Why Europe Sponsored Mercenaries to ‘Explore’ Africa

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Civilization did not start in European countries and the rest of the world did not wait in darkness for the Europeans to bring the light.

Most history books in the last five hundred years have been written to glorify Europeans at the expense of other people. The history of Africa and the African people have been shamefully distorted in the process.

Why was there a need by the West to manipulate and distort history? It was done to justify Slave Trade and Colonisation. Europe needed to fabricate history which emphasized its presumed superiority and minimize the contribution of all other people and in the process, they dehumanized them.

However. When and How did this begin and gain ground?

Scholars like Kenyan Writer Prof Ali Mazrui alongside renowned Historians like John Henrick Clarke and John G Jackson identify the 15th and the 16th Centuries as the periods when the distortion of History was instituted.

For the European continent, the 13th and 14th centuries were marked by wars and huge natural calamities that wiped out millions of Europeans and threatened their entire existence.

They first suffered massive destruction of their livestock and then faced two long periods of famine (the Great Flood and Famine of 1314). Next, the Bubonic plague almost wiped out the entire population of Europe in what was described as the Black Death, and then the 100 years war between France and England from 1337 to 1453 which led to between 2.3 and 3.3 million deaths.

It was also in the 13th and 14th centuries that the weather in Europe started getting worse. A period called The Little Ice Age set in and meant Winters became colder and lasted longer, severely impacting food supply and production.

With no alternatives, countries in Europe became poor and riddled with diseases and the fear of being wiped out from the earth face of the earth became real to leaders in the European continent.

In desperation, their Kings and Queens paid and equipped mercenaries who are now known in world history as ‘Explorers’ to come to Africa, and go to continents like the Americas and Asia which were less populated and had (still have) way more natural resources than Europe.

The mercenaries were unleashed to pledge the new lands and take back the bounties to Europe for their people to survive. These mercenaries were the people who laid the foundation for Europe to colonise the rest of the world and are mostly credited for discovering rivers, mountains, and places in Africa.

 John Hanning Speke, Sir Richard Burton, David Livingstone, Vasco Da Gama, and Henry Morton Stanley were some of the major ‘Explorers’ sent to Africa to set the grounds for Europe to conquer the continent.

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