Dr Cheikh Anta Diop


Africa’s glorious past has been downplayed by the West and they are choosing heroes for us. We must bequeath to the youth, knowledge about Africa’s past. There are those who are fond of saying that we must not dwell on the past. They need to be reminded that to chart the future we must reconcile the past with the present.

Africa is the cradle of humanity and of civilization. The first empire in the world was the ancient Egyptian empire. Before the 1830’s Egyptian civilization was known to be African and brought about by African people. However, with the advent of western imperialism after the 1830’s, all that changed. There are books like Gerald Massey’s Egypt: The light of the World volumes one and two which can shed light on ancient Egyptian influence around the world.


If Siki Mgabadeli’s recent morning talk show on SAFM radio is anything to go by, then there’s no South African identity. Her predecessor, Tebogo Matima also had a discussion on that topic in the past and was equally befuddled, completely bamboozled. It is sad that the public broadcaster is used to trivialize issues of national importance. Matima and Mgabadeli betrayed their dilettantism. They really dabbled with a subject of national importance. Moreover, Mgabadeli’’s show was replete with cliché’s and anecdotes. She kept on asking, “Do South Africans have an identity”?


An identity in this context refers to who or what South Africans are, the characteristics determining who or what they are. There must be something that makes South Africans who or what they are, something common among them, an identity. What is it? A passport, as suggested on Mgabadeli’s show? A forged one also? Or a myriad of other preposterous and nebulous things that were brought up on that show which have nothing do with our national identity?

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