My Ideas on Africa

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Before embarking on my journey through my ideas of Africa, I viewed Africa in a stereotypical way. Tribal communities separated by civil war, but I now know that Africa is much more than my once silly assumptions. Africa was a cultural rich continent with diverse traditions and beliefs. However, many of this changed when the colonization of Africa took place during the early 20th century. I viewed Africa as a barren Savannah with many untamed animals living almost adjacent to these small tribal communities. In fact, it ranges from impressively large deserts to a temperate climate much like New York in the far South of Africa. I also believed Africa had no national government. I once actually believed that only South Africa had a president, but after watching the documentary, “Scramble for Africa” I now know Africa is more modern than what I expected, but at what price? In the early 20th century, many countries from Western Europe began to see Africa as a natural resource gold mine. Many of the great powers in Europe set up colonies and missionaries in Africa in order to modernize these “barbarians” while making a profit. Noam Chomsky states, that the primary reasons for the colonization of Africa were selfish. He stated it’s hard to admit, "I'm a son of a [gun] and I'm doing it for my own benefit”, “especially when your boot is on their throat.” Yes, schools, hospitals, cities and modern technologies were spread due to the colonization of Africa, but were these changes worth the loss of such an ancient and diverse culture? Before Britain, Germany and the other western mother countries arrived in Africa; Africa had different apparel, traditions and religions. In the novel, Things Fall Apart the narrator describes a celebration called the New Yam Festival. “The Feast of the New Yam Festival” was an “occasion for giving thanks to Ani . . . the goddess of fertility.” “Ani played a greater part in the life of the people than any other deity” (Achebe page 37) During...
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