The filmmaker would gain global attention with his Love Brewed in the African Pot in 1981 and then prove that the success was no fluke with Heritage Africa in 1989.
The Order of the Nation of Burkina Faso recipient for Arts & Culture also has in his arsenal other films such as Harvest at 17, Crossroads of People, Crossroads of Trade and The Golden Stool, the Soul of the Asantes. Ansah is a crusader for African filmmaking and dramatic art as much as an advocate of the world appreciating Africa’s pioneering role in firming the foundation of many civilizations.
His film and broadcasting works has landed the Agona Swedru native the Acrag Prize, the Living Legend Award as well as the coveted “Etalon de Yennega” (FESPACO), Award and the UNESCO award for best Cultural Film for “Love Brewed in the Africa Pot”.
The drawing artist, painter, textile designer, production assistant, set designer, director, writer, producer and documentary maker and wife Gyasiwa Paintsil Ansah continue to prick our conscious to ‘know thy self’ as the ancient African proverb admonishes with an Afrocentric Sunday morning programme aired from 8:00 am to 9:00 am.
It was our elders who noted that ‘Until the story of the hunt is told by the lion, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter’ and so while other television stations do not appreciate the value of airing content which delves into the history of Africans on the continent, Caribbean, America and the pacific, TV Africa makes the time.
Getting such materials on CD/DVD or even through downloads can be costly, the more reason why the documentaries aired on the Sunday mornings hold unique relevance.
For those who profess the Christian faith, Sundays are a big day of worship and many a man, woman and child are often in haste to hear the preacher man who often preaches about heaven/hell, sin, tithes, offerings, church principles and other such topics.
Whiles all the above sits well with the ‘churchians’, I implore such folks to make room for the 1 hour programme before heading to their various churches which sadly fails to give them a sense of their historical roots, the threats Africans continue to face on land, sea and air all over the world and how to wisely fuse time held African practices and modern themes.
Despite the wave of myths regarding Nubia and Kemet (Ancient Egypt), it is clear that Kemet and Nubia were neighbouring African Civilizations just as Aksum and Nubia. Both groups were ethnic groups of indigenous African origin. The ethnic differences were no more significant than Ethiopians versus Kenyans.
The salient reality is that no one can deny the historical truism that the Greeks (the world’s first Europeans) went to ancient Kemet to study at the Temple of Waset (later called Thebes by the Greeks and Luxor by the Arabs).
The pyramid text and Solar Calender were born by the Nile River as it drew people to it and nourished them. The length and breath of its banks resembled any metropolitan skyline with its bustling streets and markets, grave yards, government buildings and temples of worship which served a population of some 5 million inhabitants.
What was to be described as the First Golden Age began in the third dynasty 5345-5043 BCE. The prodigious Pharoah Zoser commissioned the famous architect and Prime Minister – Imhotep – to build him a most magnificent tomb to rival all others. Rising to the challenge Imhotep erected the step pyramid at Sakarah that stands until this day. Unique in its construction and the model for others to follow, the step pyramid was designed to resemble a celestial stairway leading to the heavens. Imhotep’s full titles include:
Chancellor of the King of Egypt, Doctor, First in line after the King of Upper Egypt, Administrator of the Great Palace, Hereditary nobleman, High Priest of Heliopolis, Builder, Chief Carpenter, Chief Sculptor, and Maker of Vases in Chief.
By the dawning of the 3rd Dynasty the world famous great pyramids were constructed under the wistful gaze of Pharaohs Khufu, Khafa and Menkaura. These monuments preceded and long out lasted other so-called wonders of the ancient world.
Over the next 11 dynasties Pharaohs rose and fell like the ebbing tide of the ocean. The close of the Old Period of Empire was signaled by the invasion of Saltis, whose subsequent defeat ushered in the new Golden Age. This time of glory witnesses the building of the Karnak Temple complex, the Abu Simbel temple in Nubia (Kush) and sea voyages of almost mythical grandeur and endeavour to the lands that would one day be called the Americas.
The twilight of the Egyptian epoch was briefly held in check by the Kushite Pharaoh, Shabaka, who re-invigorated much of the governance of the old kingdoms but by 663 BCE the Assyrians had invaded and over ran the last ruler of Egypt – Priestess Shepenowpet. Following a dramatic succession of Persia and the domination by Alexander the Greek, history saw the end of the phenomena that was Egypt.
In the area of medicine, the literature states that Hippocrates (born 460 B.C.) is the ‘father of medicine,’ but again history proves that the African deity and man, Imhotep, (born 2700 B.C.) was worshiped by the Greeks as the ‘God of Medicine’ 2,000 years before the birth of Hippocrates. Nevertheless, Hippocrates is portrayed as supreme by latter-day Europeans in the area of medicine as reflected in the ‘Hippocratic Oath’ that graduates from medical schools must recite. This is a clear forgery but it continues till date.
Apollo is the Greek and Roman derivative of the Afrikan deity, Heru and Asclepius is the Greek derivative of the Afrikan man and deity, Imhotep.
In the words of Cheikh Anta Diop: “Universal knowledge runs from the Nile Valley toward the rest of the world, in particular, Greece, which served as an intermediary. As a result, no thought, no ideology is foreign to Africa which was the land of their birth and no amount of Eurocentric research can ever efface this Egyptian, historical, contributive reality”.
It is critical to note that Africans did not enslave themselves in the Americas. The European slave trade was not an African venture; it was preeminently a European enterprise in all of its dimensions: conception, insurance, outfitting of ships, sailors, factories, shackles, weapons, and the selling and buying of people in the Americas.
For those who swiftly rise to the defence of the Caucasian who initially made contact with their African host and benefactors as preacher men but later perpetuated such evil through false promises, broken promises and vile laws indicating that slavery existed in Africa, it is worthwhile to note that no African community used slavery as its principal mode of economic production.
Where there was labour due to a win in battle, there still was not the complete denial of the humanity of fellow Africans as seen in the American colonies. Slavery was developed in its greatest degree of degradation in the United States. No laws protected the African from any cruelty the white oppressor could conceive. The man, woman, or child was at the complete mercy of the most uncouth people.
For looking a white man in the eye the enslaved person could have his or her eyes blinded with hot irons. For speaking up in defence of a wife or woman a man could have his right hand severed.
It is laughable that today, descendants of forbears who committed such grave acts have the temerity to talk about human rights when even they by their deeds and words lack any shame and morals. They continue to undermine/sabotage African progress efforts and continue to maim and kill Africans with wanton ease without fear or let.
Among the punishments that were favoured by the slave owners were dug holes, wherein the enslaved was buried in the ground up to the neck; mutilation of the toes and fingers and passing a piece of hot wood on the buttocks of the enslaved.
Death came to the enslaved in vile, crude ways when the angry, psychopathic slave owner wanted to teach other enslaved Africans a lesson. The enslaved person could be roasted over a slow-burning fire, left to die after having both legs and both arms broken, oiled and greased and then set on fire while hanging from a tree or killed slowly as the slave owner cut the enslaved person’s penis or breasts.
The supposed cruelty of the Islamic State to folks who don’t share in their ideology is simply a continuation of the barbarity of the Eurasians. Cameron, Obama, Merkel, Hollande and other such hypocrites can trumpet their supposed disgust but history while it can be tempered with, like seeds the truth will sprout through.
The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated in all public facilities in Southern states of the former Confederacy, a ‘separate but equal’ status for African Americans. The separation in practice led to conditions for African Americans that tended to be inferior to those provided for white Americans, systematizing a number of economic, educational and social disadvantages.
Examples of Jim Crow laws are the segregation of public schools, public places, and public transportation, and the segregation of restrooms, restaurants, and drinking fountains for whites and blacks because supposedly people who only recently emerged from their caves/ dens and haven stolen from other civilizations claim they are superior to the one race which has sustained them till to date.
If the negroid race were any other, it would have been depleted as the oppressor wished but God’s own people can’t be wiped out on a whim. The African is the true global citizen, emerging from Kenya and Uganda, this crop of people understudied the land and crafted the first civilizations in ancient Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia further spreading to the Asia region and laying the foundation for what is today’s India, China before heading to the Americas and the Pacific.
These sojourns were due to factors including famine, floods, sun heat, plagues, adventures and trade hardly did slavery play a part, so ‘Ye African’ should there be a need to know, seek such truths.
It is in fighting the relentless predator that saints and martyrs such Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Marcus Garvey, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara, Steve Biko, El-Hajj Shabazz a.k.a Malcolm X, Khalid Muhammad, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Walter Rodney, Dr. Chancellor Williams, Harriet Ross Tubman a.k.a Moses and countless others fought and laid down their lives but hardly would these saints be mentioned and even prayed for in the various churches and mosques.
It is an indication of what we’ve allowed our faiths to be turned to whiles the oppressor/suppressor ceaselessly offers and demands of you the African to also offer supplication to saints Francis of Assisi, Bernadine of Siena, Augustine, Ignatius of Loyola, Gemma Galgani, Thomas, Edmund, Claire, Jane Frances de Chantal and Bonaventure as well countless others.
Their racist intellectuals knowingly aided in the falsification of history. The likes of Hugh Trevor Roper declaring that “there is only the history of Europeans in Africa, the rest is darkness” aimed at clouding the judgement of those Europeans who sought to Know Africa and the case of German philosopher George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1830) is interesting.
Hegel is responsible for the theory that separated Egypt from Africa moving it onto a made-up land mass called the ‘middle-east’. He is the father of divisive terms like Africa ‘PROPER’ and ‘Sub-Saharan Africa.’
Is it not ironic that when an African invents anything he is referred to as the first African to achieve this and that but when a European does same it held as the first man/woman to do this. James Cook (the supposed first Caucasian) to ‘discover’ Australia in 1770, declared it “terra nullius” and claimed it for the British throne. Historians now know Cook wasn’t the first white explorer to reach Australia and that others arrived as early as the sixteenth century.
Some five coins found, dates back to the 900s to 1300s, and were among the first coins ever produced in sub-Saharan Africa. They came from the former Kilwa sultanate, once a flourishing trade port but now a World Heritage ruin on an island off Tanzania. The trade in precious metals and stones and Arabian, Chinese and Persian goods made Kilwa one of the most influential towns in East Africa at the time.
What many do not is that:
-The first University in the world was the Sankore University in Timbuktu, capital of Mali.
Founded in Timbuktu in the 13/14 century, Sankoré is the oldest universities in the world.
-India has the highest number of black people in the world, second only to Nigeria yet they are discriminated against by racist caste systems.
-Aboriginal black Australians were considered as animals in the “fauna and flora act” of the British Empire, so it was a perfectly legal to hunt and kill them for trophies.
-The Chinese and Mongol people have San-like features (a southern African group of people).
-There are indigenous African people with Yoruba-like language and culture in Brazil, they worship the god Ogun.
-Africans were the original settlers of China (Shang dynasty).
-Nok culture in central Nigeria is almost twice the age of any civilization east of khemet (Jericho and Babylon included).
-khemet and its pharaohs were the first recorded civilization on earth and also the first to believe in monotheism (during the reign of Akhenaton) later copied by Jews and Arabs.
-Africans reached the Americas centuries before Christopher Colombus drifted ashore.
-Europeans used to send their people to learn science and medicine from African scholars in khemet (Ancient Egypt). It was considered posh and a sign of affluence for Europeans to study in Africa till the invasion.
-Africans were the first to have a list of drugs and diseases they cured (pharmacy). Canabis sativa (marijuana) was a pain reliever.
-The richest man in history was a Malian king Musa (would be worth $400B in today’s money).
-Africa has the largest and most diverse number of languages amongst the different continents.
Despite all of these, the African is conditioned to think he has no proud history and in schools and at-large made to feel worthless.
For anyone in doubt about his African heritage, the works of Amos Wilson, Chancellor Williams, Cheikh Anta Diop, Frances Cress Welsing, George G.M. James, Ivan Van Sertima, John Henrik Clarke, Marimba Ani, Tony Martin, Yosef Ben-Jochannan, Kwame Nkrumah and countless others would help liberate the mind and cause the scales to fall off the eye.
It was Alik Shahadah who noted that “African civilization is not measured by the heights of tall buildings but by the quality of human relations.”
Elder Kwaw Paintsil Ansah, your dedication to the advancement of the African/negroid race is well noted. I can only ask ‘Nana Nyame’ and the ancestors to gift you with more years blessed with strength and health to impart knowledge to this generation even as we take the baton in readiness for the next generation. ‘Ayeeko,Yedase’.