History

Sultanate of Mogadishu (10th -16th century): spotlight on Middle Ages African global trade hub

When his nephew Emperor of the Ming dynasty Zhu Yunwen started eliminating rivals and demoting his uncles, Zhu Di, was “forced”, provided wonderful pretext, to rebel and depose his nephew and become the emperor himself. To add legitimacy to his rule, he did something very unusual and had one his best fleet admirals sail to the East Coast of Africa to get Giraffes. These were labelled the first re-appearance of one of the 4 benevolent animals in Chinese mythology, the Qilin. Where did they go to? What was the role of the Sultanate of Mogadishu, present-day Somalia, in the medieval world?

Modern management practices developed before the US civil war

In Angry Birds, you can use in-app purchases to improve your experience. A “King Sling” upgrades your slingshot for “maximum power and velocity”. A “Birdquake” will bring the pigs’ defenses “crashing to the ground” When a gamer buys power ups, how does Rovio Entertainment (the publisher of Angry Birds) account for items purchased not yet used? The intensification of slavery in North America posed similar questions to financial managers.

Kingdom of Imerina: Images you haven’t seen from Africa

The Madagascan Kingdom of Imerina was a sizable African Kingdom that spanned from the 16th century to the 19th century. It is named so, as it had control over the majority of what is now modern-day Madagascar. It started from Imerina and spread outwards. It had two capitals, one spiritual at Ambohimanga and one political at Antananarivo, which is also the capital of modern day Madagascar as well. The architecture of Kingdom of Imerina is evidence that African achievements are poorly understood and incorrectly portrayed.

The Rwandan Civilization (2000 BC – 1960 AD): Iron and Soundwave Technology

Although, the civilisation of Rwanda dates back to 2020 BC, the earliest date for the start of centralisation under one monarch is between the 10th and 11th century. Rwanda was a landlocked kingdom situated in east-central Africa, on the south of the equator, with Nyanza as its capital. The development of the society may be …

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Role of Oral Tradition in Africa: Survival & Knowledge Transfer

Strengths of oral tradition The received value system from European historians is that written history is superior and more civilised than unwritten oral history. To make true, non-Christian symbols & writings, non-Islamic symbols & writings or non-white symbols & writings were destroyed at various points: for instance the ancient Palace of the Asantehene in Ghana …

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The Kingdom of Benin: 1,660 Years from 355 AD to Present

ORIGIN AND EVOLUTION The Great precolonial Benin kingdom is one of the oldest West African civilisations in continuous existence that commands respect; having existed from 355 BC to Present. Well known for its brilliant bronze, ivory, iron artefacts and military prowess. This kingdom although annexed is still present-day Benin city in southwestern Nigeria. It is …

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Kingdom of Dahomey: Could an all female army defeat men?

The Kingdom of Dahomey or the Fon kingdom of Dahomey was a small kingdom in western Africa (now in the southern region of Benin). It was developed on the Abomey Plateau amongst the Fon people in the early 17th century and became a regional power in the 18th century by conquering key cities on the Atlantic coast. It …

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Dihya, Queen of the Berbers: the Wars against the Rashidun caliphate

The ancient indigenous people of North Africa, West of Egypt were of many tribes, and they were commonly referred to as the Berbers. Their lands were invaded several times, yet they managed to maintain their languages and their culture along with considerable military power. Among the invaders and conquerors of North Africa were the Phoenicians, …

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Kingdom of Buganda: Uganda’s 1000 year old Kingdom

A fallacy about African history is often repeated that political institutions were introduced by either Europeans or Arabs. With one 1,000 year old kingdom still in existence, we demonstrate that African stories are available to turn into documentaries, education and entertainment material from the Kingdom of Buganda.

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.

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.

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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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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