Important things from Igbohistory Instagram. European colonialism has, and still continues to dismantle the myriad of sophisticated social constructs upheld by so many African ethnicities, by presenting Africa as a unit by choosing to ignore the huge ocean of differences between ethnic groups, let alone countries.
Interesting fact: Many African ethnic groups, kingdoms, and states were referred to as ‘countries’ before the rise of colonial powers throughout Africa. They were okay as ‘countries’ when slaves and other goods were being traded. You’ll hear of the Ebo country, Benin Country, Whydah Country and so on when reading pre-1850 writing. If you label a kingdom or a state a ‘tribe’ this those what is described above but also implies there was no major or important political organisation. ‘Tribe’ made/makes indigenous African states and ethnic affiliations sound petty and unimportant. Imagine calling the Edo or Songhai people a tribe when their empires have wielded more power than most of the world ever has? But why would you call them countries when you’re trying to impose your own country on them?