Posts Tagged ‘missionaries’

“Africa the Dark Continent According to Foreigners,” by Jonathan Musere

May 24, 2016

“Africa the Dark Continent According to Foreigners,” by Jonathan Musere
Though the phrase, concept, or application “Dark Continent” has existed for at least four centuries, increasingly over time it came to be more significantly bestowed on Africa, more prevalently on “black” or sub-Saharan Africa. Over the recent past centuries, the region was increasingly inundated by foreign prospectors, adventurers, explorers, missionaries, biologists, geographers, and others.

Africa and Africans were as mysterious and strange to much of the rest of the world, just as the foreigners and their ways were mysterious to the Africans. The foreign presence in Africa accelerated during the Slave Trade and the Scramble for Africa.
Europeans, starting from the coast of west Africa, gradually ventured deeper and deeper into the interior of the continent. Many of them wrote down what they perceived and what their opinions were regarding the culture, religion, appearance, habitations, community, modes of living and survival, and other characteristics of the Africans and their environment. Africans were compared and contrasted to Europeans, to other Africans, and to other people. Some of these accounts were debasing, exaggerations, fabrications, illogical, and without merit. Some of the accounts were corroborative and displayed commonalities among black Africans. Veneration of and sacrifices to ancestors, superstitiousness, as well as operation of witchcraft and blood rituals were common. Women prevalently carried out the domestic work, men were warriors and hunters, and polygamy was widespread.
The renowned foreign chroniclers of Africa included, among many others, David Livingstone, Mungo Park, Hugh Clapperton, Robert Moffat, Henry M. Stanley, Samuel W. Baker, and Paul B. Du Chaillu. The extracts in this book offer a mosaic of the Africa as the Dark Continent in their eyes and descriptions. The writings on Africa and Africans sometimes took a positive, unbiased or neutral tone; they were not always negative.


Book by Jonathan Musere–“Henry Morton Stanley: Emergence of the Pearl of Africa”

March 5, 2016

Welsh-born Henry Morton Stanley who was raised in an environment of deprivation and torture is depicted in “Henry Morton Stanley: Emergence of the Pearl of Africa,” by Jonathan Musere.

Against insurmountable odds, short and hard-headed Stanley gradually rose to eternally become internationally signified as an adventurous soldier, journalist, geographer, explorer, discoverer, prospector, colonialist and diplomat.

In this account Stanley is followed from his beginnings, to his migration to America where he would participate in the Civil war, to his travails along the way, and to his sailing to many parts of the world. Stanley loved to be impressive and perfectionist, he longed to be in the thick of where the action was. His ambitiousness drew him to famous figures and financiers. He would be assigned to find explorer-missionary Dr. David Livingstone in east-Central Africa, he accompanied the British Commanders during the Ashanti War and in the Battle of Magdala.

Ariko The African environment that Stanley recorded, just like the people, would vary from hostile to hospitable. Stanley came across slavers and slave traders, Hindis and Banyan, half-castes and coastal Negroes, chiefs and kings, herders and settled communities. He was always eager to take notes.

Stanley wrote and moved fast, he recorded what he observed in numerous detailed and voluminous journals and books. He managed his crew impressively; he intricately described individuals, groups, and places. Among the individuals and communities that he was quite impressed with were Lord Rumanika of Karagwe, Mtyela Mirambo of Unyamwezi, and Mutesa of Buganda.