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?

Temple of Sais: African medical school 3000 – 525 BCE

During 3,000 BC – 525 BC, there was a medical school in Egypt that trained both male and female physicians. The leading physicians of this institution, the Temple of Sais, were sometimes special advisers to the House of Pharoah. Discover the story of Pesehet, Lady Overseer of Female Physicians 2,500 BCE, and the function of the Temple of Sais.

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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Samuel Ajayi Crowther: from slave to Polyglot & first African Anglican Bishop

The word “polyglot” comes from Greek. “Poly” means “many” and “glot” means tongue. Greek was the first European language to use vowels. It is an Afroasiatic language written right to left originally like Hebrew. Almost every word that starts “ph” in English comes from Greek, along with 12% of all English words – 150,000 words. There are 600,000 words in English, 120,000 words in Yoruba, and no-one has ever counted the number of words in Latin or Greek. Within six years of banning the slave trade, a former slave had the opportunity to produce a bible fully translated into Yoruba, a guide to grammar for Nupe, Igbo and Yoruba, a Yoruba version of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, receive a Doctor of Divinity from Oxford between 1861 and 1881, to become a polyglot, and become the first Anglican African bishop.

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.

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 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 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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Kingdom of Punt: When Ancient Egypt Envied Somalia

The kingdom of Punt is described in great detail in ancient Egyptian texts as the “Land of the Gods” – Ta Netjer.  The history of Punt is connected intimately with the ancient Egyptian kingdoms and was a valuable trading partner of the kingdoms. In pre-dynastic era (c6000 – 3150 BC) signs of trade had already …

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The oldest university in the world is not Bologna!

Universities today invoke a certain image. They are considered institutions of higher education, helping students develop mastery in any one of many diverse fields of liberal arts, science, engineering and medicine.  Typically, it tends to be the alumni of prestigious universities that become the administrators and leaders of government bodies, political parties, not-for-profit organizations, the military, …

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Is Kenya more generous than Australia?

Are wealthy countries more generous? Should wealthy countries be more generous? Do religious populations give more? As at 2017, Australia had a population of 25 million people, 7.7 million square kilometres of land of which only 0.8 million square kilometres of land was habitable (10%), 25,760 kilometres of coastline and 25,460 square kilometres of irrigated …

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Papyri: Paving The Path To Innovation

Papyrus, from which the English word “paper” is derived, is the writing material of ancient times. The name comes from the aquatic plant Cyperus papyrus, also known as paper plant. This plant was indigenous of the Nile delta region in Egypt and it was collected mainly for its stalks. The central pith of those stalks …

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