How European Colonial Masters Destroyed Africa’s Cities and Monuments-Part One

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European colonialists destroyed historical buildings and monuments in their quest to bring the African people under their control by force (war). In fact the biggest part of Africa history is still under the ground due to the destruction.

These destruction mainly occurred in sub-Sahara Africa excluding North Africa. Early Europeans explorers seemed not had no interest in North Africa as compare to the rest of the continent due to the Arabic and the influence of Islam already.

We shall divide sub-Sahara Africa into three parts-West, East and South. We shall concentrate on West Africa today.

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Before the arrival of Europeans in West Africa, West Africa had beautiful cities and monuments but Europeans destroyed most of them. We are only left with drawings and descriptions by travelers who have visited the places before the destruction. In some places, ruins are still visible. Many cities have been abandoned into ruin when Europeans brought exotic diseases (smallpox and influenza) which started spreading and killing people. The ruins of those cities are still hidden.

The collection of facts regarding the state of African cities before their destruction is done by Robin Walker, a distinguished panafricanist and historian who has written the book ‘When We Ruled’.

At the end of the 13th century, when the first European traveler encountered the Great Benin City in West Africa (present Nigeria), he wrote: “The town seems to be very great. When you enter into it, you go into a great broad street, not paved, which seems to be seven or eight times broader than the Warmoes Street in Amsterdam. The Kings palace is a collection of buildings. There are numerous apartments for the Prince`s ministers and fine galleries, most of which are as big as those on the Exchange at Amsterdam. The town is composed of thirty main streets, very straight and 120 feet wide. The houses are, arranged in good order. These people are in no way inferior to the Dutch as regards cleanliness; they wash and scrub their houses so well that they are polished and shining likes a looking glass.”

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But sadly, in 1897, Benin City was destroyed by the British forces under Admiral Harry Rawson. The city was looted, blown up and burnt to the ground.

In the Gold Coast (present day Ghana), was the powerful Asante Kingdom. Its capital city-Kumasi housed the kingdom’s palace known as the ‘Manhyia Palace’. It was a complex drawn in sketch similar to a Norman castle but more elegant in its architecture.

The city itself consisted of many courtyards, each surrounded with alcoves and verandas, and having two gates or doors, so that each yard was a thoroughfare. A tree always stood in the courtyard which was the central point of a family compound.

The Tree of Life was the altar for family offerings to God. There were upstairs toilets. Promenades and public squares, cosmopolitan lives, exquisite architecture and everywhere spotless and ordered. Wealth of architecture, history, prosperity and extremely modern living were found in the city. All these were documented in the 1800s in drawings and photographs. The mysterious Golden Stool which was believed to have been given to the Asante people from the sky by their gods served as sacred tool for the people.

But at the end of the 19th century, British forces conquered the city. It was blown up and destroyed by fire. Items in the palace including the Golden Stool were looted and the King and Queen sent to exile in Seychelles Island. That was the end of the Asante Kingdom.

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The city of Timbuktu (present day Mali) in the 14th century was five times bigger than the city of London. It was the richest city in the world. The richest man ever in the history of Humanity-Mansa Musa was the emperor of the 14th century Mali Empire. The empire covered modern day Mali, Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea. At the time of his death in 1331, Mansa Musa was worth the equivalent of 400 billion dollars. At that time Mali Empire was producing more than half the world’s supply of salt and gold. When Mansa Musa went on a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324, he carried so much gold, and spent them so lavishly that the price of gold fell for ten years. 60,000 people accompanied him. He founded the library of Timbuktu, and the famous manuscripts of Timbuktu which cover all areas of world knowledge.Africa 2

National Geographic recently described Timbuktu as the Paris of the medieval world, on account of its intellectual culture. According to Professor Henry Louis Gates, 25,000 university students studied there. When these events were happening in Africa, Europe as a continent was plunged into the Dark Age. It was ravaged by plague and famine, its people killing one another for religious and ethnic reasons.

When Europeans conquered the area, many things were taken away. Today, Timbuktu is 236 times smaller than London. It has nothing of a modern city. Its population is two times less than 5 centuries ago, impoverished with beggars and dirty street sellers. The town itself is incapable of conserving its past ruined monuments and archives.

All these events happened in West Africa before it was colonized by Europeans. In our next edition, we shall look at what was in East Africa before the first white man arrived in the area.

 

 

12 COMMENTS

  1. They didn’t just destroy the monuments, they destroyed the country! I haven’t learnt much on the history of Africa, I’m saddened to learn of the destruction Europeans have caused over the years. I actually feel ashamed, being from england. Looking forward to learning more

    • You want to learn about africa you learn about arab slave trade, which lasted for 13 century straight

      And then you want to learn about europe and africa you start with the barbary slave trade

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_slave_trade

      The Barbary slave trade refers to the slave markets that flourished on the Barbary Coast of North Africa, which included the Ottoman provinces of Algeria, Tunisia and Tripolitania and the independent sultanate of Morocco, between the 16th and middle of the 18th century. The Ottoman provinces in North Africa were nominally under Ottoman suzerainty, but in reality they were mostly autonomous. The North African slave markets were part of the Arab slave trade.

      European slaves were acquired by Barbary pirates in slave raids on ships and by raids on coastal towns from Italy to the Netherlands, as far north as Iceland and east into the Mediterranean.

      The Ottoman eastern Mediterranean was the scene of intense piracy.[1] As late as the 18th century, piracy continued to be a “consistent threat to maritime traffic in the Aegean”.[2]

      For centuries, large vessels on the Mediterranean relied on galley slaves supplied by North African and Ottoman slave traders.

      Europeans put an end to slavery, don’t forget that

      Africa has no morale lesson to give to europeans

      Zero, none

  2. ages later Europe still manipulating and destroying the Old continent, and they ask us to condemn ISIS, talk about Islam, while we still don’t know who’s behind Boko Haram.

  3. True. I just realized that where ever the Europeans invaded they left the civilization in shatters im from Sri Lanka and im annoyed to find out the amount of destruction these invading foreign forces caused to my country.You name it they screwed it. Be it our agriculture, religion, education. Basically they messed ip our life style. From an independent life style thry lead our collective thinking to that of dependent thinking to depend on imports.

    • My gosh, I didn’t realize tha, was it Ray Bradbury, no, I beieve it was Aasimov who retired there? No, the author who also invented the geosynchronus communication sattelite? I never heard more than that about his whereabouts, he must have died long ago?

  4. Peter Moon followers (the western zionists) forgot how thousands of years ago it was the darker skinned people who had the civilizations (AKA Ethiopian kingdom) .. the freemasons pride themselves on Ancient Egyptian accomplishments who were of a dark complexion. They were blissfully ignorant in their primitive feudal systems and non-hygenic backwards country lifestyle whilst civilizations florished by non-Aryan races.

    • You can call what you want i know you only hue-man kind,That`s a large skip and jump from being a human being instead of humankind.

  5. We were all dark skin at one time. If people would just read the history of humans. It is ashame that the Europeans destroyed the African city of benin. Don’t people realize their is no race just people . We need to free are minds of ignorance and read about how africa was and is now a shining example of humanity from which we all could learn. Africa is were the start of humans came we should not let cultural divde us but embrace us. Quote! Pres. John Kennedy we breath the same air.JTM

  6. Europeans are the virus of this human race , selfish and shrude. can not be trusted they did this india long time back and espcially the dutch they have nothing of their own , all they are nothing but starved society who leeches on human value and wealth of other nations. Shamelss..

  7. Europeans like all people are a product of their ancient DNA. The dark people, mostly from warmer regions, were kinder and more humane with access to all the resources from nature they needed. On the other hand, albino races mainly lived in cold, desperate climates which forced them at times to kill each other just to eat. For white people hatred has been a means of survival. Notice the word human. Dissect it (hue-man).

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