausa land officially until in the 13th century CE. Finally, though, a form of Islam was adopted and adapted following contact with Muslim merchants, missionaries, and scholars, who came from the east, the Niger River bend area. Islam was typically blended the traditional animist rituals of Hausa people and so took on its own distinct character in the region. Not having any commercial incentive to gain favour with foreign merchants like the Hausa rulers and elite, rural populations proved as difficult as in other parts of Africa to fully convert to the new religion, despite (or perhaps because of) sometimes brutal methods such as the destruction of shrines and the burning of ancient sacred groves. Despite this resistance from some chiefs and much of the rural populace, Islam did eventually take a strong hold in the region. Mosques were built in the cities and one of the oldest surviving remnants of these early structures is the dried mud Gobarau minaret of the mosque at Katsina, which dates to the early 15th century CE during the reign of muhammadu Korau.', and KANO central mosque located at Gidan Rumfa (KANO'S ROYAL PALACE) The mosque was built by the greatest King of all time in the history of Kano Muhammadu Rumfa.

UNIFICATION ATTEMPT:

Kano's Attempts to Unify Hausaland

By the 15th Century, Kano had become the dominant Hausa State. It was a great center of trade, culture, and learning. Many Muslim scholars immigrated here, and great mosques were built.

As early as the 11th Century, there were efforts to unify the Hausa Kingdoms into one centralized state under Kano's leadership. There were occasionally short-lived periods of unified rule, but generally, each state fought to maintain its independence rather than be ruled by Kano or any other,This decision will be a grave mistake for all of them in future because they lost most of those kingdoms to Fulani in 18th century.

Some Prominent people from Hausa Tribe:

(1). Bar Bushe the priest of kano

(2). Queen Daurama II

(3). Queen Amina of Zazzau

(4). Bagauda first Kano king

(5). Kumayau first King of katsina

(6). Muhammadu kanta first King of Kabi (Kebbi)

(7). Muhammadu Rumfa the great King of Kano

(8). Ali yaji ɗan Tsamiya first Sultan in Hausa land

(9). Muhammadu korau first Sultan of Katsina

(10). Malam Umaru Bawa jangwarzo Sultan of Gobir

(11). Queen Ƴar mangu the Queen of Azna who fought with French colonists

(12). Sheikh Ja'afar Mahmud Adam

(13). Sheikh Umar Sani fagge

(14). Sheikh Isyaka Rabi'u 

(15). General Ibrahim badamasi Babangida

(16). General Abdussalam Abubakar

(17). Aliko Ɗangote

(18). Abdussamad Rabi'u Bua

(19). Dahiru barau mangal

(20). Attahiru bafarawa

(21). Muhammad Indimi

(22). Mubarak wakaso

(23). Rabi'u Ali pele

(24). Sule muntari

(25). Muhammad Ƙudus 

(26). Hamzah Hawsawi, Saudi Arabian singer and winner of season 4 of The X Factor Arabia

(27). Osama Hawsawi (born 1984), Saudi Arabian football player

(28). Omar Hawsawi (born 1985), Saudi Arabian football player

(29). Etab (1947–2007), Saudi Arabian singer

(30). Motaz Hawsawi (born 1992), Saudi Arabian football player.

Source: Taskar Afrika

Monday 24 June 2024

Colonial rule of European regions and time spent by European regions under foreign rule

If Africans and Europeans don’t look at world history with balance and perspective, it sometimes creates deeply held myths, misinformation, uneducated inferiority complexes and uneducated superior complexes. One myth is that African regions have been perpetually behind, and always colonised; while European countries always won every military campaign they undertook and were never colonised. Some Africans believe this, Some Europeans, some Indians, some Chinese and some Americans. It depends on how much facts each individual was exposed to and also what they choose to believe in the face of evidence.

Romans:

This is how long some European regions were a colony of Rome, listed in alphabetical order:

* Albania - approx. 450 years

* Austria - approx. 400 years

* Belgium - approx. 500 years

* Bosnia - approx. 400 years

* Bulgaria - approx. 400 years

* Croatia - approx. 400 years

* Czech Republic - N/A

* England - approx. 400 years

* Greece - approx. 600 years

* Hungary - approx. 400 years

* Macedonia - approx. 500 years

* Moldova - approx. 200 years

* Netherlands - approx. 400 years

* Portugal - approx. 600 years

* Romania - approx. 200 years

* Serbia - approx. 400 years

* Slovakia - approx. 400 years

* Slovenia - approx. 400 years

* Spain - approx. 600 years

* Sardinia - approx. 700 years

* Switzerland - approx. 500 years

* Turkey - over a thousand years

* Wales - approx. 400 years

Note: The durations mentioned here are approximate and may vary depending on specific historical events and transitions.

Byzantine empire:

Time as a territory of Byzantium or under influence from the Byzantine Empire, listed in alphabetical order:

* Albania - approx. 500 years

* Bosnia - under influence for 900 years

* Bulgaria - several centuries

* Croatia - alternated between periods of Byztantine influence, independence, and Hungarian influence for 900 years.

* Greece - approx. 1,000 years

* Macedonia - approx. 1,000 years

* Moldova - alternated between periods of Byztantine influence, independence, Mongol influence, and Hungarian influence for 900 years.

* Romania - several centuries

* Serbia - several centuries

* Sardinia - approx. 2 centuries

The durations mentioned here are approximate; it’s all just a rough guide. Some regions had direct Byzantine rule, others had varying degrees of influence, interaction, or conflicts with the Byzantine Empire.

Visigothic kingdom: Portugal and Spain were under the Visigoths.

* Portugal: Portugal, known as Lusitania during Byzantine times, was not directly under Byzantine rule. It was part of the Visigothic Kingdom before the Muslim conquest and later became an independent kingdom.

* Spain: Spain, known as Hispania during Byzantine times, had limited Byzantine influence in certain regions, particularly in the southeast. Byzantine presence in Spain was primarily through military expeditions and attempts to regain control from the Visigoths, but it did not establish long-term Byzantine rule in the region.

Anglo Saxons:

* England: England, known as Britannia during Byzantine times, was not directly under Byzantine rule. It was part of various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and later the Kingdom of England.

* Wales: Wales, known as Britannia during Byzantine times, was not directly under Byzantine rule. It was part of various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and later the Kingdom of Gwynedd.

Avar Khaganate:

Hungary: The region corresponding to present-day Hungary, known as Pannonia during Byzantine times, was not directly under Byzantine rule. It was part of the Avar Khaganate, the Kingdom of Hungary, and later the Habsburg Monarchy.

Kingdom of Croatia:

* Bosnia: The area of present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, known as Bosnia during Byzantine times, came under Byzantine influence in the 6th century CE. However, it experienced frequent shifts in control between the Byzantines and various other powers, including the Kingdom of Croatia. Bosnia fell under Ottoman control in the late 15th century, ending Byzantine influence in the region.

* Croatia: Croatia, known as Dalmatia during Byzantine times, came under Byzantine rule in the 6th century CE. However, Byzantine control over Croatia was limited, and the region experienced a complex political landscape, including periods of independence, Croatian kingship, and Hungarian influence.

Carolingian Empire/ Holy Roman Empire:

* Belgium: Known as the Low Countries, including Flanders, it was part of various Frankish kingdoms and later the Holy Roman Empire.

* Netherlands: Known as Frisia during Byzantine times, it was part of various Frankish kingdoms and later the Holy Roman Empire.

* Slovenia: Known as Carantania during Byzantine times, was not directly under Byzantine rule. It was part of the Carolingian Empire and later the Holy Roman Empire.

* Switzerland: The region corresponding to present-day Switzerland, known as Raetia during Byzantine times, was not directly under Byzantine rule. It was part of various Germanic tribes and later the Holy Roman Empire.

Ostrogoth:

Austria: The region corresponding to present-day Austria, known as Noricum during Byzantine times, was not directly under Byzantine rule. It was part of the Ostrogothic Kingdom, Lombard Kingdom, and later the Carolingian Empire.

Morovian empire: Czech Republic and Slovakia, were a part of the Great Moravian Empire and later the Kingdom of Hungary.

Ottoman rule:

* Albania: approx. 527 years

* Bosnia and Herzegovina: approx. 415 years

* Bulgaria: approx. 482 years

* Croatia: approx. 173 years

* Cyprus: approx. 307 years

* Greece: approx. 377 years

* Hungary: N/A (experienced Ottoman invasions and control)

* Kosovo: approx. 457 years

* North Macedonia: approx. 520 years

* Moldova: approx. 328 years

* Montenegro: approx. 382 years

* Romania: Various periods of Ottoman influence and control

* Serbia: approx. 345 years

* Slovenia: N/A (experienced Ottoman incursions and influence)

Mongol rule:

The Mongol Empire had a significant impact on Europe after its expansion in the 13th century. The Mongol Empire did not establish long-term colonies in the traditional sense. Despite this, some parts of Europe came under Mongol rule or influence during this period. The Mongols ruled Russia for 240 years from 1240 to 1480. Russia has had various historic names: Kievan Rus, Novgorod Republic, Vladimir-Suzdal. The Mongol Empire established the Golden Horde, a successor state in the region, which exerted control over various Russian principalities. Mongol rule in Russia, known as the Mongol Yoke, lasted for over two centuries, from 1240 to 1480.

The Mongols ruled Belarus (Historic names: Principality of Polotsk) for 1 year from 1240 to 1241; Hungary for 1 from 1241 to 1242; Lithuania (Historic names: Grand Duchy of Lithuania) for 5 years from 1258 to 1263 and Poland for 1 year (1240-1241).

Mongol Empire was primarily centered in Asia and its rule over European territories was relatively short-lived. The Mongols focused more on conquest and establishing tributary relationships rather than long-term colonization. Therefore, the impact and duration of Mongol rule in Europe were limited compared to other empires like the Ottoman Empire.

It is essential to learn world history to gain perspective on the general experience of all humans, and also to debunk errors of thinking.

THE SNAKE AND THE FIREFLY

A snake started chasing a firefly that only lived to shine. The firefly stopped and said to the snake:

"Can I ask you three questions?"

The snake said, "Yes."

Do I belong in your food chain?

The snake said, "No."

Did I do anything bad to you?

The snake said, "No."

Then why do you want to eat me?

The snake replied: "Because I can't stand to see you shine!"

MORAL OF THE STORY:

Often some people can't stand to see you shine and that's why they act like snakes; silent and ready to destroy you!

Move away from them, focus on your goals and move on!

Credits: Unknown

What Juneteenth Means and How It Is Celebrated

Juneteenth, celebrated annually on June 19th, marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of the Civil War and the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Although June 19, 1865, marked the end of slavery in the southern USA, some African Americans remained enslaved by Native Americans in Indian Territory (modern-day Oklahoma) until 1866. The US military had to force the release of these enslaved individuals. The Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Cherokee, and Seminole nations also participated in chattel slavery, highlighting that freedom was not universal in 1865. 

Despite this, June 19 represents a significant milestone in American history, symbolizing freedom and the ongoing struggle for equality and justice. Juneteenth holds a deep cultural and historical significance, as it commemorates the liberation of the last enslaved African Americans in the United States. It serves as a reminder of the resilience, achievements, and contributions of Black Americans, while also highlighting the persistent challenges faced by the community.

Celebrations of Juneteenth vary widely across the country, reflecting the diverse experiences and traditions of Black communities. In Chicago, the celebration of Juneteenth intersects with broader social issues. One resident pointed out that the city's increasing Hispanic population has influenced the street culture and civilian presence. This resident suggested that a Juneteenth parade could help restore lost racial identities by featuring creatively designed floats and world-class acts, along with ceremonies where Black community members could establish ties with ancestral ethnicities through tribal rights. They also emphasized the importance of utilizing resources from the Reparations Task Force to develop educational systems, foundations, and trade schools that reflect and support Black heritage.

Across the country, cities host a variety of events to celebrate Juneteenth. These include parades, concerts, art and social events, and church services, providing opportunities for community engagement and cultural expression. In Maryland, one resident observed that although the official Juneteenth celebrations were modest, consisting of recognition events, fish fries, and gatherings, more substantial celebrations were anticipated over the weekend with parties and festivities.

In California, Juneteenth is celebrated by honoring culture and history. Many communities organize arts and food vendors along with entertainment in local parks, creating a festive atmosphere that highlights Black heritage and achievements. These events provide a platform for local artists and businesses to showcase their talents and contributions to the community.

Texas, where Juneteenth originated, has a long-standing tradition of celebrating the day. People typically host parties and barbecues, but as one Texas resident noted, there is often a lack of educational opportunities. This resident expressed concern that many people have an incomplete understanding of Juneteenth's significance and see the holiday as unique to Galveston, Texas, which had been celebrating it for years before it became a national holiday. They also criticized the focus on parties and barbecues, feeling that such activities may detract from the day's deeper meaning and the ongoing struggle for true recognition and equality.

Overall, Juneteenth is a day of reflection, celebration, and community. It serves as an opportunity to acknowledge the history of slavery and its lasting impact on Black Americans, while also celebrating the strength, resilience, and achievements of the Black community. As the holiday gains broader recognition and more people become aware of its significance, there is potential for Juneteenth to evolve into a day that not only commemorates freedom but also fosters a deeper understanding of Black history and culture, promoting unity and progress for all.

#America #Americas #World

THE TSETSE FLY

The TseTse Fly is estimated to have had substantial effects on precolonial Africa, hindering the ability for many Africans to generate larger numbers of livestock for transportation, trade, food and agriculture.

Makes you wonder how the continent would have developed differently if the Tsetse Fly never existed?

HISTORY LESSON

Today, we remember Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney, three courageous young civil rights workers who were tragically murdered on June 21, 1964. Their lives were taken by members of the Ku Klux Klan as they fought to register Black voters in Mississippi, a brave act of defiance against the entrenched racism and injustice of the time.

Schwerner and Goodman, who were both white, traveled with Chaney, who was African-American, on a trip passing through Philadelphia, Mississippi. They were pulled over by a local sheriff, who was a member of the Klan. Although they eventually were released and set out on their trip, the three men were later stopped and taken to a secluded area where they were shot and buried.

Since their killings, the three civil rights workers have been widely viewed as prominent figures of the movement.

These men sacrificed everything for the cause of equality and civil rights. Their legacy reminds us of the high price of freedom and the ongoing struggle for justice. Let us honor their memory by continuing to fight against discrimination and standing up for the rights of all people.

Niger 🇳🇪 Republic

The whole world thinks that Niger is entirely desert.

But Niger is one of the largest onion producers in the world, Niger produces considerably potatoes, sorghum, corn, wheat, it is also the largest producer of millet globally.

✅ Niger is the key exporter of dry onions in the West Africa, responsible for almost two-thirds of total exports in 2021, according to market intelligence platform, Indexbox.

It's the Africa's 5th Major onions producer at 1million tons annually. 

✅ Niger Republic (Niger) is the largest producer of pearl millet in Africa with an average production (2017-2021) of 3.3 million tons on 6.75 million ha of land accounting for 73% of cereal production (FAOSTAT 2023).

✅ According to a research by African Report Files, Niger is the Africa's second  cowpea producers after Nigeria with a production of 3.63 million metric tons (MT) across an extensive area harvested of 4.7 million hectares. Niger followed closely with 2.66 million MT produced, with a larger area harvested of 5.97 million hectares..

Cowpea is the second largest crop in Niger after millet.

✅ Niger is one the world's leading producers of Uranium.Niger has two significant uranium mines providing about 5% of world mining output from Africa's highest-grade uranium ores. 

Source - Africanreportfiles

TEACHING MOMENT

Burkina Faso 🇧🇫 President Ibrahim Traore has banned pornography. 

President Ibrahim Traore of Burkina Faso has taken a firm stance against the proliferation of pornography within the country, implementing a nationwide ban on such explicit content.

This directive marks a bold step by the government to address societal concerns surrounding the impact of pornography on individuals and communities.

President Traore's decision to outlaw pornography reflects a commitment to upholding moral values and safeguarding the well-being of Burkina Faso's citizens. By enacting this ban, the government aims to protect the moral fabric of society and shield vulnerable populations, particularly children and young adults, from the harmful effects of exposure to explicit material.

The prohibition on pornography signals a broader effort by President Traore's administration to promote social cohesion, decency, and cultural norms that align with the country's values and traditions. By curbing the dissemination and consumption of pornographic content, Burkina Faso seeks to foster a more wholesome and respectful environment conducive to the growth and development of its populace.

While the ban on pornography may spark debates regarding freedom of expression and censorship, President Traore's decision underscores the government's resolve to prioritize the welfare of its citizens and uphold ethical standards within the society. As Burkina Faso navigates this policy shift, it is poised to set a precedent for other nations grappling with similar challenges related to regulating explicit content and upholding community standards.

The ban on pornography in Burkina Faso serves as a testament to the proactive measures being taken to promote a culture of dignity, respect, and integrity within the country. As the government implements and enforces this prohibition, it sends a clear message about its commitment to fostering a safe and wholesome environment for its people, setting the stage for a more responsible and values-driven society.

The Turks (3,000 BC - 600 CE)

Prehistory and antiquity:

The Khoit Tsenkher Cave in Khovd Province shows lively pink, brown, and red ochre paintings of mammoths, lynx, bactrian camels, and ostriches, earning it the nickname "the Lascaux of Mongolia". The Venus figurines of Mal'ta testify to the level of Upper Paleolithic art in northern Mongolia; Mal'ta is now part of Russia. Neolithic agricultural settlements, such as those at Norovlin, Tamsagbulag, Bayanzag, and Rashaan Khad, predated the introduction of horse-riding nomadism, a pivotal event in the history of Mongolia which became the dominant culture. Horse-riding nomadism has been documented by archeological evidence in Mongolia during the Copper and Bronze Age Afanasevo culture; this Indo-European culture was active to the Khangai Mountains in Central Mongolia. The wheeled vehicles found in the burials of the Afanasevans have been dated to before 2200 BC. Pastoral nomadism and metalworking became more developed with the later Okunev culture, Andronovo culture, and Karasuk culture, culminating with the Iron Age Xiongnu Empire in 209 BC. Monuments of the pre-Xiongnu Bronze Age include deer stones, keregsur kurgans, square slab tombs, and rock paintings.

Although cultivation of crops has continued since the Neolithic, agriculture has always remained small in scale compared to pastoral nomadism. Agriculture may have first been introduced from the west or arose independently in the region. The population during the Copper Age has been described as mongoloid in the east of what is now Mongolia, and as europoid in the west. Tocharians and Scythians inhabited western Mongolia during the Bronze Age. The mummy of a Scythian warrior, which is believed to be about 2,500 years old, was a 30- to 40-year-old man with blond hair; it was found in the Altai, Mongolia. As equine nomadism was introduced into Mongolia, the political center of the Eurasian Steppe also shifted to Mongolia, where it remained until the 18th century CE. The intrusions of northern pastoralists into China during the Shang dynasty and Zhou dynasty presaged the age of nomadic empires.

Early states:

Since prehistoric times, Mongolia has been inhabited by nomads who, from time to time, formed great confederations that rose to power and prominence. Common institutions were the office of the Khan, the Kurultai (Supreme Council), left and right wings, imperial army (Keshig) and the decimal military system. The first of these empires, the Xiongnu of undetermined ethnicity, were brought together by Modu Shanyu to form a confederation in 209 BC. Soon they emerged as the greatest threat to the Qin Dynasty, forcing the latter to construct the Great Wall of China. It was guarded by up to almost 300,000 soldiers during Marshal Meng Tian's tenure, as a means of defense against the destructive Xiongnu raids. The vast Xiongnu empire was followed by the Mongolic Xianbei empire, which also ruled more than the entirety of present-day Mongolia. The Mongolic Rouran Khaganate of Xianbei provenance was the first to use "Khagan" as an imperial title. It ruled a massive empire before being defeated by the Göktürks, an even larger empire.

The Göktürks laid siege to Panticapaeum, present-day Kerch, in 576. They were succeeded by the Uyghur Khaganate who were defeated by the Kyrgyz. The Mongolic Khitans, descendants of the Xianbei, ruled Mongolia during the Liao Dynasty, after which the Khamag Mongol rose to prominence. Lines 3–5 of the memorial inscription of Bilge Khagan in central Mongolia summarize the time of the Khagans:

In battles they subdued the nations of all four sides of the world and suppressed them. They made those who had heads bow their heads, and who had knees genuflect them. In the east up to the Kadyrkhan common people, in the west up to the Iron Gate they conquered... These Khagans were wise. These Khagans were great. Their servants were wise and great too. Officials were honest and direct with people. They ruled the nation this way. This way they held sway over them. When they died ambassadors from Bokuli Cholug, Tabgach, Tibet, Avar, Rome, Kirgiz, Uch-Kurykan, Otuz-Tatars, Khitans, Tatabis came to the funerals. So many people came to mourn over the great Khagans. They were famous Khagans.

THE SONGHAY EMPIRE

The Songhay Empire, which rose to prominence in West Africa during the 15th and 16th centuries, stands as a paragon of pre-colonial African civilization. To fully appreciate the grandeur of this empire, it's essential to explore its various facets comprehensively.

Geographical Setting:

The Songhay Empire was primarily situated in the western Sahel, encompassing modern-day Mali, Niger, and parts of Nigeria. The region's climate was predominantly arid to semi-arid, with the Niger River providing a critical lifeline for agriculture, transportation, and trade. Natural resources such as gold, salt, and fertile lands along the riverbanks were vital to the empire's prosperity.

Demography:

The population of the Songhay Empire was diverse, comprising various ethnic groups, including the Songhay, Tuareg, Fulani, and others. Population density varied, with higher concentrations in urban centers like Gao and Timbuktu, which were pivotal for trade and education. Rural areas were less densely populated but crucial for agricultural production.

Political Structure:

The empire was governed by a highly centralized system under the rule of the "Askia" (emperor), with the most notable being Askia Muhammad. The political structure included provincial governors appointed by the emperor, who oversaw local administration and ensured the implementation of imperial policies.

Social Hierarchy:

Songhay society was stratified into a hierarchical system. At the top were the nobility and the ruling class, followed by free citizens, artisans, and traders. At the bottom were enslaved people, who played a significant role in the economy but had limited social mobility.

Economic Activities:

The economy was diverse and robust, with agriculture forming its backbone. Major crops included millet, sorghum, and rice. The empire's strategic location facilitated extensive trade networks, dealing in gold, salt, and slaves, which connected North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.

Technology and Innovation:

The Songhay Empire was advanced in various technologies, particularly in agriculture and metallurgy. They utilized irrigation techniques to maximize crop yields and were skilled in metalworking, producing weapons and tools that supported both agriculture and military endeavors.

Religion and Belief Systems:

Islam was the dominant religion, especially among the ruling class and urban populations. It influenced the empire's legal and educational systems. Traditional African beliefs persisted among the rural populace, creating a syncretic blend of religious practices.

Education and Knowledge:

Education thrived, particularly in Timbuktu, home to the famous Sankore University. Literacy rates were relatively high in urban areas, where Islamic scholars preserved and transmitted knowledge through manuscripts, covering various fields such as astronomy, medicine, and law.

Cultural Practices:

Songhay culture was rich and varied, with customs deeply rooted in both Islamic and traditional African practices. Daily life was structured around communal activities, with festivals, music, and dance playing central roles.

Art and Architecture:

Songhay art included intricate carvings, pottery, and textiles. Architecturally, the empire is renowned for its mudbrick buildings, with the Great Mosque of Djenné being a prime example. Although, the Grand Mosque of Djenné was inherited from the works of the Mali empire. These structures often featured elaborate facades and intricate geometric patterns.

Language and Communication:

The Songhay language was widely spoken, with Arabic serving as the language of scholarship and administration. Oral tradition played a significant role in communication, preserving history and cultural narratives through griots (storytellers).

Legal Systems:

The legal system was based on Islamic law (Sharia) for civil matters, supplemented by traditional customs. Justice was administered by local judges (qadis) and was integral in maintaining social order.

Military and Defense:

The empire boasted a formidable military, essential for its expansion and defense. It utilized cavalry and infantry units equipped with swords, spears, and later, firearms acquired through trade.

Health and Medicine:

Medical knowledge was a mix of Islamic and traditional practices. Herbal medicine was common, and scholars contributed to medical knowledge, although public health systems were rudimentary.

Gender Roles and Relations:

Gender roles were distinct, with men typically engaging in trade and politics, while women managed households and participated in agriculture. However, women in urban areas had more opportunities for education and trade.

Transportation and Infrastructure:

Transportation relied heavily on the Niger River for moving goods and people. The empire also maintained a network of roads connecting major cities, facilitating trade and communication.

Food and Agriculture:

The diet was based on grains like millet and sorghum, supplemented by fish from the Niger River. Agricultural techniques included crop rotation and irrigation to enhance productivity.

Interactions with Other Societies:

The Songhay Empire engaged in extensive trade with North African and European merchants, exchanging gold and slaves for goods such as textiles, horses, and firearms. Diplomatic relations were also maintained with neighboring states.

Environmental Interaction:

The empire's success was closely tied to its management of the Niger River and surrounding lands. Irrigation and sustainable farming practices were essential for maintaining agricultural productivity.

Art and Literature:

Artistic expression in the Songhay Empire was manifested through literature, particularly in the form of Islamic manuscripts. Poetry and storytelling were integral to cultural life, with griots preserving historical and cultural knowledge through oral traditions.

In sum, the Songhay Empire was a beacon of cultural, economic, and intellectual achievement in pre-colonial Africa, characterized by its strategic use of resources, sophisticated political structures, and rich cultural heritage. #Africa

BLUE LAGOON

One of the best snorkeling spots in Zanzibar Islands. We do the blue lagoon trip on the south East coast of Zanzibar at Michamvi village which is close to Bwejuu and Paje Beach.

Blue Lagoon Zanzibar is a snorkeler’s paradise. The corals are healthy and colorful and they can be accessed easily compared to other Snorkeling places of Zanzibar.

A variety of colorful reef fishes call this place home, such as leaf fish, mantis shrimps, Octopus, Squid, moray eels, puffer fish, scorpion fish, lionfish, nudibranch, angel fish, snappers, rainbow runners, jackfish, barracudas, batfish among others.

Another reason why Blue Lagoon Zanzibar is special and worth going is because of the highest starfish population. The high number of colored starfishes along the corals are spectacular.

During the trip, the traditional wooden boat will be used to get the best local snorkeling experience, and this is also one among the reasons most tourists love snorkeling at Zanzibar Blue Lagoon.

Saturday 22 June 2024

1971 Kenyan History from Odhiambo Levin Opiyo

Former Kenya Air Force pilot Captain Frederick Omondi is brought to court to answer to charges of planning to overthrow Mzee Jomo Kenyatta in 1971.

Omondi, only 27, wore a nice suit and was calm and composed, occasionally smiling to members of the public who had thronged the courtroom.

As soon as magistrate Sachdeva read the charges, Omondi without  any hesitation  replied "Guilty as charged."

Deputy DPP Mr James Karugu prosecuting,  told the magistrate that Omondi was married, with three children, and that his parents were still alive.

Karugu further told the magistrate that Omondi became involved in the plot after becoming dissatisfied with the conditions in the military  and the political situation. He also added that Omondi had cooperated well with the Special  Branch during interrogation.

Giving a brief history of the accused, the Deputy DPP told the court that Omondi was  one of the pioneer military pilots in Kenya. His journey to join the military began when he submitted an application for further education assistance to the KANU education Committee just after he had completed his high school education at St Peter's Seminary Kakamega.

Luckily KANU had received some slots from Israel which had requested to secretly train pilots for the future Kenya Air Force. Omondi  was allocated one of the slots and in January  1963 travelled to Israel via Dar Es Salaam. In January 1964 he joined the newly inaugurated Kenya Air Force and underwent an intensive flying course after which on February 7, 1965 he qualified as the best cadet and was consequently awarded a sword of honour by Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

In March of that same year, he left Kenya for  further training at the Royal Air Force Officers  College Cranwell UK. On his return he became one of the founders of Kenya Air Force Beaver Squadron.

The Deputy DPP further told the court that as a military pilot, Omondi fought gallantly in the shifta war and was injured during one of the operations when his aircraft crashed  in 1967.

He told the court that Omondi was recruited into the plot of overthrowing the government  by Daniel Owino, a former Kenya Army military  officer. According to Karugu, Omondi joined without questioning and went on to recruit  more people into the scheme.

Karugu said that Omondi had turned  against  the government that had invested in him by offering him the opportunity to train as a pilot at a very young age of 18. Omondi was later sentenced  to 12 years in prison in a plot that implicated the Chief of Staff General Ndolo, the Chief Justice Mr Kitili Mwendwa among  many other senior officials.

He was Born on April 13, 1945, at Nyabondo  Mission Hospital, then attended Kabete Primary school between 1953 to 1954 when  he was transferred to Onjiko primary school.  He was again to return to Kabete where he sat for Common Entrance exams. He then proceeded to Thurdibuoro between   1958-1959, Nyabondo Intermediate School  1960-1961. He joined St Peter's Seminary  Kakamega after sitting for his Kenya African  Preliminary Examination at Nyabondo.

After serving his sentence he became  involved in politics at one time serving as a Councillor in Kisumu. He said promotion on tribal lines and the political happenings such  as the assassination of Mboya fuelled the plot  that also involved senior government officials mainly from the Akamba tribe and intellectuals. General Ndolo had tried  to recruit Mulinge the  Army Commander but he refused. After the plot was unearthed  Ndolo and Chief  Justice  Kitili  were forced to resign. 

#Africa #Kenya

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