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AFRICA’S OTHER HISTORY

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Sir,

Many people are aware that the history of much of pre-colonial Africa was not recorded in writing but rather through tradition of storytelling whereby the knowledge of history would be passed down orally from generation to generation.


Much of that history, however, may have been lost over time such that we may know our history as a people or nation, but we have no certainty as to who the people who founded our present day nations were, where they were from or the reasons why they left the territories which they previously occupied to form new nations in territories occupied by others and as such, many different versions of history emerge.


In Southern Africa, we know that most people are descended from the Nguni tribes from East or Central Africa who migrated south to occupy the territories formerly occupied by the San people who are widely referred to as bushmen.
But very few people know the history of the Nguni people and why those who migrated south did so. Some people are not even aware that there were others before us on this Southern tip of Africa.


Much of Africa’s oral history also contains what many people today would consider to be mere ‘legends and ‘myths’-things which supposedly do not exist and never really took place, such as the Dogon People’s claim that they were visited by beings from the stars, and this therefore calls into questions the credibility of some of that history, especially in the absence of written records. But the lack of written records is not limited to Africa as even Europe had no historical records in pre-grecian times and also relied on storytelling as a means of conserving their history. European oral history also contains many so-called ‘myths’ or ‘legends’, one of them being the African origins of Scotland and Ireland.

The ‘legend’ suggests that the people of Scotland and Ireland are descendants from the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh called Cheneres (who was said to have been killed chasing the Israelites through the Red Sea), and a Scythian prince called Nial. In fact, some historians have suggested that the Celtic people who settled in much of Western Europe were the descendants of the Scythians who were said to be originally from Asia. Add to that the fact that the bagpipes for which Scotland is know are actually a musical instrument of North African orign, ten you have another perspective of history!

Swazi Citizen

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