DIS NIGGA THINKS HE WUZ AN ASTRONAUT
We’ve been poking fun at Black Panther but it appears black people are taking this movie seriously. They truly believe Africans would be flying around in spaceships and living in futuristic skyscrapers were it not for colonialism. The Afronauts of Wakanda are said to have been “operating in space long before the United States or the Soviet Union ever dreamed of it.”
GET IN NIGGA. WE’RE FLYIN’ TO ZAMBIA
In 1964, a Zambian science teacher named Edward Mukuka Nkoloso, the founder of the Zambia National Academy of Science, Space Research and Astronomical Research, created the Zambian Space Program. He aimed to beat the United States and USSR in the Space Race to the moon and Mars by using an aluminum rocket and a catapult to propel a woman, two cats and a missionary into outer space. He told a reporter from the Associated Press that “some people think I’m crazy. But I’ll be laughing the day I plant Zambia’s flag on the moon.” The Zambian flag was mounted on a sawn-off broomstick.
ZAMBIA ANNOUNCES MISSION TO MARS
ZAMBIA ENTERS THE SPACE RACE
Zambia’s Afronauts didn’t make it to either the moon or Mars above Cyclops I where the plan was to convert Martians to Christianity who had been spotted by Zambian telescopes. The scheme failed because “imperialist neocolonialists” were “scared of Zambia’s space knowledge.”
No, the reason Zambia didn’t make it to the moon wasn’t due to “the legacy of slavery.” As we have already seen, the vast majority of sub-Saharan Africa was unaffected by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. The first White man to set foot in Zambia was the Portuguese explorer Francisco de Lacerda in 1798. The British explorer David Livingstone discovered and named Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River in 1855. Zambia was one of the many countries in the interior of sub-Saharan Africa that was uncharted and left unmolested by Europeans down to the late 19th century.
The colonization of Zambia began during the Scramble for Africa in the late 19th century. Copper was discovered in the region in 1895. It wasn’t until 1923 though that Zambia became a British colony. The commercial copper mining industry developed in Zambia in the 1920s. The Census of Northern Rhodesia shows there were only 260 White people in Zambia in 1923. They rapidly developed the Zambian copper mining industry which was responsible for 12% of global output when Zambia was granted independence in 1964. The Kariba Dam was built on the Zambezi River in the late 1950s.
In 1964, Zambia was launched as an independent country. It was dominated by Kenneth Kaunda who was Zambia’s president until 1991. Kaunda took what should have developed into a rich, prosperous country – abundant arable land and rainfall, enormous hydroelectric power potential, the world’s largest copper reserves – and wrecked it with his corruption and mismanagement. He nationalized foreign corporations and micromanaged the Zambian economy as a patronage operation.
In 2018, Zambia is rated #139 in the UN Human Development Index. This is a relatively good score for sub-Saharan Africa. The reason that Zambia has improved so much in recent years is because the price of copper has risen and the Chinese have been invited into Zambia, rehabilitated the infrastructure and have restored the copper industry which has been privatized. Zambia is effectively a Chinese colony.
In 2012, George W. Bush visited Zambia during his Africa tour. Zambia’s president Michael Sata berated George W. Bush for “abandoning” Africa. W. calmly reminded him that the United States had never been a colonial power in Africa (except for, well, Liberia). Sata’s frustration with the United States and Britain was mainly due to Zambia’s subordination to China. “We want the Chinese to leave and the old colonial rulers to return. They exploited our natural resources too, but at least they took good care of us. They built schools, taught us their language and brought us the British civilisation … at least Western capitalism has a human face; the Chinese are only out to exploit us.”
Yeah, that’s gone now though. At least Zambia’s Afronauts still have their spaceships.