‘All Europeans oppressed us’!

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AS we wind down our commemorations of Africa Day, we would like to end these wonderful celebrations by looking once again at the demonic sins that were committed against Africans by Europeans, slavery and colonial oppression.
We do not apologise at all to look at these twin evils now and again for the simple reason that there are no other evils known to man worse than these two which completely rolled back African development by over two centuries.
And so it is important that we keep on talking about these two evils to remind Africans never again to go to sleep and allow the cunning Europeans to come back and crook and trample us once more.
There has been something of a misunderstanding which gives the impression that only the big European countries like Britain, France and Germany were the only bad boys who committed sins of slavery and colonialism against us.
That the little boys like the Dutch, Portuguese, Belgians and missionaries were innocent bystanders.
Below we show that all the Europeans were bad boys who joined hands in oppressing us, across all Africa, on the high seas and in the Diaspora during slavery and colonialism.
And so it is important that whenever as Africans we deal with Europeans politically, we should treat them as a people who treated Africans like animals for centuries.
When the Europeans found colonies in the Americas they realised they themselves were too lazy to work them on their own and so turned to mother Africa.
Thus began the diabolic African slave trade by Europeans as noted below.
“As demand for labour in the Caribbean grew, the Spanish turned to Africa as a source for supplies.
Royal authority was granted for the transport of 4 000 slaves from Guinea.
The first Cargo of slaves imported directly from Africa reached the Caribbean in 1518.
A similar pattern occurred in South America.
The Portuguese developed sugar plantations in coastal areas.
As the demand for labour in Brazil grew, the Portuguese began to import slaves directly from Africa.
The first batches were sent there during the 1510s.”
The big boys like Britain were not to be left out for long.
“As the trans-Atlantic trade in slaves burgeoned, other European privateers competed for a share of the business.
In the 1560s, one John Hawkins (a Brit) made three journeys to the African coast sponsored by a group of London merchants, to purchase slaves.
He sailed to Siera Leone on the Guinea Coast where he got into his possession by the sword and partly by other means three hundred negroes (as slaves).
He returned home to England with great profit to the ventures.”
When the trade in slaves became highly profitable, the Africans taken as slaves suffered more.
One European country would go and raid the slave ships of another European country and in the ensuing battle between the two European protagonists, a lot of African slaves were killed in the crossfire.
For instance, the above mentioned Briton, Hawkins, at one time seized one Portuguese ship on the Guinea coast carrying 200 slaves and five other ships in Sierra Leone with several hundred more.
A number of slaves were killed in the crossfire that ensued.
Another so-called small European nation came on the scene as well: “The Dutch emerged as a maritime power in the Atlantic and broke the Spanish monopoly in the Caribbean and Portuguese dominance in West Africa.
They spread from Brazil to the Caribbean supplying slaves from Africa at low prices to expanding sugar estates there.
Attracted by the scale of profits, the Dutch were making the British and French joined the fray.”
And so a lot of African slaves were shipped from Africa.
And European nations poured into Africa to hunt for slaves.
The Europeans went after African slaves like dogs that had smelled blood.
“Other European traders, the Danes, Swedes etc followed building their own forts along the Gold Coast (Ghana).
The French established themselves in 1639 on an island at the mouth of the Senegal River building a fort and town naming it St. Louis.”
It is interesting to note that the biggest slave prison on the coast of Ghana which was used extensively by the Brits to house African slaves before they shipped them to America, belonged to the Swedes who rented it out to the Brits for a tidy profit.
Do not therefore think that European nations like the Swedes and Norwegians were innocent as far as slavery was concerned.
They were all in it.
“The slaving port dispatching the highest number of slaves across the Atlantic was Luanda in Angola.
This was followed by a stretch of coast along the Bight of Benin.
The supply of slaves here was so prolific in the 17th Century that European traders there named it the slave coast.”
All in all, it is estimated millions upon millions of slaves were taken from Africa to America with over 10 million dying on the way.
The devastation this caused to the development of Africa is tremendous.
Then we come to colonialism.
One of the countries which best represents the cruelty of colonialism to Africans is little Belgium.
The King of Belgium, King Leopold II, once he had colonised the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which he named ‘Belgian Congo’, decided to get rich by harvesting wild rubber which was quite plentiful in the forests there.
And before they knew it, the local people there got a shock of their lives.
Chibharo of the worst kind was introduced as summarised below:
“Harvesting wild rubber involved no cultivation or any expensive equipment.
It required only labour.
King Leopold of Belgium resorted to brutal methods to force African villagers to collect rubber sap and transport it in his company’s outposts.
White agents were paid on commission and given quotas to fulfill. They in turn imposed quotas on villagers.
Women, children and elders were held hostage with official approval until the right quantity was delivered.
Villagers who fell behind were flogged, imprisoned and even shot. Villagers who resisted were killed en masse, their villages burned down.
To ensure that ammunition was not wasted, Belgian company militia were instructed to cut off the right hand from a corpse so that officers could keep a check on them.
The collection of severed hands became a regular part of the trade. But it was not only the dead who lost their hands.
The living were similarly mutilated.”
The cruelty of colonialism was not confined to the Congo. Everywhere on the continent, from Angola to Zimbabwe, the local people were treated as animals by the colonial master.
It is therefore vital as Africans to guard jealously our freedom.
We should be worry about so-called opposition parties today who preach democracy and yet in reality they are working day and night to bring back the colonial master.
During slavery days there were African leaders who sold ordinary Africans to slave merchants under false pretences for money.
In Angola for instance, the Portuguese had sell outs called ‘pombeiros’ who went deep into the country capturing slaves for the Portuguese.
These pombeiros usually started local wars with the aim of obtaining prisoners for sale.
In Africa today we have pombeiros in the shape of opposition parties who are busy stirring up trouble in the political area so that the former colonial and slave master can come back again.
Fellow Africans, we must be on guard.

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