There are seven/eight probable theories of the origin of the word Africa. An interesting one is from the Greek word Aphrik which means “A Land Without Cold”.

Whenever the existence of man is stated, Africa is usually regarded as non-existent or underrated as a source of mankind. The history of the continent, cultural pattern and the potential of its people has been subjected to distortion and ridicule among the intellectual communities especially in the Western World due to factors such as ignorance, prejudice, intellectual dishonesty etc. It is also significant to state the euro centric view of the Negro race, their culture and civilisation had been perverted by the Hamitic Hypothesis which in turn had credited the origin of advanced societies found in Africa to white skinned ancestors.

African reality is not set within its historical context. First, the Africans were regarded as “natives”; a derogatory term and were regarded as a horde of largely naked savages.

This was Richard Francis Burton, a british explorer’ submission to the Etymology Society in London. To Burton and others like him, the Africans have failed to develop from the primitive to the less primitive. Consequently, it was also concluded that Africans have also reached the point of helplessness at which if left to themselves, they would never do any better. The erroneous belief was that “Africa before her contact with the Europeans was a jungle”. Such misguided assertions were made by early european explorers who visited parts of the African continent. This is also a misconception that Africa had no history, no culture and no civilisation prior to the advent of the European continent.

Up to the 1950s and 1960s when African historiography entered a period of drastic evolution through the works of pioneer indigenous African historians such as Ukadike and J.F Aje Ajani, the prevalent belief had been that Africa had no cultural past.

Leave a Reply