DISCOVER, RECONNECT & RECLAIM

History and Culture

Black history dates back to the motherland ‘AFRICA’ as black people. in the present day, we exist in different places around the world due to forced and willful migration, it is evident that we can relate to each other’s differences and similarities based on ethnicity, physical features, languages, cultures, and lifestyles, but it all boils down to one fact and that is ‘we are one people with one life struggle’ so, if our struggles are similar, why can’t we be stronger together in order to face our struggles as one people without fear, shame and resentments but with one hope for a better future.

We’ve arrived at a time of revolution in our world, a time where the truth about the black race is gradually unveiling itself and we are beginning to realize who we truly are.

Marcus Garvy Quote ‘ a people without the knowledge of their past origin, history & culture is like a tree without a root”

For decades, We have been blessed with past and present heroes who fought to preserve our lives and rights, but it is our responsibility to discover, recover and reclaim our history & culture.

Africa Flag
History and Culture, Travels and Tours

15 Beautiful African Country flags, their Facts and History

There are 54 African countries, each having different national symbols that speak volumes about its history, land, and people. Some of these national symbols include Flags, national anthems, coats of arm and so many other ones.

Basically, this post will be on some beautiful flags in Africa. Flags, as we know, are more than just pieces of clothing hoisted on poles. They carry the identity of a nation and its people. Some African contries flags have been changed from what they used to look like initially.

Did you know that a country’s flag is as powerful as the whole country itself? Therefore, they are respected and any insult on a country’s flag could lead to war. In the olden days, flags were referred to as banners and when a country went to war, the banner led the way. If the opposing country took the banner, it was as good as saying the country that lost its banner had lost the battle.

Now, let’s talk about the beautiful African flags and the history behind them.

1. South Africa

South Africa flag

South Africa gained independence on April 27, 1994. This was the first time the flag was hoisted and adopted; the same day Nelson Mandela was sworn-in as president. It is symbolic of the hope and freedom of the people of the country after the long period of oppression. There is a Y-shape on the flag which stands for the unity in diversity of the South African people.

2. Nigeria

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Michael Taiwo Akinwunmi, a 23-year-old Nigeria studying in faraway London, designed the green-white-green flag in 1959. The flag was adopted and hoisted for the first time on the day of Nigeria’s independence, October 1, 1960. The green color stands for the diverse natural and agricultural resources, while the white color signifies peace.

3. Ghana

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The Ghanaian flag is one of the first to adopt the Pan-African colors, which are red, green, and yellow. It was hoisted in 1957, the same day Ghana gained independence. The red-yellow-green colors are arranged parallel to each other and they stand for the lives lost in the struggle for independence, the mineral resources, and natural wealth respectively. The black star in the middle stands for the emancipation of Africa. The Black Star Shipping line owned by Marcus Garvey inspired it.

4. Rwanda

The current Rwandan flag was designed by Alphonse Kirimobenecyo. It is not the original flag as it was adopted in 2001 to rid the country of the memories of the 1994 genocide. The new flag has four colors: blue, two shades of yellow, and green. The blue signifies peace and joy, the yellow speaks of the country’s economic potential, the green tells of the prosperity of the land, and the yellow sun signifies enlightenment.

5. Morocco

The Moroccan flag was adopted in 1955 even though the country gained independence in 1956. There is a predominantly red color which tells of the bravery of the people of the land. There is also the green pentagram (five-sided star) which is Solomon’s seal. The pentagram was incorporated into the flag in 1915 under the leadership of Mulay Yusuf.

6. Egypt

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This is the most modified flag in African history; it has been modified seven times. Each modification stands for a milestone in the nation’s history. They adopted the current flag in 1984 and it has three major colors: red, white, and black. At the middle of the flag is the country’s national emblem, the Eagle of Saladin. The red speaks of the struggle that brought revolution, the white signifies the non-violent revolution, while the black talks about the end to the reign of the Imperialist in Egypt.

7. Zimbabwe

This flag is one of the most colorful on the continent; it contains six colors: gold, green, yellow, black, red, and white. To the left side of the flag is a white triangle which stands for peace. Inside the triangle is a bird impressed on a red star.The bird is the national symbol of the country. On the other side of the triangle is a mix of colors arranged horizontally green, yellow, red, black, red, yellow, and green. The green speaks of agriculture, yellow tells of mineral wealth, red depicts the lives lost to the struggle for independence, and black the African heritage.

The Zimbabwe flag was first hoisted on 18 April 1980, the same day the country gained independence from the United Kingdom.

8. Seychelles

The country gained independence on June 29, 1976, and since then it has had three modifications to its flag. The country adopted this current design in 1996. It has five colors arranged diagonally. These colors represent the country’s different political parties. They also represent the country’s prospects and dynamics from the struggle for independence into the future.

9. Kenya

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The Kenyan flag was adopted on December 12, 1963, and it has three major colors: red, green, and black. The red stands for the fight for independence, the green tells of natural wealth and beautiful landscape, and the black represents the people of Kenya. There is a white fimbriation which stands for peace and honesty. There is a traditional Maasai shield with spears at the middle of the flag which talks about defense.

10. Tanzania

The flag is made up of green, yellow, black, and blue colors. The green symbolizes natural wealth, the black tells of the native Swahili people, the blue describes the Indian Ocean and the other water bodies, and the yellow talks about the mineral wealth of Tanzania.

11. Uganda

The flag is made of six horizontal bands of different colors; They include red, yellow, and black. In the middle is a white disc with a grey-crowned crane. The black speaks of African people, the yellow talks about the sun, the red depicts the brotherhood of the people (blood), and the crane used to be the colonial badge of the Ugandan military.

The ugandan flag has passed through several stages of evolution from the period of colonialism(1914) till the day of gaining independence in 1962.

12. Cameroon

This country is the second to adopt the Pan-African colors red, yellow, and green. This time, the red stands for unity, the yellow for the sun and savanna, green for natural wealth, and the star in the middle for unity too.

13. The Gambia

Gambia adopted this flag on February 18, 1965, and it has red, blue, and green colors arranged horizontally. These bands are separated by two thin white bands, one on each side of blue to signify peace and unity. Red stands for the sun and savanna as well as the country’s proximity to the equator. The green stands for natural wealth and vegetation, and the blue stands for River Gambia.

14. Somalia

This is the simplest flag on the continent. It is a plain blue flag with a white star, known as the ‘Star of Unity,” in the middle. The flag was designed by Mohammed AwaleLiban and on October 12, 1954, the country adopted it. The UN flag inspired the blue color while the white stands for all the places where the Somali race can be found, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, as well as the former Italian and British colonies.

15. Cote d’Ivoire

The flag was adopted on December 3, 1959, even though it had been designed a year earlier. However, it was until the country gained full independence from France in 1960 that the flag went into full use. The French Tricolore inspired the flag. The orange color speaks of fertility and the savanna grasslands, green represents hope and the coastal forests, and white tells of peace as well as the countries water bodies.

We believe you must have gained some knowledge about the different African flags, their meanings, and a bit about their history from this article. Drop your comments in the comments section as we would like to know what you feel.

History and Culture, News

African countries with the fastest growing population

Africa, according to world population reports, has the second fastest growing population in the world and Nigeria is topping the list with a population of 201 million. There is a rising concern that Africa will be overcrowded in 2100 at the rate at which its population is growing. The following countries are on the list of the fastest growing population in Africa.

Zambia

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Zambia is one of Africa’s fastest growing populations with a life expectancy of 63 years. At 3.0 percent average growth rate from 2010 – 2019 and a total population of 18.1 million.

Uganda

This country has a 45.7 million population figure is one of Africa’s fastest growing population. With a life expectancy of 61 years. It has a 33 percent average growth rate from 2010-2019.

Tanzania

With a population figure of 60.9 million in 2019, this country is one of Africa’s fastest growing populations, with a life expectancy of 62 years, it has a 31 percent growth rate between 2010 and 2019.

Niger Republic

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The country has a population figure of 23.2 million and an average growth rate of 3.0 percent between 2010 and 2019. Its life expectancy is at 59 years and this has placed it on the list of the fastest growing population in Africa.

The Gambia

This country’s population stands at 2.2 million, with a life expectancy of 62years. Growth rate stood at an average of 3.1 percent from 2010-2019

Equatorial Guinea

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This country has a 1.4 million individual population and an average growth rate of 4 percent from 2010-2019. Life expectancy is 59 years

The Democratic Republic of Congo

The DRC has a population of 86.7 million and a growth rate of 3.3 percent between 2010 and 2019. Life expectancy is 61 years.

Chad

This West African country has a population figure of 15.8 million and an average growth rate of 3.2 percent between 2010 and 2019. Life expectancy stands at 54 years.

Burundi

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Burundi’s population is 11.6 million and average growth is 3.1 percent from 2010 – 2019. The life expectancy is 59 years at birth. This has made it one of the fastest growing populations in Africa.

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History and Culture

All about the Haitian Plaine du Nord Festival

If you are familiar with Haitian culture then you should have heard about the Plaine du Nord Festival which is held yearly. The festival, which takes place in July, celebrates the Ogou god which is also worshipped in parts of Western Nigeria and the Benin Republic.

The name of the festival also doubles as the name of the location where it is held. The town of Nord lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Massif du Nord Mountain. It has a population of about 40,000 people made up of Maroon and Creole people who are known to love the preservation of their African roots.

Voodoo believers pray in a mud pool in a ceremony during the Plain Du Nord Festival July 24, 2008. Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

Plaine du Nord has a reputation as the location where the first war that led to Haiti’s independence was fought. The belief is that the African slaves and Maroons were endowed with power by the spirit of the gods which pushed them to begin the war.

Pilgrims from far and wide visit the town for the festival and they come with sacrifices. The high priestess helps them with offering their sacrifices. Some of the sacrifices offered are goats, sheep, chicken, cow, etc. and they are slaughtered by the high priestess.

The pilgrims usually come dressed in dark colors like red or black, the priests do likewise in most cases. The pilgrims bathe in a pool of mud in a manner similar to baptism and the priests and priestesses make use of scented incense and herbs for the sacred bath. Children are held upside down when they come for the bath. It is after the bath that the sacrifices are offered on behalf of the pilgrims by the priests.

There are several other aspects of the ceremony like the candlelit dances at night and hunger strike. This festival is a way for the Creole people to maintain their African cultures and have a feel of what their warriors felt during the war.

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HAITIAN REVOLUTION- THE BRAVE AFRICANS WHO FOUGHT FOR THEIR FREEDOM.
History and Culture

Interesting facts about Rwandan Wedding Traditions

Weddings anywhere in the world are regarded as very important ceremonies and in Rwanda, there are several traditions that are followed to ensure that the ceremonies remain in the memory of the couple. It is imperative that couples know what these traditions are to ensure that their wedding ceremonies enjoy the blessing of the elders.

We have brought you a few of these interesting facts about Rwandan wedding traditions.

Parents’ consent

It is important that the couple seek the consent of their parents before the wedding ceremony is conducted. This consent signifies the parents’ approval while it is also seen as a sign of respect.

Two wedding ceremonies

In Rwanda, there are always two wedding ceremonies. The first is the traditional wedding ceremony while the second is the church or civil ceremony. The second cannot be conducted without the first.

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Mushanan

The mushanan is the traditional wedding dress for the bride as well as other women attending the ceremony. It is made of a silk material which is matched with a long wrapped skirt while the shoulder is covered with a sash. Usually, the bride’s mushanan is unique even though almost all the women at the ceremony wear something quite similar.

Traditional Wedding venue

In Rwanda, the traditional wedding ceremony is usually held at the bride’s aunt’s house. This aunt is the person that introduces the groom to the attendees of the ceremony before the dowry is paid.

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Bridal entourage

The bride’s entrance into the wedding venue is usually an amazing sight. She comes in flanked with four bodyguards, each carrying a spear. She also has four friends and another friend who is married and a mother as well as two young girls walking with her.

Ingobyi

Along with her majestic entrance, the bride does not walk into the venue. She is carried in on the traditional carrier known as an ingobyi. It has two handles via which two young men carry the bride on their shoulders.

Wedding venue arrangement

The venue is usually arranged in a very strategic manner. There are always three tents which are arranged in a U-shape. The two tents opposite each other house both families while the one in the middle, which is considerably smaller, is for the couple and their friends. The bridal tent is usually decorated with animal print, decorative baskets, and lots of handcrafts.

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Umaranga

It is normal for each family to pick a representative to speak on their behalf during the wedding ceremony. The Umaranga represents the groom’s family and carries out a detailed research about the bride, her ancestry, and the conduct of her relatives. He takes it a step further by asking for the bride at the Gusaba ceremony.

Dowry

The usual dowry requested is a cow or a couple of cows. The cow stands as compensation for taking their daughter. After the dowry has been collected, the women from the bride’s family move towards the groom’s family with gourds of milk.

Impamba

The host of the ceremony offers the groom’s family a drink called Impamba as soon as they are ready to leave after the ceremony. It is meant to quench their thirst and prepare them for the journey ahead. In some cases, the groom’s family is offered food.

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Entertainment, History and Culture

All about Jamaica Carnival 2019 [Pictures]

Is there ever a thing like too many carnivals? We can all come to a consensus on that, the answer is ‘No’. We all want to have fun every day and Jamaica is making sure of that with its Bacchanal Jamaica Carnival, the youngest in the country.

This festival is one of a kind as it kicked off in February and hit its crescendo between April 25 and 30. The last few days saw people march through the streets of Jamaica as well as attend music jams which ran all night. The streets of Kingston was hit up as there was a huge number of people dancing, drinking, partying and showing off several colorful costumes. This is why the Caribbean is recognized as having the best carnivals in the world.

Jamaica Carnival 2019

This year’s carnival had the highest number of people in attendance the country has ever had at a carnival. Three carnival groups came together in 2000 to birth the Bacchanal Jamaica Carnival. The carnival is now known as Jamaica carnival.

The aim of the carnival is to promote Jamaica culture, tourism, and music. Each year sees a larger crowd visit the carnivals. Despite the fact that much controversy surrounds the carnivals, the locals keep trying to enlighten the rest of the world about its values. If you are planning a trip to Jamaica you should visit one of such festivals.

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History and Culture

African cities that have maintained their colonial names

A name is a word or set of words by which a person is known, referred to or addressed.

Names of places in Africa are deeply rooted in traditional or cultural heritage in Africa. Due to the cultural heritage, the colonial masters were unable to pronounce the names of the cities. So, a change of name was in place simply because the colonialists had issues with pronouncing their names.

There are four major cities in Africa that still hold on to their colonial names.

Port Harcourt

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Port Harcourt is one of the largest metropolitan cities in Nigeria. It was formerly named as Iguodia from Ikwerre, which was gotten from an Igbo name “Ugwu ocha” which means “bright skyline”. The colonial administration created the port in 1912, which was used to transport coal from Enugu. Iguodia was changed to Port Harcourt after Iguocha was changed to Port Harcourt after Lewis Verman Harcourt in 1913 by Lord Lugard. Port Harcourt is now known as the major oil-refinery in Nigeria with two main refineries that produces about 210,000 barrels of oil daily.

Rabat

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Rabat was formerly known as Ar-Ribat which means “camp” and founded by Abd’al Mu’mim in the twelfth century as a fortified monastery where he could house his soldiers during jihad in Spain. It was nicknamed Ribatu’l fath which means “stronghold of victory”. The city of Ar-Ribat’s name was changed to Rabat when the French who corrupted the town and invaded Morocco in 1912 establishing it as a protectorate.

Lagos

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Lagos is the largest city in Africa. In terms of population. It was also the former capital city of Nigeria. The city was formerly called “Eko” or “Onim”. Eko which means war or military camp by the occupants Awori people before the arrival of the Portuguese and named after the coastal city in southern Portugal. Lagos was used as a port for the slave trade in the 1760”s

Johannesburg

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Johannesburg is the most prosperous and developed metropolis in Africa. The city attracted a lot of people after the discovery of gold in Witwatersrand in 1884.it has not been determined from history how the name Johannesburg was gotten and its local name before it was changed to its present name also remains unknown.

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Entertainment, History and Culture, News

Nigerians organize a festival to celebrate iconic African drum

A three-day long show about drums was recently held at the 10,000 sitting amphitheater in Ogun state, Nigeria. The show an initiative of the Ogun state government was tagged “African drums festival” this show brings together several African cultural drums, celebrating the rich heritage embedded in the African drums. Bringing to Africa another front for unity.

At the event was the literary giant Wole Soyinka, a partner for the programs and also an indigene of Ogun state. Other appearances at the event were iconic drummers from all over Africa; Kenya, Congo, Senegal, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and many more.

Drums are a major part of celebrations in Africa. Every ceremony has its peculiar drum style from naming ceremonies to funerals. For Africans drum is not just a musical instrument but also a very important cultural symbol used in communicating different happenings. For instance, the talking drum has been known to be used as a means of communication in ancient times and sometimes through long distance. It is also used for summoning ancestral spirits and used during religious rites and rituals.

The Tama and Tarran bat drums of the Wolof tribe in the Senegambia region are used to tell stories.

Drums in ancient times were used to announce and assemble people for war. In some culture in Africa, it is a symbol of authority. For instance, a prince can never lay claim to kingship in the Bayankore tribe of Uganda.

This rich cultural heritage embedded in the African drums is what has brought about the celebration of the African drums festival. This event is noted as one of the most revolutionary cultural events in Africa right now.

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History and Culture, Travels and Tours

5 historical museums to visit in the Caribbean

You probably have heard that the Caribbean is among the most desirable place to visit on earth. In all its beauty the Caribbean is yet to be fully explored by visitors. The truth is there is so much to see and enjoy here, from the beautiful hotels to the rich Caribbean culture, and the exotic white sand beaches.

Just like every other part of the world, the Caribbean has a very rich history which can be view at the museums and historic sites. We have selected a few which we believe you must visit whenever you find yourself anywhere in the Caribbean.

The Nation Museum and Art gallery – Trinidad & Tobago

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Visit this museum you are assured of breathtaking experience. It is loaded with history, culture, and art of the Trinidadian people. Visitors can view all of these for a whole day and still have loads of artifacts left unseen. It houses artwork from some of the island biggest artistic like Michael–Jean Cazabon. There are more than 10,000 artifacts which are grouped into 7 different galleries. It was built in 1892 initially as the Royal Victoria Institute.

Musee du Pantheon National Haitien – Haiti

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If you are a lover of art and history, then you have to visit Haiti. This museum is the best place to see all of the history and art of the first country to gain independence in the Caribbean. You get to see artifacts like the bell that was used to announce independence, the gun used by Henri Christophe as his suicide weapon, the anchor of Christopher Columbus’s ship, torture instruments and the Santa Maria.

Spice Basket Heritage and Cricket Museum – Grenada

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A theater performance at the museum

This museum as a twist to it. it is the only museum in the world that is dedicated to the history of team players of West Indies Cricket. When you visit you also get a tour which shows you Amerindian artifacts, how cricket started on the islands, the sugar revolution, etc. there is also a theater where visitors can enjoy theatrical and musical displays. You can also lodge at the museums hotel and dine at the onsite restaurants.

Trench Town Culture Yard Museum – Jamaica

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Jamaica has the highest number of museums in the Caribbean so it can be very difficult and confusing to make the choice of which to visit. This museum, however, gives you a taste of history like no other. You enjoy Jamaican history through the most popular form of music in Jamaica, reggae. The museum is located in the birth city of the Reggae icon, Bob Marley and it shows you different artists whose works have impacted the lives of Jamaicans.

Museum of Antigua and Barbuda – Antigua and Barbuda

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It might be small in size but it plays host to some of the most historical pieces of Caribbean history. it was established in 1985 and its records are updated frequently. It is domiciled in the St. John’s courthouse that was constructed in 1750 which make it the oldest building in town.

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History and Culture

How Tanzania was formed by union of two States

You probably didn’t know this but Tanzania got its name from the union of two States, Tanganyika and Zanzibar. This union was formed on April 26, 1964.

Tanganyika is an amalgamation of two Swahili words, “tanga” meaning “sail,” and “nyika” meaning “wilderness.” The two words were joined in a phrase meaning “sail in the wilderness.”

Tanganyika (wikipedia.com)

On the other hand, Zanzibar is derived from two words as well, “Zeng” which means “black” and “barr” of Arabic origin which means “shore” or “coast.”

Both countries gained independence from Britain shortly before they forged this union. Tanganyika used to be a German colony along with two other smaller regions and they were known as German East Africa between 1894 and 1914. After Germany’s defeat in the First World War, Britain assumed trusteeship of the area as a result of a decree by the League of Nations in 1920.

Zanzibar flag (wikipedia.com)

Zanzibar was already under British control since 1890 even though it was already in contact with Persian traders since the tenth century. It gained independence in 1963 even though it was still being controlled by Omani Arabs, specifically Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah.

Since the natives outnumbered the Arabs, there was a revolution to seize power. It was known as the Zanzibar Revolution and it saw over 20,000 people lose their lives while the Sultan was deposed before being sent into exile.

merger

Julius Nyerere of Tanganyika and Abeid Karume of Zanzibar before the merger

The revolutionary government was led by Abeid Karume, a member of the Afro-Shirazi Party. Karume visited Julius Nyerere just 105 days after the revolution where the latter proposed a union between both States. The former agreed to this and went ahead to suggest that Nyerere head the government.

That is the story of how Tanzania was formed by the merger of two States.

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History and Culture

Monuments in Africa you should know about

Monuments are important parts of our lives as they let us into several historical facts. There are several monuments in Africa that you probably never had an idea about. In this article, we have brought you a few monuments you should know about.

The great wall of Benin

This wall is considered by historians as the most important architectural works in the history of man. If you are wondering why, here are a few reasons. Here’s one, it was 16,000km long, this means it was four times longer than the Great Wall of China. It was constructed by the people of Edo Civilization between 800 and 1890 AD in the southern part of Nigeria. The Great Wall of Benin has a lot of history you should definitely check out. The wall was destroyed during the Punitive Expeditions by the British when a lot of artifacts were looted or burned.

Kano City Walls

These walls were built by the people of Kano, Nigeria between 1095 and 1134 AD as a means of protection against enemies. It was later expanded in the fourteenth century to a height of 50 feet. Kano is a very important city when it comes to the history of the Hausa tribe of Northern Nigeria. This wall is one of UNESCO’s heritage sites. Some parts of the over a thousand-year-old wall are currently destroyed.

Debre Damo monastery and church

This is one of Ethiopia’s most cherished monasteries and it was built in the sixth century during the reign of King Gebre Meskel. You have to scale a cliff of 15m to get to the monastery. You have a thick leather rope you can climb with and a second line is tied around your torso by the monks so they can help pull you up. Actually, everything about the Debre Damo was magnificent, especially with respect to its location.

Library of Alexandria

This library used to be one of the largest in the world. It was constructed between 285 and 246 BC in Egypt and at that time it had about 400,000 books. The works of several European greats found their way to this library, including Plato, Homer, and Socrates. The fire is suspected to have been burnt down accidentally by Julius Caesar during the 48 BC civil war. It is amazing that no architectural remains that could link up to the library have been found.

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