Politics

Kingdom of Numidia (202BC – 46BC)

What kingdoms existed in Africa before the Scramble for Africa of the late 19th century and its well known recent period of colonisation by Europe? We look at the Kingdom of Numidia (202 BC – 46BC). Numidia were crucial in the crushing defeat of Rome during the Battle of Cannae that wiped out the ruling class of Rome and their betrayal of Carthage to back Rome contributed to the downfall of the Carthaginian republic during the 3rd Punic War.

The Maravi Confederacy

Maravi was a kingdom, situated in the present-day outskirts of Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia, in the sixteenth century. The present-day name “Maláŵi” is said come from the Chichewa word “malaŵí”, which signifies “flames”. “Maravi”, thus, is a general name of the people groups of Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and the eastern Zimbabwe. What did their unspoilt …

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KINGDOM OF MEROE: Modern approach by “Ancient” AFRICANS

On the eastern bank of the Nile River, about 200 km north-east of Khartoum, Sudan, resides the archeological site that contains remnants of a once flourishing civilization that left behind remains of royal palaces, temples, residential areas, manufacturing areas and even impressive pyramid fields. This archeological site unravels the mysteries of the ancient city of …

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The Nri Kingdom (900AD – Present): Rule by theocracy

The kingdom of Nri, in the Igbo language called Ọ̀ràézè Ǹrì is a medieval Igbo[1] kingdom that originated around AD900 and presently still in existence, although its influence and territory have significantly waned. It is among the oldest existing monarchy in Nigeria[2] and had its capital at Igbo-Ukwu. Nri is an ancient Igbo town in …

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The role of temples in Ancient Egyptian cities

      Religion formed a vital part of the ancient Egyptian society and temples were thus, an important part in the daily life of Egyptians. The ancient Egyptians believed that the temples were homes of the gods and goddesses. Every temple was dedicated to a specific god or a goddess, and he or she …

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Kingdom of Warsangali (1218-1886AD) : spotlight on Middle Ages African global trade hub

The word “Warsangali,” in the Somali language, means “bringer of good news.” The Warsangali kingdom (Arabic: سلطنة الورسنجلي‎, Somali: Saldanadda Warsangeli) was a mighty kingdom in the North-Eastern and South-Eastern regions of Somalia including Kismayo. The kingdom was founded in northern Somalia, in 1218, by a group of Somalis from the Warsangali branch of the Darod clan. It was established under …

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Construction Of Kahun: A look at a planned city in 1895 BC Africa

As of 2018, by some, the continent of Africa is seen as lagging behind, trying to catch up and full of poor countries. In 1895 BC, this wasn’t the case. In 1,895 BC, towns and cities could be built up at will and infrastructural projects fully funded. The city of Kahun (a town by modern-day standards) was built overnight and in a planned format 4,000 years ago. It even had a vet. What did it look like?

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?

1,000 year kings’ list of Bunyoro-Kitara, Uganda (including the first ruler, a woman)

The evidence of civilisation around the Great Lakes of East Africa dates back 5,500 years, but if we want to name names, monarchs tend to keep better records because their right to rule depends on it. So, we know that the kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara existed from the 11th century to today, surviving an attempt by …

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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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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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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.

Gisèle Rabesahala: Visionary and A Human Rights Lawyer

Have you watched “Madagascar”, the cartoon? Seen the inhabitants? Seen it as the island of Lemurs? Have you ever bit the bullet and spent £3,000 for white beaches, fresh fish from the Indian Ocean and a private villa with concierge? When you think Madagascar, do you think “luxury holiday”, think “lemurs” or think Gisèle Rabesahala? Who is Gisèle Rabesahala?

Federation of Kwararafa (13th – 18th Century)

Africa is full of surprises. Most people visit Africa for safari parks and taking pictures of lovely animals from Range Rovers. But what if you could take a trip into the mind like inception – a journey through time and space. What if you could journey into your imagination and visit a sophisticated African state with no king, no concerns of external threats, a self-sufficient domestic economy, no economy dependent on slavery? Such a state existed.

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.

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.