My introduction to History was in the early years. I was fascinated by the myth of how patriarchy had overthrown the women leadership as taught to us. However it was presented in a very colorful but simplistic fashion. We were simply told about a colonial chief who used to sit on men for leisure while holding brief in her court! Then the tribe that walked from the sky to a valley with a herd of cattle.Well the cattle raids have never stopped since they landed on earth.
My interest in History was sparked through a book gift from a high school teacher. It was about the explorers of Africa, these fellows who carried the black man's burden as they sent reports home on the lands awaiting occupation. It was awesome to learn about Livingstone and his two black minds. His encounter with Stanley at some point...In High school we learnt about West Africa as the craddle of mankind. Interestingly we could just walk to a nearby museum to gaze at the prehistoric fossils! I do not know whether they were replicas...
The civilizations between Tigris and Euphrates gave way to Transsahara tm and the Transatlantic trade. There were also the empires such as the Asante. A choice saw me pick East Africa that I sat for without being taught. However the serious teachers of the time were kind enough to provide material and evaluations needed. The French Revolution was a spark in our youthful mind. Liberate. Equalite. FraterniteThe call by the queen for masses to be given cakes instead of bread! The exploits of the German emperor Bismark.. Still African History gave a great sense of identity.
My teacher who joked he would have been a lawyer went beyond the syllabus with indepth focus on Meru History that he had researched in his undergraduate days... Still there is that feeling that History learnt is not all encompassing. There is need to look farther back, to probe, to ask the necessary questions. The curriculum can only cover enough as provided by the developers but real education is really after school is over and done with.
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