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As an African “youth,” the experiences of our countries are completely inconsistent with the capacities which the people doubtlessly possess. While Africans have been portrayed as unenlightened, no one has been able to  replicate several African feats for example, the Terracotta arts. Africans have great capacity.
This capacity is however often repressed as seen, for example, in the repeated destruction of the Library of Alexandria–the first library in the world–by Romans and Arabs amongst others. This destruction repeatedly wiped out centuries of innovation and scientific advancement in Africa.
Furthermore, how is it possible that though Mali is little known today, its 14th century ruler–Mansa Musa–is still regarded as the richest man in contemporary times worth about $400 billion. Where did that capacity go?
How did these great empires disappear?
In my opinion,
1. Africans did/do not trust Africans.
2. Africans trust foreigners.
In fact, if we are made an offer of re-annexation by the Western or Eastern powers, some of us would vote for it showing the strength of the two points above.
As a result of the misplaced trust of our forefathers–trust in the foreigners as against trust in one another, slave trade boomed. Neighbours and cousins were betrayed or sold into slavery by neighbours and cousins. The treatment of slaves in transit was so depraved that several preferred to drown in the Atlantic before boarding the slave ships. Nevertheless about 50% of those who could not commit suicide died in transit. Only 10-20% of slaves taken across the Sahara were believed to have reached Arabia.
The most worrisome bit is the part religion played in slave trade. In today’s Republic of Benin, five nations had slave fortresses: France, England, Portugal, Denmark and Netherlands. The proprietors of these dungeons were diligent enough to construct churches in the dungeons. George Hamilton IV sang of how Africans were enslaved to work in the cotton farms to make white shirts for Europeans to wear to church on Sundays! Western slave trade was abolished in the 1800s after three centuries.
It is interesting that Arabs traded in African slaves so much that the Arabic word for BLACK is said to be synonymous with SLAVE. In fact, the biggest slave rebellion in history was the Zanj Rebellion of black slaves in Iraq in the 800s AD; about 10,000 Africans were killed to suppress the uprising. Slave trade was abolished in Saudi Arabia (let’s assume in the whole of the East) in 1962 after about 14 centuries.
At the end of it all, both the East and the West came to Africa with the offer of religion. How well religion mixed with racial repression!! Mere Religion is doubtlessly complicit.
This write-up is not an attack on religion. Rather it is an encouragement that Africans investigate what they believe and that we ask our Almighty God for personal encounters with Him rather than warring against our fellows based on modern hearsay from distant lands.
Have you encountered the God you claim to serve? How?
Mere religion cannot save neither can it bring peace to the world; everyone of us must have a personal encounter with God.

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  1. Bamgbola Oluseye

    Your post on ‘Complicit’ is a masterpiece. I quite agree with u. Please keep it up.

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