3/27/05 Which African nation, South Africa or Nigeria, will have greater difficulty overcoming problems that stem from its colonial legacy? Why? South Africa will have a harder time overcoming its colonial legacy than Nigeria for a multitude of reasons. The first of many reasons, only three that I will touch on are as follows; the ways in which the settlers changed the beliefs of the African peoples, the second is how they cultivated the land the aboriginal people lived on and the third and final reason is the monetary value they used, and how they dispersed it to the Africans. When the settlers settled on the South African continent they did not know much of anything the African people believed in. As a matter of fact they knew nothing at all. The aboriginal civilization had a belief in numerous gods, a polytheistic, religion. The settlers believed in one god, Jesus.
This alone was a drastic change for the "savage" people to abide by. Those who did not follow the religion were punished and sought out by the new governing body that was England. These punishments were harsh and usually resulted in death or lashings. The Africans learned quickly not to openly pray to or speak of any other god than Jesus.
Amounting with the beatings any type of pay or food that they may earn for working would be rationed or even taken away completely. The second of the three reasons being touched on is that of the land. The English wanted to make money off of this continent of "ill cultured" people. So they put them to work and took spices and other valuables from them and sold them throughout the civilized nations. So in this adventure they built communities for their own armies and nobles to over see the construction and operations of business. They did not want to branch off and make South Africa a livable places for the nobles of England just a money spot to indulge on the less educated Africans.
In doing so they disrupted the land and habitat that the Africans were used to and caused many diseases that they weren't immune too. Finally the money that was given to and taken from the Africans was out of proportion. The money made in that day and age from the Africans was monolithic. They were not of the impression that they were getting the raw end of the deal because the English, although showing signs of tyranny did serve and treat the Africans well at times.
They did build better homes and medical care from the developed European civilizations but they still took much more profit for themselves rather than build a better community for them (Africans) to live in. For those reasons stated above the African community will have to deal much hard to break the chains of their legacy left behind by the Europeans. The apartheid was just one of many revolutions in South Africa that started to cut the links off and free the African population from the ties of similarity. For the most part Africa is still bonded by its old habits, but is working to become its own nation with its own governing body and military force than can be a comparable force around the world.
The chains of habit are to light to be felt but are too hard to break.