Words, Visions, Dreams, Voices of an African Woman Expressed by Thulisa Qangule
“Our history did not begin in chains” is something that El–Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (الحاجّ مالك الشباز), is known to have loved saying.
I have to admit, that even as an African woman, who has been born and bred in Africa, the deepest understanding of these words was rather challenging. How much do I know this? How deeply do I feel this? How often is this reinforced in me?
The answer is…barely.
The reality is that, UNLESS you were born of a Royal African family, there’s very little chance that you will relate to yourself as anything other than a second-class citizen, a sub-subservient whose existence is about playing the ‘helper’ to the higher echelons, who in most instances, aren’t part of the same race as self. I have also found this to be true for other ethnic groups, such as South African Indians. This reality struck me as one office conversation led to one gentleman relating to the origins of a certain type of Indian food enjoyed in South Africa as something that originated on the slave ships on the way across to Natal, in South Africa.
Other than Shaka Zulu, Moshoeshoe and King Hintsa, there hadn’t been much provided to us about any Great Africans. This is completely slanderous and scandalous when one considers the actual wealth of knowledge about Africa that exists today. Mapungupwe and the Great di Dzimba(Houses) Dza (of) Maboe, Mabjwe, Mabe,Mabwe (stones) are entieties that were introduced at post high school level.Why? Considering the fact that the average child in Europe is probably conscientised about Queen Victoria all the way down to Queen Elizabeth before graduating from primary school. should Africa – South Africa to be specific, not be conscientising its youth to our true identity?
African Gladiators existed in Europe during the precolonial era
The above image depicts an African Gladiator known as: Memnon. The image was sourced from the Wikipedia and the image is titled: *The departure of Memnon*
As well taught as the subject of Greek Mythology was to us in class, I recall just about everything about Zeus, Hercules, Thor, Shackleton, Helen of Troy, Achilles etc, and everyone’s lips remained SEALED SHUT about Memnon. Why?
For a man who was supposedly as skilled as Achilles, who has a place in history as a Trojan Hero, and was known to have been a King from a land known as “Aethiopia” which was South of Egypt…
Manetho, a historian, who wrote the Aegyptiaca (History of Egypt), whose work is often referenced by Egyptologists , as well as evidence for the chronological order of the Pharaohs’ reigns, believed that Memnon and the 8th Pharaoh of Egypt- Neferkare Pepiseneb are one and the same person. In Egypt stands a place known as The Colossi of Memnon, I will leave the pleasurable task of researching this one further in the reader’s hands. Spoon-feeding is not the purpose of this article.
Above is yet another image from Memnon’s era, found in Greece. It is simply titled: “Black Athena” and nothing further has been documented about the woman portrayed in the image. The next question this sort of thing brings to mind is: “How old / new is Globalisation?”
Matter of fact, one historian adds a twist to things and states that: “Africans discovered Europe”.In order for me to not corrupt what it is he says, I’ll leave it to you to watch this YouTube video: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yEtDLBGGQeQ#
In 2 more documentaries, sourced from You Tube, we are informed how our history has been distorted through the ages. Again, I’d rather let you hear it from the horse’s mouth:
The destructive/ re-constructive use of art that still affects us today
From pre-colonial Christian Art, Architecture and Artefacts that have been found in Ethiopia, it is safe to assume that because the Mediterranean Region seemed like such a cosmopolitan metropolis, news of, and stories about Jesus made their way through all directions of the geographic campus from India in the East to Europe in the North, to Africa in the West and South.
In South Africa, we already know of the Lemba people, who are predominantly found in the Limpopo Province. DNA tests done on this ethnic group has proven that they are 100% semitic and so they aren’t telling a lie when they state that they came down to the Southern most tip of the continent from Judea.
It is therefore safe to say that when referring to people of Jewish Origin, we’re then looking at a somewhat broad spectrum of human colouring, from the Pale-ish-Olive skinned human to the darkest of them all? As previously highlighted in my one article re: “colourism”, the issue of the Falasha people was brought to the fore. These are dark-skinned or Black Jews who live elsewhere in Africa.
Diverting slightly and shifting back to the issue of art, as a re-constructive, and at times, a de-constructive medium of mass indoctrination…
The story has been told that…
Cesare Borgia, the illegitimate son of a man who would one day become Pope Alexander, became friends with the artist, architect and and and…influencer…Leonardo Da Vinci. Leonardo himself was also illegitimate son of a somebody. During their day and times, there was competition between Leonardo and Michelangelo, especially in terms of who would manage to have the most influence on the masses. Leonardo won. This is how many a paintings portray Jesus Christ as this very European being, as we see today.
The above seems to have gotten lost in history and many simply take the ‘fictional’ portraits of he Christ from all those years ago as reality and fact. Fore more information about Cesare Borgia and how the modern images of Christ came to be, see the following links:
One Black Woman said: “No! Christ cannot have been black” she could not explain why.
One White Woman said: “Why would so many people paint him the same if it werent true?”
None of these women had seen ANY of the precolonial Christian paintings in Ethiopia and elsewhere hey…
I highly recommend the below site as reference:
The Bible says:
We live in Africa, many of us are born in Africa, and we have children of our Diaspora looking up to us, at us, walking with us, other people of the continent wondering what has happened to us…
It should not be an issue for us to understand who we are, to appreciate it, to make use of our own art to “write” the many wrongs done to us in the past.
I guess it is also a safe time to state this: “as much as our history did not begin in chains, we need to know there is history beyond Mandela or Shaka Zulu” and we need to get to it. The mental de-colonisation, emancipation of our people is not going to happen miraculously overnight but it is also just not going to happen if everyone sits on their laurels and expects that the truth about Africa’s story, history and heritage is going to simply levitate itself above ground and present itself to us.
Our continent, our land, ownership does not start with fancy parties, big luxury cars and zero homage to our truth…our heritage goes way yonder.
Thulisa Qangule © 2015