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In: African and Asian Studies
Author: Chinweizu

Abstract

During the 1970s and 1980s, American and European investigators discovered evidence of such African scientific achievements as the following: (1) the domestication of assorted plants in The Egyptian Nile Valley ca. 18000 BP; and domesticated cattle in the Kenyan Highlands, ca, 15000 BP. These were achieved thousands of years before plant and animal domestication in South west Asia, the hitherto presumed place where domestication first occurred; and (2) the making of Carbon steel in Tanzania, in the 1st c. BC, using techniques the discoverers called “semi-conductor technology – the growing of crystals”.

These and other records of advanced scientific achievements, and at such dates, should prompt a profound revision of our understanding of the scientific knowledge developed by pre-20th century Africans before Europeans conquered and colonized and shattered African societies. They should also prompt a revision of the history of science in the world. In this article I shall present 13 exhibits drawing from the history of spectacular African achievements in science and technology. They range in time from ca. 43200 BC to 1952 AD. And they cover, geographically, Lesotho in Southern Africa; to Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in East Africa; to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa; to Egypt in North Africa; and to Liberia and Nigeria in West Africa.

In: African and Asian Studies

Abstract

In this article, I explore the forms of knowledge available among contemporary African intellectuals to identify their possible outcomes. I examine Chinweizu’s concerted effort in Ubuntology: Groundwork for the Intellectual Autonomy of the Black Race (2004). Through a critical review of this monograph, I suggest other ways to address the challenge of knowledge creation and consumption in Africa. I examine the work through the notion of epistemicide. First, I discuss epistemicide – a major claim that the knowledge design in Africa presently is against the intellectual well-being of the African people. I provide justifications of the claim to epistemicide. Thereafter, I provide a critical intervention to the challenge of epistemicide Chinweizu discussed in Ubuntology: Groundwork for the Intellectual Autonomy of the Black Race (2004). Subsequently, I argue for the need to go beyond epistemicide, and to pursue a system of knowledge creation (or knowledge acquisition, or knowledge application) that will liberate Africa.

In: African and Asian Studies

Abstract

This article examines the reality or illusion of the perceived ‘paradises’ of ‘female power’, the purported façade of patriarchy and the claimed pervasiveness of matriarchy in Chinweizu’s Anatomy of Female Power. By deconstructing the extreme essentialist perspectives of AFP, and in line with womanism, the article interrogates the perceived covert matriarchal power sites of the masculinist creation and argues that they essentialize woman’s place in fixed biologically defined gender spaces, hence negating the concept of societal power as exercised rather than possessed. These placements, while trivializing woman’s role in the public sphere, obviously obfuscate the acknowledged dual-sex political system in some African and Nigerian settings. Responding from the generally African and specifically Igbo experience, the work offers an alternative womanist conceptualization, beyond matriarchy-patriarchy and other gender stereotypic binaries; a humanistic form of gender fluidity where the synergy of the two genders will engender complementarity, collaboration, compromise and cooperation.

In: African and Asian Studies

Abstract

Chinweizu’s wide-ranging and copious intellectual output persistently brings into sharp focus penetrating analysis of Asia’s contemporary rise (read in Chinweizuan terms as autonomous modernization and industrialization) in juxtaposition to Africa’s de-industrialization and with it her firm rootedness at the periphery of global power. “Africa’s Staticity-Asia’s Rise” is a binary that bothers Chinweizu to no end. In two key works presented in Accra and Abuja respectively (Chinweizu, 2010a; 2010b) he tries to find answers. The two papers throw up in my view, a few strategic questions : i. how should Africa relate to a rising Asia in contemporary times? ii. What will it take in real terms for Chinweizu’s Black Superpower to emerge if the Asian example is a compelling one? iii. Is industrialization an existential necessity for Africa? iv. What kind of political, economic and social structures are required for a Black Superpower to emerge to command the respect of the world like Japan, Korea or China? This article will critically engage with these two works in order to attempt to respond to these strategic questions in the hope that it will aid in sharpening the theoretical underpinnings and practical processes for building the Chinweizuan Black Superpower.

In: African and Asian Studies

Abstract

Culturally speaking, the African woman is saddled with onerous responsibilities that perpetually put her at a disadvantage over her male counterpart. Ranging from the kitchen to child bearing, care giving and child rearing to the farm and market and many more, the African woman spends her life playing the motherly role with its numerous sacrifices attached. Meanwhile, she is acquired by her man through the customary “bride price” to become a wife, and more so, she is disregarded by society if she does not have children. When she is not educated, or she gets impregnated and drops out of school, she assumes the status of a house wife and child-breeder, while her male counterpart continues his education. Most women depend on their husbands for financial support and also some go the extra mile to assume the responsibility of breadwinning when their husbands are faced with financial challenges. Nevertheless, a woman’s educational training is a potent weapon for her liberation. Against this background, this study critically assesses Chinweizu’s assumptions of female power in Anatomy of Female Power in the context of prevalent cultural practices to ascertain the true position of today’s African woman viś-a-viś existing patriarchal hegemony in the Nigerian society. To this end, Feminist Theory serves as the theoretical framework for this discourse. This article examines the kinds or nature of female power that exists through Chinweizu’s evaluation of women’s role in their marital home which could transcend into political and cultural powers when harnessed. This study concludes by stating that women’s perceived powers are natural roles due to their biology which may not indeed be considered as powers however, if given favourable conditions, they can become a potent force in exercising female leadership in society.

In: African and Asian Studies