Tuesday, 23 August 2016


Slavery existed in Africa, it is an indisputable fact and it is not a good memory. Slavery is wrong from every perspective and the team and no one should support it in any way, be it physical, emotional or otherwise.

There are a lot of things most Nigerians do not know about slavery, and sometimes they prefer to believe otherwise. These misconceptions could be as a result of what we have been taught in school or as a result of what our minds want us to believe and yet, it could be the hand work of Nollywood. Any ways we are going to expose some unknown facts about slavery.

10. Slavery did not start in Africa

It might seem that when the Europeans discovered Africa, the immediately came up with a new idea known as slavery. The truth is slavery is actually as old as man itself. Slavery is an ancient practice. It was mentioned by Aristotle, it is mentioned in records that date back to 1760 B.C. it is also mentioned in the bible. So don’t even start to think that slavery started with Africans. Surprisingly, we were already enslaving ourselves before the Europeans joined in the trade.

9. Europeans did not came to Africa and captured slaves by force

European slave traders rarely ventured beyond Africa's coastal regions. The African interior was riddled with disease, the natives were often hostile and the land uncharted. The Europeans preferred to stay in the coastal region and have the natives bring the slaves to them.

The majority of those slaves were actually sold to Europeans by other African slave traders—slave traders who had been operating on the continent for thousands of years.

Slave traders realized that Europeans would pay for their slaves; they actively began kidnapping people just to sell them.

8. Africans also had European slaves

When the word slavery is mentioned, the first image that comes to your mind is a white man with a long whip flogging the hell out of some black men in chains. Well, this is an eye opener. Egyptians were using Caucasian slaves in their armies during the thirteenth century. Over 1 million Europeans were taken as slaves by north Africans between the years 1530 and 1780.

Slavery apart from being an ancient practice, it also a widespread practice and it existed everywhere. What is the moral of this? Anybody can be a slave, no one is above slavery.

7. All whites wanted slavery to continue

False, not every white man wanted slavery to continue. In fact one of the causes of the American civil war which was fought between 1861 and 1865 was slavery. The American civil war had a death toll of about 620,000 people dead and about a lot more wounded, all partly because of slavery.

And did we also mention that some blacks also owned slaves? Well……..

6. A black man started slavery, officially.

You would think that with all the suffering portrayed by historians a black man would not own a slave, think again. Slavery was officially established in the United States of America in 1654, when Anthony Johnson, a black man, convinced a court that his servant (also black) John Casor was his for life. Johnson himself had been brought to Virginia some years earlier as an indentured servant (a person who must work to repay a debt, or on contract for so many years in exchange for food and. The court ruled in Johnson’s favor, and the very first officially state-recognized slave existed. Johnson eventually became very wealthy and began importing his own black slaves from Africa.

5. Christianity doesn’t disapprove slavery.

We do not like to talk about religion, politics and sports, but this is inevitable. I hate to burst your bubble but did you remember when Jesus healed the centurion’s servant? Jesus didn’t take the time to condemn the man for having a slave or tell him that slavery is wrong. Saint Paul said this to slave owners: “Do not threaten [your slaves], since you know that He who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him” (Ephesians 6:9). There was even a short period when it was allowed to own a slave with special permission from the pope Nicholas V in 1452

4. Southern American are among the culprits

Of the 10 to 16 million Africans who survived the voyage to the New World, over one-third landed in Brazil and between 60 and 70 percent ended up in Brazil or the sugar colonies of the Caribbean. Only 6 percent arrived in what is now the United States.

This is probably rarely noticed because the living conditions of slaves in Latin America was a lot harsh and thus a higher death rate compared to that of British North America

3. Monrovia

Monrovia is the capital of Liberia. We all know that the Liberia was formed by American slaves who had been freed. What you might not know is that its capital, Monrovia, was named after President James Monroe for his efforts.

2. Most slaves were close to their captors

We pointed out that slavery was in existence in Africa before the arrival of the Europeans and that a black man officially started slavery. That is not the end of the story, it gets worse. Most slaves were close to their captors? As a historian recounted;

“During my stay on the coast of Africa, I was an eye-witness of the following transaction: a black trader invited a Negro, who resided a lit­tle, way up the country, to come and see him. After the entertainment was over, the trader proposed to his guest, to treat him with a sight of one of the ships lying in the river. The unsuspicious countryman read­ily consented, and accompanied the trader in a canoe to the side of the ship, which he viewed with pleasure and astonishment. While he was thus employed, some black traders on board, who appeared to be in the secret, leaped into the canoe, seized the unfortunate man, and dragging him into the ship, immediately sold him.”

And lot more stories of that kind. It is really a pity

1. Slavery is not totally over

According to studies done by anti-slavery groups, there are currently more slaves today than at any time in history! Three quarters are female and over half are children. It is believed that there are around 27 million people in slavery right now. Furthermore, this number does not include people who are not technically slaves but are in a form of servitude tantamount to slavery.

The FOS/ILO National Child Labour Survey (2003) estimates that there are 15 million children engaged in child labour in Nigeria with 40% of them at the risk of being trafficked both internally and externally for domestic and forced labour, prostitution, entertainment, pornography, armed conflict, and sometimes ritual killings.

The essence of this article is our own way of saying no to child abuse, human trafficking and all similar crimes against humanity. Say no to child labour, say no to human trafficking.

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