These ingenious African innovations existed before colonisation

Mildred Europa Taylor June 17, 2018

Egyptian hieroglyphics

Reading and writing

Before the Europeans arrived, African had its own writing system as mentioned above with the Egyptian form of picture writing called hieroglyphics. Ethiopia had poetic forms such as the Qene and Mawandes as early as 1BC, predating Christianity and Islam.

In West Africa, there were the griots, who were basically storytellers, singers, and oral historians. As custodians of history, these griots kept records of all the births, deaths, marriages through the generations of the village or family.

The Bantu of Southern Africa had a language of symbols comparable to the Egyptian hieroglyphs. For the nomads of Southern Africa, they left cave paintings which tell stories of hunting methods and other cultural practices in pictograms.

There is also Ibrahim Njoya, the African king who created his own writing system that was destroyed by the French


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