The African Story to date, is bittersweet. Volumes have been written about the first continent. Also, there have been many movies (fictions and nonfictions) about Africa. The Black Panther is an example of a recent fictional movie about Africa. I saw the movie, The Black Panther. The cinematography, costumes and cast are excellent. However, after all the pageantry, I was reminded that all is fiction. The technological advancement presented in the movie is all fiction and it reminded me of what could have been that never was and is not. A reminder of missed opportunities While Africa Slumbered.
Much of the sweetness of the African Story of global importance, occured in the ancient part of the story. An excellent conceptual summary is presented in Great Concepts From Africa. Modern Africa remains sweet in its culture and people.
The bitterness of the African Story has to do with the absence in Africa of technological advances that have become frequent in other continents. Why is it that Africa, the continent where humans were first introduced to land, water and air, is yet to master these spaces. The Africans in the movie, The Black Panther mastered these spaces: they built sophisticated transporters to navigate these spaces and sometimes invisibly (it would have been better though if the story of this mastery was presented as solely due to their intellectual force rather than to the possession of a blue shiny rock). In reality, that technology is not present in Africa. In fact if there were to be a dooms day on Earth that requires the complete evacuation of humans from Earth, Africa remains the only continent that is not preparing for such an event because it is without a plausible space program. The space program of some African countries is limited to the lauching of satellites and often times such lauching is only possible with the help of other countries in other continents. There is a school of thought that posits that the technological predicament of Africa is due to an ancient brain-drain. In other words, those capable of the technological leap the like of which we see in other continents left Africa during the ancient great migrations from Africa and that their superior intellect coupled with the environmental challenges they encounter in their travels prepared them better than their brethren who remained in Africa. This school of thought is not plausible because the first human civilization of any importance occured in Africa after the migrations. I believe that Africa's technological predicament is a direct result of Africa's Slumber.
Slumber means sleep (the noun). So to slumber is to sleep (the verb). Personally, I use slumber contextually as a deep sleep. Sleep is a naturally induced state. Physiologically, it is a rest state. Nature intended it to be a time when cognitive beings take a break from interacting with their physical space. Nature also clocked this time to be of a reasonable duration. There is usually an underlying problem when sleep becomes continuously excessive or very much insufficient relative to nature's demand. Africa's Slumber is excessive sleep induced not by nature but by two primary forces: the spaces that conquered it and the psychology they left behind. The latter is the most powerful. The psychology of you cant. You cant do this or that unless we help you; You can't know this or that unless we teach you at our schools. We must allow it or else you cant; etc. It is only in Africa that you will find important spaces that have refused to redefine their identities or return to the identities they had prior to conquest eventhough their conquerors have left.
Just as knowledge is the beginning of wisdom, so is identity the beginning of worth. The identity that matters the most is not the identity others have given you, but the identity that you have embraced and given to yourself based on your in depth search and answer to the question Who Am I?.