Historic Accomplishments

Mamluk Sultanate (1250-1517 CE): Never let a Megalomaniac get in the way of beautiful architecture

Some civilisations sacrificed a work-life balance, art and architectural brilliance to focus on winning wars. One African dynasty found time to fight the Mongol empire and build insane works of beautiful architecture at the same time. “Mamluk” comes from the Arabic “owned” or slave. The Mamluk sultanate was created by slave soldiers and administrators that took over Egypt from the Ayyubid dynasty.

5m Africans, Carribeans and Asians who fought in WW1 and WW2: Spotlight on the German West Africa Askari (Schutztruppe)

Should Afro-Europeans wear the poppy? This question used to challenge me. Learning GCSE History (a UK secondary school grade), I heard about what sparked World War 1 and the lessons the government wanted the next generation to learn. “Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it” George Santayana (16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain – 26 September 1952 in Rome, Italy). And there! my interest in the past was sparked. I read. Interested in movies, along the way, I watched various films like Sergeant York, Dam Busters, Where Eagles Dare and sat through Lawrence of Arabia twice. In all this I grew to respect the past generation of Brits for their grit and sacrifice but I was never made to feel that “people who look like me” contributed anything to Britain’s survival or prosperity. Now, I know otherwise. Now, I know that it was a World War in the first place because Africa didn’t have self-rule on both sides of the war.

Wangari Maathai: A Professor, An Environmentalist and An Inspiration

Imagine seeing vividly lush forests and fields of green being brought down for the sake of erecting buildings that would take the money from the community’s pockets and put it into the investors and businessmen’s bulking wallets. That would make you feel outrageous wouldn’t it? That’s not the real question though, the question is; will …

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5m Africans, Carribeans and Asians who fought in WW1 and WW2: Spotlight on the Senegalese Riflemen (Tirailleurs Sénégalais)

All through the First and Second World Wars, multitudes of African fighters battled with regards to European interests, while being consigned to frontier status and gaining almost no ground toward picking up freedom of their own. The Senegalese Tirailleurs are among the numerous indigenous people groups who served in the French armed forces amid the World Wars. By 1918, France had enrolled somewhere in the range of 192,000 Tirailleurs Sénégalais all through French West Africa and 134,000 of them got involved in combat roles – some in the European theatre.

The Rashidun Caliphate: international spread of Islam

Over the span of thirty years, an empire emerged and grew supporting the rising religion at the time, Islam. This period witnessed a spectacular expansion of territory and religion during the Rashidun Caliphate which translates to “The Rightly-Guided Successors” under the leadership of four caliphs covering an area of 6,400,000 km2 and including a population of 21,400,000.

The Kingdom of Kerma (2500-1500 BC)

The Kingdom of Kerma was an ancient civilization that existed between 2500 BC and 1500 BC, with its capital at the city of Kerma. It was located in the heart of Sudanese Nubia and is the first provable sub Saharan kingdom to have existed. The Kingdom of Kerma is thought to have existed without a …

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5m Africans, Carribeans and Asians who fought in WW1 and WW2: Spotlight on King’s African Rifles

The King’s African Rifles, abbreviated as KAR, was a Colonial Regiment of Britain which served from 1902 to 1960s. It was a multi-battalion regiment which worked in East Africa for a more extended period. Britain had without any doubt many possessions in East Africa, and till the independence of British East African colonies, the King’s African Rifles worked up to the mark.

WW1: African soldiers of German East Africa (Schutztruppe) (Story of the Last Shot of the War)

The first and last shots of world war 1 were fired in Africa, not Europe. How come? And why do modern Great War ceremonies and films give the impression that only Americans and Europeans died for “freedom”? Africans contributed money, skill (in producing goods to aid the war effort) and the human sacrifices needed to call it a world war. The era of German colonialism that lasted till 1918 had left Africans who fought for Germany either dead, injured for life, without ex-service pensions and with financial losses.

The Hausa States: The Pre-Islamic Confederacy

THE HAUSA ETHNICITY The Hausa people are one of the largest ethnic group in Africa. The old Hausa ethnic locations before the Fulani jihad were known collectively as Hausa Bakwai and Hausa Banza, where “Bakwai” was a term used for the original seven Legitimate(Bakwai) Hausa states: Biram, Daura, Gobir, Rano, Katsina, Zaria (Zazzau), and Kano. …

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The Fatimid Caliphate: Contributions to Arts and Sciences

The Fatimid caliphate was an Islamic kingdom that stretched over North Africa from 909 AD to 1171 AD. The caliphate promulgated the Seveners (or Ismāʿīlism) branch of Shia Islam and its geography spread from the Red Sea (to the East) to the Atlantic Ocean (to the West). It covered a total area of 4,100,000 square …

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Njinga Mbandi (1581–1663): Queen, Intelligent, Tactician, Negotiator, Warrior, Thorn to Portugal

  The start of the Transatlantic slave trade was during the 15th century when the Portuguese began kidnapping people from Africa’s west coast and transported them to America and Europe. For almost a century, Portugal was rising and growing as an empire, an empire that was built on the use of slaves captured from Africa …

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Kingdom of Medri Bahri: 400 years of David v. Goliaths victories against Ottomans

The Kingdom of Medri Bahri was a semi unified state situated in the Horn of Africa (modern day Eritrea). It was established in the early 12th century and rose to prominence in the 13th century, through trade and its impressive defensive army. It survived multiple serious invasion attempts by formidable enemies, including the powerful Ottomans, …

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WW2: Spotlight on Rhodesian African Rifles

The Rhodesian African Rifles was the oldest regiment of the Rhodesian Army. It was established in the year 1940 by the British colony of Southern Rhodesian, to fight in the World War II. Most of the ranks in Rhodesian African Rifles comprised of Southern African troops only, although the officers were broadly from the white …

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Kilwa Sultanate: a state based in Tanzania which traded as far as Australia

The word Kilwa translates loosely to Island. The full name of Kilwa Kisiwani, translates in Tanzanian to Isle of the Fish. The Kingdom of Kilwa is known as one of the great African empires in history. It existed from 960-1513 CE, and was based in Tanzania. In its heyday, its wealth and trading prowess was …

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Makuria: Humanity’s Longest Observed Peace Treaty, The Baqt

Makuria was successor state to the Nubian kingdom. The kingdom of Makuria comprised of​ a region along the Nile River; encompassing the area between today’s Aswan in southern Egypt and Khartoum in central Sudan. The kingdom ​existed between 500 AD to the middle of the 14th century and had its capital as Dongola which was …

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The First Kingdom in Southern Africa: Mapungubwe

The Kingdom of Mapungubwe was a pre-colonial state in Southern Africa located at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers, south of Great Zimbabwe. Its name, translated roughly from the Shona language, means “Hill of the Jackal”. It flourished from the end of the 9th century to the beginning of the 14th century. It …

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Elections in 9th Century BCE Africa: Carthage, Prior to Athenian Democracy

Annual Elected Heads of state: Carthage (814 BC–146 BC) The Ancient Republic of Carthage which survived from 814 till about 146 BC was founded by sailors and settlers from Phoenicia (a Civilisation that existed from 2500 BC to 539BC). Phoenicians may not have viewed themselves as a nation, but the label is the term we …

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The Birth of Propaganda: King Den’s Sandal Label

If a person wanted to hold (or retain) a political role and wanted the masses to hold a particular point of view, how would they go about spreading their message and proving that they are qualified for such a role? Surely, they would want to appear at their best, bringing out all their finest qualities …

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