Friday, 15 July 2011



President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s inaugural discourse in the Sunday vision of November 4 on the similarities of African culture opens the forum for interrogation of racist scholarship that portrays the African people as hopeless since eternity and incapable of re-organizing themselves. My contribution will be limited to culture, science (including mathematics, medicine, religion, and astronomy) philosophy and religion, since as a judge, I cannot participate in political debate because our system of government demands that judges to refrain from partisan politics.
First let as deal with the origin of the name Africa. It is now settled that human beings evolved in Africa. The theory put forward by Dr. Leakey, based on the age of fossils discovered in this region, was amplified by Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop, a Senegalese nuclear physicist who devoted his lifetime (1923-1985) to scholarship. Dr. Diop, exploiting his rich knowledge of nuclear physics and chemistry, established that among the human beings there is a clear genetic sequence defining racial characteristics. African genes are the most diverse and original, indicative of precedence in appearance on earth among humanity. European genes are mutant in nature, suggesting mutation of Africans after they crossed from the African continent to the Eurasia land mass. The mutation was due to changes in climate and environment.
Intermarriages between whites and blacks resulted into Arabs, Jews another Semites. This is inferred from hybrid nature of their genes, showing interbreeding between Africans and Europeans. Other groups such as Chinese and Japanese show characteristics indicative of further interbreeding from earlier groups. Hence there is only one unigenic, linear emergence of human beings, from black to white, to brown to yellow.
The earlier theory of polygenic evolution has been disproved. There are no human beings on earth who do not fall within the aforesaid evolutionary sequence. The disgraced polygenic theory of evolution held that whites, blacks, browns and yellows arose from different sources and are different types of beings. It was racist in nature and sought to project some human beings as special and superior to others.
After human being acquired tools and developed the capacity to tame and harness nature, some of them settled along the Nile valley. More than 10,000 years ago the Africans inhabiting the Nile Valley had developed agriculture- wheat, barley, millet, lentils, beans, peas, onions, cabbages, lettuces, grapes, figs and pomegranates were grown. Flax for linen cloth and papyrus for paper making were important plants in the Nile valley, especially in Egypt (The March of Civilization, F.G.T. 1950).
With civilization came humankind’s capacity to move in defiance of wild beasts and nature generally. By 4230 BC, Egyptians had invented the calendar based on annual revolution of the earth around the sun and epochs were counted with the appearance of the star Sirius, which is visible only once in 1,460 years. When it appeared, year one began and after 1,460 years the epoch would close and counting, with the first year would begin again. The black people of Dogon of Mali retain this memory to this day. They have never forgot or lost their system of writing, astronomy, philosophy or mathematics inherited from the ancient Egyptians. Egypt comes from Aigyptos, which is Greek for land of black people. The Egyptians called themselves Khemite, which also means Black.
In subsequent contributions it will be show how the black character of Egypt changed to its present state. The inventors of the calendar, which is basically what is in use today, were also the builders of the pyramids from which structures such as temples, libraries, observatories for study of the stars (astronomy). From the pyramids you can calculate the distance from the sun to the earth, get proof that the perimeter at the base was a comparison with the revolution the planet Venus makes around the sun and the engineers had knowledge of cardinal points of the earth.
We are not engaging in fairy tales. From the features of the pharaohs and fossils of the human beings of the time and from literature etc, the civilization of the Great Pyramids (about 3,00 BC) was Bantu in character (Cheikh Anta Diop, 1991 (1981) English translation). Cheikh Anta Diop regards his language, Wolof, as Semi-Bantu in essence. It is spoken by 95% of the Senegalese people and retains remarkable similarities with ancient Egyptians (ibid). The Mashona people of Zimbabwe who built the cities that now lie in ruins known to the history as Zimbabwe are Bantu. The similarities in culture and language of the people of Africa are a result of the commonality of civilization in the Nile valley in the past.
rom the interior of Africa some communities moved in all directions –southwards, northwards, eastwards and westwards. Among the people who settled on the Mediterranean coast were the Afri (sometimes spelt Afer)- Ivan Van Sertima 1992, Editor. During Roman times the area these people occupied in Tunisia and neighboring territories was known as Afriqia (from Afr.) The Roman governor or conqueror of the province thus became Africanus - conqueror of Africa. Africanus was named after Africa and not the other way round. Students of literature will note in Caesar and Cleopatra by Bernard Shaw that the ruler or conqueror of Britain could be referred to as Britainicus.
According to information which we have interacted with this year, evidence covered by the New Scientist magazine indicates that Egyptian capacity to read and write extended to earlier than 5,000 BC, as opposed to invention of the earliest calendar available in 4,230 BC.
However, this does not change the anteriority of the black civilization to any other in the world. The spread of African civilization to Asia, Europe, and pre-Columbian America because of its significance must be covered in a separate article. Above all, Greek classical civilization (650-300 BC) from which European claim mastery of knowledge is too recent. The philosophers and mathematicians, scientists, etc such as Thales and Aristole, the end point of the scale (650-300BC), are shown never to have known more than the wisdom or science of the Egyptian. The Greeks of the time especially Herodotus, who lived at that time and wrote the history of the time described the Egyptians of the period as having wooly hair, and dark in complexion--typical Africans. He (Herodotus) made it clear that Greeks borrowed their ideas from the Egyptians. Herodotus was one of the most prominent intellectuals of the time.
The Epoch-making scholarship of recent times in Europe typified by Isaac Newton, Copernicus, John Dalton, etc was based on heavily borrowed from Egyptian knowledge systems. What about the burning of the Great Library at Alexandria, which had been established by Egyptians?
What about Memphite theology (750 BC) which many authoritative scholars believe is the basis of all modern science and philosophy? Ancient Egyptians made no distinction between science and religion. The Memphite Theology was authored by a black Pharaoh called Shabaka.
Incidentally the Egyptian empire probably extended, at its zenith, from Ethiopia to the Atlantic Ocean (Chancellor Williams, 1991). Ethiopia in Greek means land of sun-burnt people- land of blacks. I have started an article entitled “The Ethnicity of Bafumbira and British Conquest of South Western Uganda-Kisoro Today (2005)’’ that the Batusi entered this region from Ethiopia - land of black people through Acholi, before Asian and Europeans invaders turned it brown in the northern parts. Some of the blackest Africans I have seen in Kisoro District (my birthplace) are Batusi or the Bahima of Ankole. At the time of colonization the ruling dynasties were Batusi in Rwanda (which then encompassed Kisoro) and Bahima in Ankole.
The state of law and order was impressive and so John Speke posulated that no African was capable of possessing such administrative acumen, and hence the Batusi and Bahima were not Africans, but Hamites--aclear affront to the Africans people. Once it becomes clear to scholarship and the ordinary reader that the founders of the Egyptian civilization from which European civilization was built, had melanin in their bodies to the same level as blacks do south of the Sahara and that Africans owe their blackness to melanin, it will be unnecessary to quarrel with John Speke and other racist authors--the Africans will reclaim their glorious past and put racial theories where they belong-- to the dustbin of history. It is melanin and hence blackness that identifies Africans from other people. The Batusi or the Bahima, did not acquire their melanin/blackness from the sky. They inherited it from their black ancestors.
Once it is established that Africa’s misery is not genetic, but is due to cultural, socio-economic factors and that Africans led humanity in civilization until recently, then ideas can be exchanged without self-doubt on the part of Africans, or racial condescension on the part of Europeans and their kin. John Speke who put forward his racial theory in 1860s should have been aware that 1801 Count Volney, the famous French scholar who was in Napoleon's expedition to Egypt, made it clear that Egyptian civilization was black in character.

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