At last Africa has decided to fight back against the host of negative myths that have dogged Africa since the era of slavery. Our columnist and Editor-at-Large is the Editor of the Africa Factbook, which sets out to correct centuries of calumny about the continent.
Ever since the Europeans landed on our shores in the mid 15th century, they have succeeded in creating many myths about the African, some of them simply hilarious, but others too grave in their impact on African dignity, psychological wellbeing, and our place in the world.
As one anonymous African argued on Whatsapp the other week: "They told us that our ancestors added nothing to civilisation because they weren't civilised, yet their museums are filled with stolen treasures from all over Africa made in the image and likeness of our ancestors. "Ironic, isn't it? You have to pity people who say you haven't contributed anything to world civilisation, where they don't want to return the treasures they stole from you!
On 14 January 2020, Taylor Dafoe, writing for Artnet News, reported that "the British government is looking for an expert to guide its restitution efforts as global pressure mounts on museums to audit their collections". The body of the story was as laughable as they come.
"England is looking for someone to write a book about how to return artefacts that were looted during the colonial era. Arts Council England, the UK's state-funded organisation dedicated to promoting the arts, is offering a contract for someone to develop 'guidance on restitution and repatriation for UK museums,"' Dafoe reported.
If it were not in the middle of January, I would have said April's Fool Day had come too early in 2020. But Dafoe was damn serious. "The [UK] move follows similar efforts by other European countries, including France, which commissioned an ambitious report on the permanent repatriation of African heritage in 2018, and Germany, which passed a 'joint declaration on the handing of colonial collections' last March."
Haba! What has come of these Europeans? They need somebody, a so-called expert, to tell them how to return the treasures they stole from our ancestors? They should just load them up in trucks and send them south--that is where Africa is located. Did they need experts to tell them how to loot the artefacts and bring them over? Maybe they did, who knows?
In its advert for the contract, Arts Council England says: "Restitution and repatriation of objects in museum...