READ: The White Authors, Black History
The continent has developed way beyond how the average foreigner imagines it, but to us, we are nowhere near where we hope to be. Before we delve into infrastructural developments; basic amenities, policies, good governance and all, we should take a moment to review what is being thought to the leaders and future of this continent. By leaders, I’m not talking of overaged Heads-of-States, Presidents or Prime Ministers, I’m referring to the young ones who are currently undergoing primary and secondary education.
We have gotten independence since forever, yet we are yet to be independent in our curriculum. Granted we may need the western curriculum, but it should only be as a guideline for us. Science is empirical, that means, NaCl in Africa is the same as NaCl in the North Pole, so we can stick to the sciences. Literature and Social Sciences can as well be applied to African context and other terms can be developed as well due to the fact that our way of life is entirely different from those of the western culture.
History on its own, should be separated from these curriculum, especially the African History and it hasn’t been properly thought to older ones, but the error can be corrected on the younger ones. It is not proper for a white author (especially 20th Century authors), write about 18th and 19th Century Africa as most information will be based on the experiences and knowledge of the explorers before them. Bear with me for a moment as I try to prove my point.
According to White Historians, Mungo Park discovered river Niger. A river that was used by the entire concerned continent from time immemorial. It was even referenced in the Yoruba History, as it was crossed by Oduduwa, and his grandson was unable to cross it when on he’s way to avenge his grandfather’s (Oduduwa) exile on mecca. He’s inability to cross the river brought his expedition to an end, turned back, headed to Benin, and the disgrace would not let him return to Ile-Ife and thus, he founded Oyo (Eyeo) which grew to become one of the strongest empires in west Africa at a point. Not forgetting that Oduduwa was calculated to have been alive between 15th -17th Century, which means Mungo Park’s great-great-grandparents, must not have reached puberty by then, and somehow, we score our own African kids that Mungo Park discovered the river Niger.
It’s only proper for me to pick up a white author’s book to learn about American, European History, and an African’s book to read about our history, and the curriculum should be standardised to this effect as well. To make it clearer, a school in the west, will not ever read a book on western history written by an African, when they are yet to use books on slavery written by Black Americans in their classrooms.
Once we break free from this curriculum confusion, I believe they themselves will readjust the standards and realise that as well, because until date, we do not know who discovered the river Thames, so why should an African river that has been habituated by communities for ages be suddenly discovered by a white man, and centuries later it is still the standard to be learnt by African history students. It is all shades of wrong.
I hope this reaches someone with the power to change things.