Some of my fellow countrymen’s understanding of history not only leaves much to be desired but leaves everything to be desired. The effects of colonialism are palpable in the way they read and/or understand history and this reminds me of what Frantz Fanon wrote in his book The Wretched of the Earth.
He wrote, “…Perhaps we haven't sufficiently demonstrated that colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native's brain of all form and content. By a kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people, and distorts, disfigures, and destroys it. This work of devaluing pre-colonial history takes on a dialectical significance today”.
In African Origin of Civilisation: Myth or Reality which I reviewed in early 1990 for Botswana’s Weekly newspaper Mmegi, Dr Cheikh Anta Diop explains Africa’s decline and transformation after contact with foreign nations, especially Europeans. He wrote, “Throughout these transformations in the Negro’s relations with the rest of the world, it became increasingly difficult each day and even inadmissible, for those unaware of his past glory – and for Blacks themselves – to believe that they could have originated the first civilisation which flowered on earth, a civilisation to which humanity owes most of its progress”.
This was demonstrated in the morning of 16 November during a Radio 702 talk show when host Aubrey Masango said that the Atlantic slave trade could not have happened without the complicity of Africans themselves. He was probably referring to African Royalty. I called and took issue with him and told him that the Atlantic slave trade didn’t happen because of Africans but because Europeans needed people to work on their fields since Native Americans could not be used on those fields. There was an economic imperative, I said.
Explaining circumstances surrounding slavery, Dr Diop wrote that since history had disrupted his (the African’s) former equilibrium with the environment, the Black now found a new equilibrium, differing from the first in the absence of a technique no longer vital to the social, political and moral organisation. With economic resources assured by means that did not require perpetual inventions, the Negro became progressively indifferent to material progress.
Diop said it was under these new conditions that the encounter with Europe took place. The social and moral order was on the same level of perfection. On the other hand, for all the reasons Dr Diop cited, technical development was less stressed than in Europe. Although Africans were the first to discover iron, they had not built cannon; the secret of gunpowder was known only to the Egyptian priests, who used it solely for religious purposes at rites such as the Mysteries of Osiris.
Dr Diop continued to write that Africa was therefore quite vulnerable from the technical standpoint. It became tempting, irresistible prey for the West, provided with firearms and far-ranging navies.
So the economic progress of Renaissance Europe spurred on the conquest of Africa, which was rapidly accomplished. It passed from the stage of coastal trading posts to that of annexation by Western international agreements, followed by armed conquest called “pacification”. At the beginning of this period, Diop continued, America was discovered by Christopher Columbus and the overflow of the old continent was dumped on the new. The development of virgin lands required cheap labour. Defenseless Africa then became the readymade reservoir from which to draw that labour force with minimum expense and risk. The modern Negro slave trade was considered an economic necessity prior to the advent of the machine. This would last until the mid-nineteenth century.
I quoted from Dr Diop’s book so that Aubrey Masango and those who have similar misconceptions about the slave trade to understand that the slave trade had nothing to do with the complicity of the African people. It’s really heartbreaking that people such as Aubrey Masango use the media to help distort and falsify history and help the West spread its propaganda. Some youngsters listen to such gobbledygook and would imbibe and regurgitate it, especially because the ANC government has banned the teaching of history at schools.
As if that was not enough, in the morning of 19 November, Aubrey Masango asked a caller if Quantum Physics could be Africanised. By that he meant if Quantum Physics could be taught in African languages. I called his show countless times explaining that science can be taught in African languages because ancient Egyptians taught the Greeks science, mathematics, medicine, philosophy, religion and the art of government in their local African language. This time when I called to refute his claims that Quantum Physics could not be taught in African languages, his producer told me she was going to call me back but she did not. I sent an sms in which I referred him to a YouTube clip titled Ankh 9 – Quantum Physics: African Origin of Electromagnetism but he did not read it. Hence I resorted to this medium.
Suffice it to share with your readers some of the issues raised in that YouTube clip. The first is African Astrophysics which states that the theosophical conflict between the big bang and the steady state model of the universe is unresolved after 4000 (four thousand) years. It is deeply rooted in the Osirian and Amenite perspectives concerning the origin of the universe…The Grand unification theory which eluded Albert Einstein has already been solved. The Africans discovered that subatomic particles like the electron were created when ordinary matter – energy passes through a black hole.
However, since Europeans could not accept Osiris, their scientists sought diverse theories in order to circumvent the truth of an all-powerful black God. African Plasma physics: The Osiris myth that Osiris was vivified after eating an eye handed down from ancient times relate the events occurring in the eye of a radio galaxy where stars and planets are swallowed by the central black hole and resurrected as the fourth dimensional matter – plasma. Plasma is characterised by its high electron content. About 95% of the matter in the universe is in this state.
African Quantum Physics: Since the discovery of the electron, modern physicists have found themselves in lockstep with the more ancient reality already defined by our ancestors. Those who are interested can listen to the rest of that clip. It is important to mention the other achievements of the African people. John Pappademos, who was an Associate Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois, Chicago in 1965 wrote, “to the Egyptians we owe the concepts of most of the fundamental physical quantities; distance, area, volume, weight, and time. Europe is indebted to Egypt for the invention of standards, units, and methods for accurate measurement of all theses quantities”.
The scientific measurement of time started with the Egyptians. The calendar we use today (with only two minor modifications) was developed by the Egyptians as far back as 4241 Before the Common Era (BCE). Africa gave the world mathematics, science, astronomy, philosophy, religion and the arts, (Africa’s Political and Economic Destiny and the International Money Power), the writer’s unpublished manuscript written between 1993 and 1994.
It is important for journalists, radio presenters and television anchors to check and verify their facts before making them public. Finally, instead of introducing Mandarin in schools, the ANC government should teach students and people like Aubrey Masango about the wisdom of the ancient Egyptians by introducing Egyptology.
Sam Ditshego is a fellow at the Pan Africanist Research Institute