AFRICAN LEGENDS 2- BY DOTUN OYENIYI



 Historically,the African continent has its own fair share of legends - remarkable men whose histories should remain permanent in our memories and written records.

 When African virginity was still intact;before her destiny,history,order of existence,social concepts,geographical symmetry,social harmony and micro community sovereignties were wantonly and rapaciously devoured,firstly by slavery and later by colonisation,Africa was a land of legends.

 Several of these legends deserving of atavistic genuflection had become obscured in history,permanently buried in the rubbles of general amnesia caused by the relative absence of authentic records of Africans past,and near total immersion in the glorification of the foreign values,histories and historic personages at the expense of ours;and of course,religion-triggered self-abnegation.

 In that age,as it is today,leadership was very crucial,not just in times of peace and prosperity but more importantly in times of war and economic downturns when followers became vulnerable and community precarious.

 In my native Nigeria,a Yoruba Empire of Oyo had a model of British cabinet system already in use nearly four centuries before the incursion of the white people.The 3rd king of that Empire,Arabambi Jakuta Ajala,more popularly know as Shango,was a great monarch who brought prosperity and more power and respect to the Empire.

 Though an aggressive,warlike and usually furious ruler,his aggression and fury were used to restore  the glory of his Empire which ebbed during his meek predecessor's rule-Ajaka.He became venerated and idolised,posthumously.He was a legend of his time sometimes around 14th century.

 Around that same 14th century was the reign of Musa Keita,more popularly known as Mansa Musa,the Sultan (''and lion'') of Mali.His pilgrimage to Mecca in 1325 left all communities,people,cities and nations on his route in awe.Reportedly accompanied by over 50,000 men and hundreds of camels,weighed down on both sides by loads of gold dust,which he dashed out in charity to the poor that came across his procession.

 The effect of his magnanimity caused severe devaluation in the gold market for the communities he passed through including Cairo,Medina and even the final destination-Mecca.On his way back to Mali,he also revived the market by borrowing the gold again at high interest rate from those beneficiaries of this largesse.

 That sounds to me like the modern day equivalent of the monetary policy of open Market Operations;and that was the only time recorded in world history when one single person,singlehandely manipulated the gold market.

                                           TO BE CONTINUED.

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