We would have been better than this. Better than we have been made to be if they hadn’t interfered. What we would have become would have brought other continents to a halt, at attention and their “eyes-right” stuck on the things a people could achieve with the little they had. Would we have been civilized? Who said we weren’t.
“Christianity is a proselytizing religion’, it asks you to denounce who you are and assume a new identity”
The argument of what Africa would have been like if weren’t colonized or if we didn’t have the interference of Christianity always boils down to ‘civilization’ but that has been a misconception where a particular people’s civilization is termed civilization. Africa had its civilization before colonialism but it’s not surprising that ours wasn’t ‘civilization’ enough. Ranging from the amazing walls of Zimbabwe, The pyramids of Egypt, The Great Sphinx of Giza, our influence on Pythagoras, Aristotle and many others, Africa has proved itself a people not lost and found but a people who lived greatly on its own while defining greatness.
The religious influence Africa had was basically Christianity as it was a major tool to achieve the colonial master’s aims. In the words of Pathisa Nyathi as quoted by By Philani A Nyoni, “‘Christianity is a proselytizing religion’, it asks you to denounce who you are and assume a new identity”. This has been the case with Africa, a people who were coerced into denouncing who they are and connived into picking a new identity and this new identity has been our ruin. According to Ayo Sogunro, ‘the principal religious philosophy would be animist and therefore a more tolerant religious atmosphere would be present’ if we weren’t interrupted by the white man’s religion.
The African Man’s embrace of animism is understandably the reason why we paid more attention to the ‘inmaterial’ things we had and at such discovered its usefulness ourselves without anyone’s aid. It is obviously the reason why we made use of “Banana wine (yes) was used as an anesthetic, reeds were used to perform episiotomies and bleeding was stopped by cauterizing with hot irons. The patient was stitched up with iron spikes (removed after six days, how long does it take to remove stitches?), root paste applied and bark used to bandage the wound”. One draws inspiration from what he worships and it were these trees and items we believed housed spirits gone before us that kept us.
The religion of the African man was self-sufficient, our traditional religions were in line with our cultures, our norms, or believes. But what the interference of another religion did was put a knife on the thread that joined all this together and set things apart. We now have denominations dialoguing on the importance of traditional weddings and which is more important the white or the ‘trad’ as seen in some African countries like Nigeria. What we fail to understand is the fact that religious interference isn’t about religion alone but also about culture and that is why the worship of Jesus goes along with white weddings. Jesus- the religion, White weddings – White man’s culture.