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Was Colonialism Good For Africa?

Colonialism has always had a bad reputation,with dissidents complaining that it disrupted the peaceful existence of the African society. Others have gone so far to claim that the troubles of Africa is directly related to Colonialism. Chinua Achebe, Mongo Beti and a host of other authors have written blatantly against colonialism. The only exception was Camara Laye, whose favorable setting of Africa was savagely attacked by Mongo Beti. He queried if Laye was not aware of the negative consequences of Colonialism in his native Guinea.  Even Chinua Achebe's novel, Things Fall Apart, I think was written to counter the racist claims of Conrads novel, Heart of Darkness

But seriously, I may be in the minority who would wholeheartedly agree that Colonialism was more of a blessing to Africans than a curse. Some of us know the story of the slave trade in Nigeria, and while the white man has been blamed for introducing human cargo in the continent, don't forget that it was more or less (in some cases) a trade by barter. They supplied the white men with our people in exchange for a bottle of gin. Then, read Things Fall Apart again. The savage killing of Ikemefuna in compliance of the orders of the oracle, Okonkwo drinking palm wine from the head of a human being and his act of spousal beating, rather reinforces, instead of countering the negative perceptions of Africa. The greatest blessing ever is the introduction of Christianity into the African continent. And I know that it is a blessing, because the idols that our forefathers worshipped were non living things. We now worship a Living God and our future in the afterlife is guaranteed to be in His Presence, due to the Love of Jesus Christ.

But the pre-colonial period had its bright side. The breakdown of the family unit was an anathema, peace reigned in the society and people were just content to live a simple, happy life. But when the laws of the society mandated the reqirements needed for a revered title in the land(just like your shareholders would exert pressure on you to act, before becoming the CEO of an organization), some natives of the village resorted to practising some inhuman practises. Today, our family unit is not as stable as it was once before. Avarice has overtaken our simple natures. Now, kickbacks, fraud and dishonesty are reverred institutions in our society.

Still, colonialism had merits in our society, even though the likes of Nkrumah who associated colonialism with evil, along with his compatriots, still visible in the present day generation would probably rebuke me for my stance.

What is your opinion?

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