European culture in Africa and human factor underdevelopment
Chivaura, Vimbai Gukwe
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Europe and Africa are two distinct societies. They are even antagonistic. They have different histories. They have given rise to different beliefs, cultures and institutions which impart diametrically opposite world-outlooks and missions to their peoples. Their sensibilities differ, so do their views concerning their relationship and encounter with each other in history. To Europe, Africa is a source of ‘raw materials’ and Africans a source of cheap labour for white business enterprises. Part of Europe’s fulfilment and business realizations in Africa, come out of maintaining this master-servant relationship between whites and blacks. Europe makes sure that this relationship goes on until it begins to look as if it were the natural order of things. In order to achieve this impression and conviction in Africans, it is therefore, necessary for Europe to destroy African history, culture, institutions and all traces of evidence which may indicate to Africans that they have not always been slaves of Europeans but masters of their own destiny. That way, the present set-up where the black man is servant of the white man can then continue without challenge, as if ordained. The task before us then, as Africans, is to revisit our history and reconstruct it in order to rediscover the truth it contains about our immense ability to forge ahead as masters of our own lives. We cannot continue to go on like ‘apes made by God to cut wood and draw water’ for white people, as Gilroy, (1993:148), puts it.