The notion that our African ancestors were barbaric and that they committed unthinkable atrocities is one of the biggest lies the European world has heaped on our people and our African heritage. And this lie is the most annoying one. Who could imagine that European conquerors who killed, raped, and maimed millions of Africans could turn back and then call us the evil aggressors?
Of course, they needed a reason to invade, decimate, and steal our human and natural resources.
Yes, Africa, just like any other place in the world, had its own little and big wars. People lived by a golden and noble rule, and sometimes traditions had strict punishments for offenders or taboos. But these same things were obtainable in many Western cultures. No matter the disagreement or war, there was never a case of blatant and bitter genocide carried out by one ethnic nationality on the other.
Ever since our encounter with the Europeans, they have found every means to subdue and suppress us. They have enslaved and killed us in our hundreds of thousands. And while they did that, they sent their cunning and slippery missionaries into our villages, to convert our people to Christianity and to make us see ourselves as evil and barbaric. While they called our traditions barbaric, their brethren were busy killing and raping our young men and women on slave ships back to America and Europe.
Every one of our ancient religions and cultures was termed evil. We were termed barbaric, while Belgium killed millions of people in Congo, under the blessings and watch of the Church in Rome – under the watch of the so-called “children of the white God and white Jesus.”
Germany, in its ambition to create a colony in Africa, killed millions of Africans from the modern parts of Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Togo, Cameroon, and Namibia.
All over the African continent, European explorers, settlers, merchants, and soldiers engaged in war crimes and crimes against African humanity. Many of these atrocities till today are unknown because whole villages were wiped out.
British historian Thomas Packenham, in his 1991 book ‘The Scramble for Africa, White Man’s Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912′, gives examples of the horrors carried out under the watch of Puttkamer and other German colonial officials:
“…a Lieutenant Dominik was sent on an expedition to negotiate a treaty with the Bahoro. Instead, he shot down all the men and women in the village, and the fifty-four children that survived were put in baskets and drowned like kittens” (Packenham, “The Scramble for Africa”, page 623)”
No European power has a bloodless hand when it comes to the genocide of the indigenous people of Africa. The Dutch, the British, the French, the Belgians, the Germans, the Spanish, and the Italians all killed Africans without discretion or any sense of morality or humanity.
The champion of them all was Leopold II, the King of Belgium at the time. He was a butcher from the white hell. He was the European-fabricated devil himself.
King Leopold convinced the major powers to agree to let him have his way with the people of Congo, which he took as his personal project. He convinced them under the pretext that he was engaged in a civilizing mission and that it was for the benefit of the Congolese people.
When has the European man ever done something to benefit Africans? Never!!!
In fact, Leopold’s plan was to bleed the people of Congo dry and murder them mercilessly if they resisted his faux salvation.
All other major European nations agreed to support Leopold’s “Congo Free State” project. The U.S. President, Chester Arthur, was the first to sign on the dotted lines of the document.
Then, administrators, soldiers, and merchants from Belgium set up a system of exploitation, concentrating on wild rubber harvesting. This was so horrible that its semblance was not seen or experienced on earth until Hitler invaded Poland.
The Congo Free State’s “Force Publique”, tortured and murdered villagers who did not cooperate with their extortion and forced labor.
Leopold’s troops had to account for the ammunition they fired. And to do so they had to cut off the hands of people they shot, to prove that they had not been using the bullets for hunting animals instead of the humans of Congo.
It was accounted that frequently, Leopold’s men cut off the hands of living people, including the small children. Leopold enslaved the Congolese to amass vast fortunes which he spent in adorning Belgium with pretentious monumental architecture.
Records have it that half of the Congo’s population, or up to 10 million people, had been killed by Leopold’s regime.
The British, also, took their time to invade, kill, and decimate many ethnic nationalities in West Africa and beyond. There are various accounts of these happening. The many wars Britain fought in Africa, were not wars per se. They were the outright killing of native Africans, and stealing of their resources under the terms “conquer and colonize.”
But one thing that fascinates me is that while they were killing and maiming Africans all over the continent, their missionaries and administrators were setting up churches and teaching our people that African ways were evil. The missionaries, who were an extension of the wickedness of their colonial thrones and armies, devised every means to make the Africans hate their ancestry and accept the ancestry and ways of the Europeans.
Dear Africans, now tell me, how do you call a people who murdered millions, the good guys? And then call your ancestors who were killed, the bad guys? How do you do that?
Everywhere you go today in Africa, especially in Nigeria, you will find Africans renouncing their ancestors, and saying all kinds of negative things about their ancestry. Many shallow-minded ones amongst us are bold to say that the economic hardship they suffer today, is as a result of their ancestor’s evil deeds.
So, my question for such people is: How come the Europeans are not suffering from these ancestral curses, given that they killed thousands of times over what our ancestors did to survive in their time?
As you answer that question, it is important for us as a people to denounce and reject all the negative remarks that have been systematically heaped on our people. The West has no right to judge our ancestors for the things they did to survive in their own lands, which were customs and traditions to them.
We are open-hearted people and hospitable people, and that is why we opened our doors to the Europeans who came to kill us, take our lads and properties, and then label us evil ones. Let no one make you see your ancestry as evil. We are descendants of good men -descendants of kings and queens. Let us raise our heads high.
The article was written by Chuka Nduneseokwu, Editor-in-Chief, of Liberty Writers Africa
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