Harnessing African science and technology: Part Four…African medicines way to go


WESTERN education came with a Western model of science. The main weapon used to destroy the confidence and willpower of Africans was to relegate all their knowledge (science) and systems to the basket called ‘primitive ignorance’.
The formal Western school systems, fiercely resisted by our ancestors, was foisted on us Africans by hook and crook. When force failed, the missionaries, who spearheaded the mental subjugation of Africans, turned to soft power.
They gave sugar and sweets to the children to lure them to school.
They promised good life in heaven.
The educated Africans were privileged to get jobs and to be accepted by whites who assumed a superior status.
They gave the Africans European and biblical names.
The missionary teachers taught their pupils to believe that all things African were inferior.
This meant all the accumulated wisdom of the black race was condemned as primitive, backward and downright evil.
God, the blacks were told, does not approve of African practices be it food, medicine, religion or culture.
African practices, were declared to be sinful and God was ready to send all sinners to burn in hell.
All normal people would rather do God’s will than burn in hell!
The slogan throughout was: ‘White is good; black is evil’. Blacks have swallowed this garbage hook, line and sinker.
Africans were thus induced to abandon the wisdom of their forefathers (African science) through the formal school system and Western Christian religion.
Never having displayed any charitable instincts towards black people throughout recorded history, it is naïve to believe Western missionaries sincerely preached the gospel and set up schools so blacks could repent and also go to heaven!
Instead, the church and school were the key instruments used to disconnect the blackman from his cultural roots and from his science and technology brewed in the African pot.
Once cut off from their roots, African communities became rudderless ships.
White pirates climbed on board (colonial process) and proceeded to systematically loot and pillage the continent’s natural and human assets.
In all cases, the more Western education and religion the Africans acquired, the more alienated they become from their roots, their science and technology.
This has remained true to date.
The young and schooled have the greatest disregard for the wisdom (science) of our African forefathers.
But whereas all societies rely on their younger generations to receive and pass the baton of the wisdom (science, technology and cultural practices) of the forefathers, the African young can only attempt to regurgitate academic materials memorised in school and university lecture rooms.
These materials have little or no link to the realities of African livelihoods.
If they do, the schooled graduates have little or no practical hands-on experience in an education system that espouses acquisition of paper qualifications ahead of practical skills and experience.
Attempts to copy and adapt foreign templates of development often fail because they are not rooted in African experience (science).
That is Africa’s tragedy of gigantic proportions!
Africans are often heard proclaiming that there is no need to re-invent the wheel.
True, but once the method of making a wheel has been discovered even by others, the Africans must also learn to make their own wheels!
They cannot continue to import the same.
Reverse engineering is necessary where imported equipment is dismantled, studied and then locally modified and adapted versions manufactured.
That is how we avoid re-inventing the wheel.
The Chinese, Indians, Koreans and Malaysians have built elaborate manufacturing industries on the back of reverse engineering supported by vigorous research and development.
Now we return to African medical science.
Most so-called educated Africans have been schooled to believe there is no ‘African science’ to talk about.
This monumental fallacy is perpetuated by our colonisers taking advantage of the captive young generations disconnected deliberately from their African roots.
We shall give the example of medicine.
Let us start by reminding readers that the Creator of heaven and earth, God the Almighty, used the same template to create matter and life.
The stuff all matter is made up of are called chemicals.
The whole subject of chemicals and how they interact with each other and with energy is called Chemistry.
God created only one chemistry on planet earth and most likely on other planets too!
In living things, the interactions of these substances that we call chemicals is Biochemistry, meaning the chemistry inside living things.
Plants and animals, including humans, are made up of chemicals.
The various changes in our bodies, for example, are a result of chemical reactions — biochemistry.
The basic chemistry of human beings is the same, whether people are white, yellow or black.
When diseases affect our bodies, usually the normal chemical processes (biochemistry) are disturbed by germs entering the bodies or by poisonous chemicals.
Nature heals itself.
Over the millions of years that living things have existed on earth, people have discovered that plants, for example, contain certain chemicals in their sap which can interact with germs in our body, killing them and curing a disease.
These curative chemicals are natural.
Our forefathers discovered them by chance or sometimes the knowledge is handed down from generation to generation. Africans have discovered thousands and thousands of these natural medicines.
They are part of the chemistry that God created.
But surprisingly, most Africans, especially the educated, shun these natural Africa medicines, preferring those supplied by white people from the West.
As I mentioned in an earlier article, African children will not accept a traditional medicine, preferring packaged pills.
These are often extracts from the bark of various trees.
In many cases, the scientists extract the chemical that has curative properties, the active ingredient, and synthesise more quantities to package and sell.
The Chinese sell large amounts of their traditional medicines and sometimes will pack capsules filled with original plant extracts.
Packaging and presentation may be important issues in marketing African medicines.
My argument is that the medicine is the African science being rejected when presented by an African or in its original form but readily accepted when packaged by white-owned companies.
Here, the deliberate mis-education that black is bad while white is good comes to the fore.As it is, African science provides some of the most effective medicines for conditions like cancer and mental illnesses. There are many such cases where Western science has failed to treat many conditions that are then referred to African traditional doctors.
Most of such cases are often successfully treated.
African scientific medicine has an added advantage in that its encyclopedia is filed in the spiritual dimension.
The African doctor will know many medicines off-hand but if a condition presents that s/he is unfamiliar with, the ancestral spirits are consulted and the appropriate medicine identified and administered for a successful cure.
All this African medical science is absolutely abhorred by Western scientists and their African surrogates.
And yet it can complement Western medicine, resulting in superior medical care for Zimbabweans, Africans and the world in general.
We now know that a big part of the rejection of African medical science by Westerners is fear of losing the competition.
Except for surgical medicine, African medicine surpasses that of the West in terms of disease treatment and cure.
While Western medicine relies on scanning machines, spiritual scanning provides African medicine painless examinations that pinpoint locations of diseased tissues.
It is generally acknowledged that African medicine has a cure for HIV and AIDS.
Many trials have demonstrated the potency of African medicines against the HIV virus, but Western medical companies have steadfastly refused to accept or adopt these medicines.
African medical scientists and Government departments staffed by Western-trained technocrats have stuck with their colonial academic mentors, refusing to accept the reality within their communities.
The Kenyan drug ‘kemron’ showed great promise but was swept aside in preference for Western preparations, often of doubtful efficacy.
In Zimbabwe, many herbalists have come up with anti-virus medicines that have reduced or eliminated HIV viruses from the blood of infected people as evidenced by viral load detection machines and other tests.
People who start positive end up with negative test results after treatment with African anti-retroviral medicines.
These African scientific breakthroughs are carefully swept aside and not publicised as they are perceived to threaten the interests of multi-national corporations.
They fear the collapse of their multi-million dollar companies that would not compete with African medicines.
It is common knowledge that Western science has limited capacity to cure mental illnesses.
But African science has discovered some of the most potent medicines for mental conditions.
The educated and the Westernised collude to keep all these scientific breakthroughs concealed from the public true to the colonising principle: White is good; black is evil.
All that Africa needs is to embrace its rich medical scientific knowledge and invest in appropriate research to place African medical science at the forefront of curative methods.
Medical institutions and universities should have departments specialising in African medicine.
Western education model is a barrier to the exploitation of African medical technologies.
Western-trained medical doctors shun African medicine.
And yet African medical science should be placed on a firm pedestal through deliberate focussed research and development.
We call for complementarity and co-operation with other systems, not competition and marginalisation of African medical science.


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