Be the first to get breaking news, historical events, culture, fashion, politics, business, entertainment, celebrity, and healthcare updates from beautiful Africans across the globe straight to your inbox
The Horrendous Events that Trailed Africa during Colonial Rule.
The Imperial rule…
Just before we judge and condemn the African Nations for not sending a single boat in search of their stolen and enslaved people, it is only fair to consider what Africa has been through before, during and after the times of slavery and colonialism.
Colonial rule in Africa is mostly remembered by Africans as a period of oppression from stories that abound from history. This is not because there were no positives but because the negative side tends to overshadow them. But the extent of the effect of the colonial rule is ever present whenever Africa’s story is told. When colonialism is recounted, its focus is majorly during the Scramble for Africa when the major empires of the then world such as Britain, France, Portugal, among others, divided Africa among themselves and ruled with an iron fist.
The devastation brought about an eroding of culture and one of the most inhumane atrocities in recent history, slavery. But other events took place in the African continent that history has tended to ignore but its effects can be seen today.
The conquest of Africa paid for the development of Europe. Gold from the Gold Coast, now Ghana, diamonds from the Congo, South Africa, Ivory from Ivory Coast and a whole lot of poaching was carried out across the continent. Bertrand Russel, a British philosopher reported some of the carnage orchestrated by Belgium in the Congo and it was so bad that if the levy of rubber was not met by the men, their women were taken from them, kept as hostages and if this failed to bring about a positive response, it was allowed for some men to be killed and an amputated right arm (for every cartridge used) of an African casualty.
In 1904, the Herero, a tribe in Namibia suffered from their resistance of German colonialism by losing about 70% of their population in the desert to dehydration after the Battle of Waterberg. There are also reports of tribes like the Khoisan and Kaffirs, among others, losing their land to colonialists and facing terrible and horrific death in the process.
African’s were treated as second-class citizens on their soil. They could not use the same public places as the “favored white population” that occupied their land. The apartheid in South Africa which imposed different political and economic rights including being forced to live separately from white skinned people is a testimony to the discrimination that the black African population had to suffer. It is even a major factor that contributed to racism that we experience today.
Liberation of Africa was fought for by the courageous few. Entire governments were replaced by those who could favor the agenda of the colonial overlords. This often led to civil unrest which had to be quelled with brute force. There was also the merging of communities and tribes without thought to their history. Places like Niger Area became Nigeria and there was the coming together of warring tribes and one of such climaxes led to the civil war between 1967 and 1970. As it stands, Africa has not fully healed from colonialism.
Slavery is the most devastating horrendous event to have occurred in Africa. If Ghana, previously known as Gold Coast according to some reports lost between 5,000 to 6,000 people to slavery every year for up to 400 years, then the number from the entire colonized Africa will be outrageously staggering. Many who did not die from the ride on the ship, were worked to death by their masters. Rape was common and it is difficult to think that children were born into slavery and lived as slaves for the rest of their lives.
There is so much unrecorded atrocious history that may be better left unknown. Even if Africa has been better for it as some suggest, is it worth the cost?