We were “over techy” in Africa before technology.
The whole idea of technological advancement is to make life easier and better for people, that was the idea my intro-tech teacher passed to me when I took the subject back then in junior secondary school. I had believed that it was true. Something in me felt it was the ultimate solution to all of life’s problems. Interestingly, all the inventors we talked about in class were Europeans. Unsmiling white men with whisker like moustache, men who had died before my father was born.
A similar idea was transferred to my Government class in senior secondary school, when I opted to become an Arts student, because I was tired of science-based expressions. I learnt about civilization, colonization and constitutions. All these, were things that did not portray the Africanism of my ancestors. These lessons kind of made it look like they were totally in the dark and had a difficult lifetime without technology.
Now let us draw a life graph to bridge the gap between who we were and who they made us believe we were. When I mean “we”, I mean third world countries. Nigeria and other African countries are proudly sitting on this list. Countries with similar features like hunger, war, poverty, HIV, poor infrastructures, no technological advancement. Well, in this post I will be examining five African tech that were the prototype of modern day technology.
You must have thought it was one of those Sci-Fi moves when Night Crawler made it look like some cool tech stunt in Marvel X-men. You might have even wished you could replicate his mutant powers effortlessly, but come on, this tech move has been a part of us before Marvel started its X-men series. I can categorically say we started the teleporting phase. Do you doubt me? Ask anyone who watches Nollywood movies they can also explain to you that it is cultural, historical, and a safety measure.
You can try to ask a Hausa man what jingina bango means or a Yoruba man can explain the concept of Oofee to you. This will answer the doubt question for you as fast as you never thought.
Yes now. This is so true. You think traditional Africans have time to measure your reactions and emotions during a lie detector test. No, just get over it. Did you think they did not have their own method of identifying what was true and what was not? If you think I am lying, ask Peter Edochie. Those oaths were the perfect lie detectors; all others can remain as they were.
The Wright brothers invented Airplane. Leo Da Vinci made its first sketch using a bird. All those ones are stories. Before they dreamt of it, we had done it. We do not just celebrate our achievements but we made it work. If you think I am lying, please ask your Edo girlfriend if flying is a strange thing where she comes from. This kind of aviation machine needs no fuel, and cannot crash due to mechanical malfunction.
If you never watched a movie that has bullet flying around like birds with daring police officers acting all safe, because they have their bulletproof vests and helmets on, then you really cannot relate with this sorry. The notion of bulletproofing your body has been a part of the African before the invention of these high-flyer modern technological moves, made into cars and common clothes. You do need two hundred and fifty million naira to buy cars that run on prototype African bullet proof to feel safe.
Africans have been running this race for a long time. Do not get fooled but those high flyers odeshi is the real deal.
I had to save this for my last point because it is so awesome. Skype, IMO, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger are a few Apps you can use to make video calls, but who says we have not been doing this before the developers of this App thought of it?
Do you think it is easy to call out someone through a mirror, or a calabash and the person appears just as it is done using these modern day Apps? You had better begun to rethink your stand because we have been video calling for a very long time now.
Do you now believe that we set the pace for others to follow, after all we inhabited earth before everyone else. If you know about any other African tech, let us know in the comments section.