Triple Heritage and Africa's Bright Future Essay

1736 WordsNov 26, 20137 Pages
Dr. Kwasi Konadu’s course “Intro to Contemporary Africa” covers a wide range of topics relating to the continent of Africa. Throughout the course, students become aware of how the continent of Africa has arrived at this present time in history. From the beginning chapters about geography and historical context all the way to the final chapter on the trends and prospects for Africa, there are a few conclusions that students can soundly arrive at. As far back as scholars have researched, a range of different cultures have come into contact with Africa including European and Islamic cultures. A lot of the interaction has been forced upon the continent, and has been accompanied by violence, physical and otherwise. However, it is clear…show more content…
African Traditional Religions are still practiced today, along with Christianity and Islam. The original religions of Africa “are not static”; according to Mayo, “contacts with Christian and Islamic traditions have brought about transformations and syncretism of all three” a perfect example of the triple heritage of Africa[5]. Christianity made its way into African culture before Islam did, with its first roots dating back to the first century. In present time, Christianity is actually the largest religion in sub-Saharan Africa[6]. Many scholars of Africa view Christianity as a devastating blow to the continent; as Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first president, accurately stated “When the missionaries came the Africans had the land and the Christians had the Bible. They taught us to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them they had the land and we had the Bible”[7]. What Kenyatta says is true, making the European contribution of Christianity seem completely deplorable, but what the European Christian missionaries did not predict was the birth of “awareness among oppressed black people that before God they were of equal value with their oppressor”[8]. In this way, Christianity may not be as negative as Kenyatta indicated. Either way, it is a major part of African culture today, as well as Islam. The eighteenth century wave of Islam in the presently majority Islamic western and northern Africa was carried through jihad, but not solely. Islam contrasts

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