Kingdoms Of Pre-Colonial Africa
The Songhai Empire
Origins Of The Songhai Empire
During the reign of Dia Kossi, the Songhai Capital Gao was founded in approximately 800 A.D, and it eventually expanded to include the Mali Empire after conquering Timbuktu.
Regarded as one of the best Civil Administrators in History, Sunni Ali Ber, is considered the first great ruler of the Songhai, and under him, the Empire continued to expand into the Sahara.
A succession dispute however occurred after Sunni Ali Ber’s death in 1492, which saw the rise of the Muslim Ruler Muhammad Toure after he usurped the Throne from Sunni Ali Ber’s son.
Sharia Law was then promulgated throughout the Empire with more Schools and education centres established followed by an extension of the Sankore University in Timbuktu.
Under Muhammad Toure, relations with the broader Muslim world were strengthened through Scholar and Diplomatic exchanges with the Arab world and Muslim Spain.
Decline Of The Songhai Empire
In 1591 civil war in the Empire weakened the State, and the Moroccan Sultan Ahmad I al-Mansur Saadi saw this as an opportunity to conquer Songhai by sending an army to attack it.
Although he was victorious through the use of Guns and Canon which the Songhai had not encountered before, the Moroccan conquest of the Empire was never complete.
The Moroccans were faced with frequent revolts and eventually withdrew in 1661.
Despite the Moroccan withdrawal, Songhai had been weakened and could not be reconstituted to its former glory and structure as a Unitary State and Polity.
Nevertheless, various Songhai Emperors sought to recreate old Songhai but failed until finally the empire was conquered and colonised by the French in 1901 marking the end of an era.
The Monomotapa Kingdom
In the late 1400s, Great Zimbabwe began to decline and some of the city’s elites migrated to establish what became known as the Kingdom of Monomotapa (Mutapa). Emerging under Nyatsimba Mutota, the first King, it would turn out to be a powerful Empire with Trade routes and territory extending to the Indian Ocean.
Missionary Arrival In The Monomotapa Kingdom
Led by Father Gonzalo da Silveira, a Portuguese Jesuit Missionary, the Catholics were the first Missionaries to arrive in Southern Africa, arriving at Monomotapa Court in 1556.
On his arrival, Father Silveira proved persuasive, baptising the King and his mother within 25 days.
Muslim Traders at the Mutapa Court did not take kindly to Silveira’s newfound influence and in a bid to stem the rise of Portuguese commercial influence in the Mutapa State, the Traders advised the newly Baptised Mutapa King that Silveira was a spy and baptism was a kind of ‘witchcraft’.
The Mutapa King was persuaded by the Muslim Traders and he subsequently executed Silveira…Although Silveira’s mission ended in disaster, it was a sign of things to come.
The Monomotapa Kingdom’s Ancient Alien connections
Researchers like Michael Tellinger today confirm the Ancient Alien Anunnaki Hypothesis as put forward in Zechariah Sitchin’s ‘Earth Chronicles’ Book series, and its link to the unexplored and unacknowledged History of Southern Africa.
In particular, the possibility that the Sumerian Anunnaki Gold Mining Operations that were set up in the ‘Apzu’ as it is referred to in the Sumerian Texts such as the Lost Book Of Enki, were in Southern Africa which included the territory of Great Zimbabwe and its successor the Monomotapa Empire.
Great Zimbabwe is also speculated as the Sumerian Site to which Adam and Eve (Adapa and Tiamat in Sumerian Texts) were sent after they were banished for having self-awareness from the Anunnaki Base Station at EDIN (Garden Of Eden) in order that they could initiate the Anunnaki Slave Breeding program for a replacement Gold Mining Slave Labour Force following the Igigi Revolt.
This perhaps explains why Southern Africa still produces most of the World’s Gold with Ancient unexplained Mines being discovered throughout Southern Africa…More research and evidence on this issue is needed, but the possibilities are interesting.
Decline and Legacy of the Monomotapa Kingdom
The Portuguese invaded the Mutapa Kingdom in the 17th Century and deposed the Mutapa King in 1629. This paved the way for the rise of the Rozvi Kingdom, the successor of the Mutapa Kingdom.
Ultimately, the Mutapa empire represents Africa’s proud heritage, serving as inspiration during Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle…Indeed the name of the country itself, ‘Zimbabwe’ which means ‘House Of Stone’ is a reference to the proud Stone City monument of Great Zimbabwe that still stands to this day.
The Kingdom’s History is also significant because it tells the story of the first arrival of Christian Missionaries in Africa with Princes from the African Kingdom of Monomotapa being amongst the first to benefit from Missionary Education.
Some went as far as earning Degrees and becoming leaders of the Catholic Clergy in Portugal.
The Asante Empire
The Asante Empire is a Pre-colonial West African state that emerged in the 17th century in what is now Ghana.
The Asante were an Akan-speaking people who established their state around Kumasi in the late 1600s, shortly after their first encounter with Europeans. The Wars associated with the European quest for Gold deposits appear to have been a catalyst for the formation of The Asante Empire.
The Reign Of Osei Tutu And The Asante Empire
Osei Tutu, the Asantehene (Paramount Chief) of the Asante Empire from 1701 to 1717 and his Priest Komfo Anokye, worked to unify a variety of independent chiefdoms into the most powerful political and military state in the coastal region.
They formed and organized the Asante union, an alliance of Akan-speaking people who were now loyal to Osei Tutu’s central authority. He made Kumasi the capital of the new Empire. He also created a constitution, reorganized and centralized the military.
Most importantly, Osei Tutu created the Golden Stool, a lasting symbol of the lost age of the Asante Empire which he argued represented the ancestors of all the Asante. It was upon the Golden Stool that Osei Tutu legitimized his rule and that of the royal dynasty that followed him.
Trade In Gold & Slaves
Gold was the major product of the Empire, and Osei Tutu made all gold mines royal possessions.
He also made gold dust the circulating currency in the empire which was accumulated and traded by Asante citizens. The Royal family would also melt it down and fashion it into new patterns of display in jewelry and statuary to project its power.
By the early 1800s however, the Asante Empire had become a major exporter of enslaved people. The slave trade was originally focused north with captives going to Mande and Hausa traders who exchanged them for goods from North Africa and indirectly from Europe. By 1800, the trade had shifted to the south as the Asante sought to meet the growing demand of the British, Dutch, and French for captives.
The consequence of this trade for the Asante was devastating. From 1790 until 1896, the Empire was in a perpetual state of war involving expansion or defense of its domain. The constant warfare also weakened the Empire against the British who eventually captured Kumasi and annexed the Asante Empire into their Gold Coast colony in 1902…It was the end of an era.
Legacy Of The Asante Empire
The lost age of the Asante Empire stands as a Historical testament to the existence of dynamic Pre-Colonial African States…In modern times, the Art and culture of the lost age of the Asante Empire has contributed to modern Physics as its ‘Adinkra’ cloth decorative patterns have now been adopted by modern Physicists like Dr Gates in their quest to map out the mathematical nature of Reality.
In this role, Adinkra have helped formulate 3D Models of the Equations which produce our ‘Reality Matrix’. Above is an exmaple which Scientists like Dr Gates claim visually represent the mathematical fabric of our Reality, and possibly the equations behind the simulation we experience as ‘Reality’ with our 5 senses…The Asante Empire is far from dead.
Last but not least is the San people, the earliest Hunter-Gatherer inhabitants of Southern Africa.
Also known as ‘Bushmen’, the San occupied Southern Africa before the arrival of the Bantu from East Africa.
San territory belongs to the region which includes North and East Africa where Humans evolved, and as Stone-Age Hunter Gatherers, the San have existed for close to 2 million years.
The San have provided a wealth of Archaeological evidence in the form of Rock Paintings, Bone Fragment and Art like beadwork which has enabled Historians to reconstruct Stone Age life with some of their rock paintings found to be more than 25 000 Years Old.
San History has been passed down mostly through Oral Tradition and the Rock Art has also preserved some of their important beliefs. The rock art is thus priceless, and is considered an archaeological wonder of the world.
The San people therefore form a significant part of Africa’s glorious past even though they did not form a massive centralised empire…Perhaps their wisdom lies in rejecting materialism and keeping life simple.