Course code: PHIL. 554:

Title: African contemporary philosophy 1.

The book, Essays in African philosophy, thought and Theology has good title, the cover is well designed and the map at the cover front page is an indication that Africa is the focal point of the book. The topic or title of the book without going deep by any serious reader will affirm that the discussion revolves on the philosophy, culture, religion and general ways of life of the Africans.

            For an external body in Africa seeing the title of the book will have no other choice of asking whether there is African Philosophy than to inwardly accept that already there is African Philosophy. That Africa as a continent has all those things the western countries have that qualified them as people with philosophy. This is because the author of this book was able to put African philosophy at the fore-front by his treatment of relevant issues in the African world view. This book also carefully put together interrelated truths in African Philosophy as morality, life, religion and problems of identity.

             As I was going through this text, I discovered hidden issues why the whites never acknowledged that Africa has philosophy mainly to rubbish our philosophy and make theirs relevant in the comity of nations. I also discovered that for one to make himself relevant, he in one way or the other has to make others irrelevant. So, the West resolved to make some non-valid argument inform of propaganda in order to deny the African faculty of rationality and regards Africa as mentally primitive.

The colonial rule also could be attributed to be one of the reasons the West and Europe capitalized in asserting that African philosophy is this or that. It has been discovered as well that part of African problem is the colour of Africans, the black, to the whites; they never agreed that anything good could come out of Africa. 

This book is good because the author in his writing pays attention to the issues that are affecting Africans as well unifying our common values as religion, life and identity. This book has been able to expose that why the West has never agreed that Africa has Philosophy is political, that it is a calculated attempt to rubbish that Africa has a culture and philosophy is interwoven with culture. That means that Africa has philosophy, only that there were no formal written documents in African philosophy.

            Choice of words, the writer used simple words that make everybody to read and understand, though there are local words the writer used which without proper explanation the reader wouldn’t really comprehend his intention but generally the writer was able to use common or simple words for easy understanding.
            The writer did not leave stone unturned in treating African culture, philosophy, and ontology. Any person who is not born and brought up in Africa and reads this book titled. Essays in African Philosophy, thought and theology will confidently discuss the African ontology because the book extensively delved much in the ways and life of the Africans. This book is best titled “African made easy

            The writer in his efforts to bring to lime light the activities of the earlier African nationalists to unite Africans and expose their philosophies towards achieving African goals and objectives against the thoughts and assumptions of the Europeans who never saw good things coming from African continents due to the lack of written texts in African language that the whites would go extra miles to search for the meaning. In his explanation on the philosophies of Leopold Sedar Senghor, Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere, he explored Nyerere’s African socialism. This is the African co-operation that waged war against colonialism and its effects in African societies. He was bent in eradicating the evils he called colonialism. Nyerere in this book according to the writer talked about what Africans abhore, that is making a living from the work of other (exploitation).
            He (writer) vividly discussed Leopold Sedar Senghor’s objective in his philosophy “negritude” as not a defence of skin, or colour, even race. That it was the awareness, defence and development of African cultural values.

The writer also discussed Kwame Nkrumahs philosophy, “Consciencism” which means that African conditions should create African philosophy. That is the philosophy that would liberate man, and restore egalitarianism of human society. Consciences according to the writer aims at the eradication of class stratification, exploitation and class-subjection. That it must eradicate colonialism, imperialism, disunity and lack of development, even to fight Neo-colonialism.

            On the process of reading the text, I discovered that the writer went in details in disusing the problems of language, that the Africans have no unified language to discuss with rather using European language to discuss which exposes the secrets of the Africans. As I was reading the text, I discovered that the African countries aught to develop an internationally accepted language that the Europeans should not understand, by doing this, our core values will be safeguarded. If we should express ourselves in African language, then the problems of expressing ourselves in a colonized language would be a thing of the past. Like what the writer pointed out that “foreign language distort the cultural identity and African historical struggles, they perpetrate the imbalance of power”118
            As I was going through the text, I was able to discover that the whites in their imagination have rubbed the Africans essential ingredients of life. This is because, the whites never believed in our cultural-identify, that means that they never saw good thing as far as Africa is concerned socially, culturally and politically. With the authors’ analysis in this text, one can easily affirm that the whites have finished us in their own illusion and assumption that Africa has no culture and identify.

            In my reading, I was also able to discover that Africa had no formal text on African culture and identity but the whites were able to document their culture, thereby assuming that any continent that has no formal write-up has no culture, this is not true only that such continent as Africa had no opportunity to lay hands on formal documentation as they did.

            The writer in his explanation made assertion thus” man is inherently a visionary, who is naturally predisposed to recognize his needs of others in order to survive in society.”205 He also made mention that when men unite themselves in society, culture is born. This implies that in every society that is united, has a definite culture. Looking at African societies, we should affirm that we have culture despite the intimidations of the western countries on African countries. The culture of Africa is the best because it accommodates everybody, it is communal unlike the west that is individualistic in nature.

            According to the writer of this text, in his attempt to explain culture in details categorized culture into three (3) elitarian, pedagogical (educational) and anthropological. I wish to dwell much on the aspect the writer emphasized the possession of a vast scientific, philosophical, artistic, literary knowledge as a criteria for one to be called very cultured, if this is the case, it then means that Africans have culture and are cultured because the above mentioned qualities are found in Africans and related issues are as well found in African societies.
            On the process of this review, it is to be noted that Africa has what it takes to be a continent only that we have not been able to expose them to the international market.

            It is this review that exposed to me that despite the western domination of the African ontology, that I came to discover that Africa as a continent has gone far in terms of development and invention, for instance, this book has reviewed to me that African  taught the world to  read and write by means of hieroglyphics and paypyrus. This book also discusses issues that are very close to life as philosophy helps people to see and mirror the essentials of  human living and makes sharp distinction on the values of life.

            It could also be said that this book pays close attention to the disturbing issues of the Africans and at the some time tries to profer solution for the unification of the African views of life as it concerns morality, life, right, religion, identity and social issues.

            On the bibliography of the book, one would say that the author consulted books on Africa that were written locally and  internationally as well went deep the  memory lane in fishing out the basic African contending issues. The question of whether Africa has a philosophy is no more relevant after reading this book. As I said earlier the text is better titled “An African made easy”. The price of the Book is moderate; this is because it could be affordable to average readers in African philosophy.
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