When colonialism showed its ugly nature on the continent of Africa, it created many problems for the continent. The nature of colonialism was imperialistic, implying that the socio-cultural negative impacts of colonialism have been deeply felt on the continent. These are problems which Africa still has to deal with.
Social Darwinism, a misguided concept perpetrated by Charles Darwin was one of the most crucial tenets upon which colonialism was based on. The theory suggested that Africans were still evolving and were vastly inferior to the white race. It purported that blacks were at the very bottom of humanity and were equated to animals. Hence, the Europeans came with the malicious intention of “civilizing” the blacks and bestow proper humanity on them. The Europeans came with the callous motive of making the Africans their subjects so that at least they could be humans too. The white race was viewed as superior to everyone else and the whites thought that they were more advanced than anyone else on the planet and that they were solely entitled to the “civilizing” mission of barbaric people who were inferior to them.
White supremacy hence became the very basic notion of colonialism. Everything that had to do with Africa simply had to be wiped away from the face of the earth. Everything African was perceived as pagan, uncultured, crass, crude and barbaric. Cecil John Rhodes once woke up three times in the middle of the night to remind his colleague that “the British race was the finest flower of civilization.” In French colonies, the concept of rule by assimilation was imposed on the Africans such that all they could identify themselves with was French culture and practices.
With white supremacy, we learnt to speak their languages. We learnt their cultures and their general way of doing this. We were told that our local religions were pagan and everyone converted to Christianity. Africa was bad, Africans were backward and Africa needed a solution, it need help, it needed saving- that is what they inculcated in us. We were forcefully made to digest these perceptions, and we grew to hate Africa. We grew to hate the cultures and practices in Africa, because people got to he point were they admired everything European. Soon, everyone began leading a Western lifestyle, and the impacts have been very huge.
Suffice to say, the dreadful ramifications of colonialism on the mid have proven to be extremely irreversible (though that is not the case every time). What happened was the “colonization of the mind.” Bob Marley sang this in one of his well-known songs, Redemption Song, “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.” Very pertinent, and very poignant. It was a simple plea to extricate ourselves from notions we hold on to dearly that are not part of our identity as Africans.
What we now have is a serious identity crisis in contemporary Africans, because white supremacy told us that Western things are good and African things are terribly bad, and ought to be disregarded utterly. Today’s Africa now requires people who are able to identify themselves thoroughly as Africans, and free the,selves from the bondages pf white supremacy for the general betterment of Africa.