Why is Africa Africa? Why are Africans more homogeneous as a continental population than any other population on earth? Is it because Mama Afrika is the mother of humanity? The more we find out about our origins the more it appears that life on this planet would have been vastly different from what it is now had benevolent Africa not existed. Whereas, for some reason, North or South America had remained below the oceans, life on our planet would hardly be any different from what it is today. As very few animals would have been missing from the present it would appear that Africa is responsible for most terrestrial life that we can see although whales most probably came out of Africa also. Microbial life is not very fussy and seems to be able to live anywhere.

When the original landmass Pangaea started breaking up about 180 million years ago and the different continents began to drift into their present geographical positions, Mama Afrika picked a good spot, right where it is now, away from future glaciations and with as beneficial a climate as could be had on the planet. Even humans have not been able to wipe out her animal richness as in the rest of the world because she is a good weather continent for good weather animals. The evolution of primates and ensuing humans could not have taken place elsewhere because of the several Ice Ages.

Originally, we humans were good weather animals but, possibly our innate curiosity or a scarcity of game to satisfy our hunting way made some of us leave Mama Afrika about a hundred thousand years ago. These explorers went North, East and West and their fossils have been found far and wide. From good weather animals they had to turn into bad weather animals in order to live through the ice ages. They improved their weapons, invented clothing to withstand eight month long winters, mastered fire and evolved into the European and Asiatic people we know today. It had taken them a hundred thousand years to learn to be a bad weather animal and remain alive.

Much learning and much work had been necessary.

It has been proposed that the lenient weather after the last Ice Age stimulated man into the Agricultural Revolution. I disagree, I think he had killed most of the game and for an increasing population the hunting way was finished. He had to keep working and learn how to grow wheat and raise cattle.

However, not all the people had left Mama Afrika one hundred thousand years ago, probably more stayed behind than left. It is a pity that we know less about the stay- behinders than the leavers but the fossil finds have been small. Moreover, I now come to an enigma that leaves me clueless. Fifty years ago I spent some time in the Sahara desert and in the mountain region of Tibesti I saw rock paintings very similar to South African San art. We know that in South Africa the white settlers had more or less wiped out these San/Bushman artists but that the black settlers from the North had already had a good go at them. Bushman and Bantu are physically very different in size, physiognomy and way of life. Was all of Africa, 100 thousand years ago inhabited by Bushmen to be replaced or hunted by tribes of modern black people who had evolved around that time? No one seems to know.

By the time bad weather people from Europe began to invade Africa about 5 hundred years ago only a remnant of the San or Bushman people remained in the South of the continent and the European invaders lost no time to exploit the black African population without much opposition. How could this have happened? Africans are and were physically strong people, they could not be killed off by the diseases the whites inflicted with great success on other non-european peoples, yet, they opposed hardly any struggle against the invaders of their continent. For hundreds of years they were taken as slaves and used as chattel with hardly any resistance.

The answer is, I think, that bad weather people will overcome good weather people anywhere in the world. The stay-behind Africans in Mama Afrika didn’t have the hard times of the expats. No need for clothing, fire, new weapons, disease kept the population in numbers compatible to the vast continent with its game and when? the invention of keeping cattle had been accomplished life became fairly simple on a continent without Ice Ages. It is highly probable that these people have been taken into slavery for the last 10 thousand years but no one seems to have moaned. Work was not needed to stay alive, neither was invention. The last invention, the iron spearhead dates from possibly 2000 years, probably bequeathed from their Arab slave drivers.

Captain Cook, that observant British navigator of the 18th century already suspected such a laisser-aller behaviour in some of the Pacific islander populations he encountered on his expeditions. There he found the descendants of most formidable navigators for whom that Great Pacific Ocean was an open book to read with craftily constructed catamaran ships. But, having conquered this greatest ocean on earth, they found such facility of life on their islands that, possibly, after 5 or 6 generations, all navigational and boat building knowledge was lost when all you had to do to eat was to pick the bread of a tree you had not even needed to plant. Evidently no hard work is involved becoming a good weather human from a bad weather one as long as you keep life very simple because luxuries will have to be paid fore with hacked down breadfruit trees. That these fellows ate the Captain’s brain was probably a desire to get back to their former proficiency.

Since decolonisation in Africa living conditions for African people have deteriorated, mostly through inept government. Other countries that went through tough times managed to get back to some kind of prosperity but the people there were bad weather humans.                                                                                                                                                                      Not Not a long time ago, the USA destroyed a good bit of Vietnam, but today that country is doing well. Examples like that can be seen in countries where people have had to work for the last 100 thousand years. Mao just about wrecked the whole of China and killed many millions but these hard working bad weather people recovered their prosperity in less than twenty years. However, in Africa nothing seems to work when Africans are the governors, all countries have their quota of starving people. The ex-colonial powers are blamed as in South Africa the apartheid government is supposed to be the cause for the misery the black government has created for its own people. The richest country of Africa was handed over to a black government. All systems functioned, roads, telephone, harbours and railways, airports, army and navy, many schools and teachers and excellent universities. The country produced its own food and the industry was the cause of a healthy balance of foreign exchange.

No one starved to death!

Bad weather people gave the country to good weather people because good weather people have never been able to take anything from bad weather people. The one exception in the whole of Africa has been Xhosa Chief Maqoma who, from 1851 to 1853 blocked the most powerful army on earth and virtually held to ransom the British Government who had to sack Governor Harry Smith. The Chief even managed to sink the Royal Navy’s troopship ’HMS Birkenhead’ as I relate in my book ‘Sink the Birkenhead’ or ‘Maqoma’s Last War’. During all my studies of Africa and her peoples never have I encountered another such a wily statesman and general as Chief Maqoma. The much-vaunted Shaka was a petty tyrant, a black Hitler, the British needed but one day to make an end to the Zulu army. The only people who realised the valour of Chief Maqoma were the apartheid Afrikaners who, in 1976, deterred the Chief from a pauper’s hole on Robben Island in which the Brits had thrown him a century before and gave him a decent burial in his homeland. 

Has Mama Afrika been too lenient for her people like the Pacific islands where people did not have to work anymore in order to eat well? I don’t have to tell you that all the good points I mentioned about South Africa have now been partially undone after almost 20 years rule by good weather people who have the disadvantage that for tens of thousands of years they did not need to work or invent to stay alive. But these good weather people want the luxuries that only bad weather people can provide with the result that for the last 20 years they have been hacking down South Africa’s breadfruit trees to pay for their Amabenzi* culture. It takes many thousands of years to become a skilled bad weather person but all the breadfruit trees will be gone in a few more years.

Should Mama Afrika invite a bunch of good quality bad weather people?

 

*Good weather people who love to ride around in big Mercedes Benz cars paid for by OPM (other people’s money).

 


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One Response to Why is Africa Africa?

  1. capucine says:

    yes manini you’re so very right and that’s why it’ s difficult to make a comment to you’re evidence and as usual there’s nothing to add, thank you for and keep on writing
    love, cap

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