africa

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.

Female Voting in Sierra Leone

Female Voting in Sierra Leone by 1792: A Centuries-Long Journey for the US to 1920 How does it feel when you are not allowed to express your thoughts and your opinions while at the same time, other people are allowed to share their opinion? Not only are they sharing it, but it is being taken into …

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Nok civilisation

Overview Nok civilisation existed from 1500 BC to 200 AD. It may have been ruled by a monarchy or existed as a confederacy. We know from other African societies within close proximity that centralized states could break up into decentralized chiefdoms or vice versa. Evidence from the consistency of terracotta art over a one-thousand-year period …

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The Luba Calendar

The Luba Calendar The Luba calendar is a 12-month calendar used by the Luba people, who are also known as Baluba. They are an indigenous group to the south-central region of Democratic republic of Congo (formerly the Republic of Zaire).  In fact, they are the largest ethnic group of the Democratic republic of Congo. The …

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The Mossi Kingdoms

The Mossi kingdoms were a group of twenty states and kingdoms in Africa that lasted from around the 11th century to the 19th century. It was surrounded by the Mali Empire to the West and the kingdom of Songhai to the North. Despite long-standing battles within the Mossi kingdom and with the stronger Songhai & Mali kingdoms, the Mossi states largely retained their independence until the arrival of the French upon its shores in 1896. Uniquely the Mossi kingdoms did not majorly participate in the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The Mossi had similar concepts to Europe (for instance to the United Kingdom’s Prince of Wales title). The sons of the ruler were given provincial responsibilities as Dimas. There were positions among noblemen for Commerce, the Military and Industry.