I have been reading The Dominion Mandate by Dr. Mensah Otabil. Last night, I reached Chapter Ten where the discovery of such places as the Americas by Christopher Columbus, the Zambezi by David Livingstone are highlighted. I added this morning in my mind the discovery of the Niger by, as we were taught, Mungo Park. Dr. Otabil stated that Christopher Columbus was actually lost when he stumbled on the natives living in the New World!
Dr. Otabil’s take on the issue which I definitely share is that because the natives of Africa and America were static and failed to extend their influence on the earth, someone else came and discovered them, named them with a name from the foreign language and I might add, began educating them in a foreign culture and writing their own history for them. The more alarming aspect of this whole colonization matter is that natives always consider it prestigious and civilized to be educated in a foreigner’s language and culture.
Incidentally Dr. Myles Munroe also taught along these lines when he often explained certain concepts in the Kingdom Series. The Greeks called the concept Hellenization while the British called it colonization: extending the influence of your kingdom through changing or modifying the culture of the natives you conquer! But I am sure this is not all new. I want to pick a little thought highlighted by Akurios on this issue.
Akurios blames the Nigerian Educational system for continuing to teach children that Mungo Park discovered River Niger! The truth is that in the eyes of the British, Mungo Park did discover River Niger because before his exploration, they did not know about the river. But the natives whom Mungo met there did know the river and probably did not call it Niger. We agree that they may not have had the curiosity to traverse the whole River, but the history of Africa and other colonized parts of the world should not completely exclude the existence of the natives themselves.
Do you think it is possible to modify our history curricula and emphasize our existence as a people before the Europeans came? Do you think it is necessary? Let me know your thoughts.