Wrong to give UK so much credit?
WHILE esteemed commentator and writer Dr Duncan Du Bois sees British colonialism from only one perspective; as the hallmark of civilisation and progress; he forgets that there were many before the British and many after them who contributed to humanity in various forms.
In Africa we had the Egyptians who built the pyramids.
We had the Mali dynasty. The Mali manuscripts still exist and were written before the British began writing.
King Shaka consolidated the people of KZN and created the Zulu nation.
Hardly a human rights champion, he was as tough and hard as could be until gunpowder and family rivalries overpowered his nation.
The San may have been around earlier, but very little is documented.
In India you had the Indus Valley or Harappa Civilisation which was known for urban planning, baked brick houses, drainage systems, water supply and large non-residential buildings.
In KZN the Natal Verandah architecture owes more to the Indian Bungalow and Asia (Zimbali -type homes are more South Asian architecture) than British.
Ever seen a house in the UK with a verandah? Maybe the British or indentured labourers brought these concepts; albeit in a rustic format.
China built the Great Wall which is an engineering and logistical genius.
The Japanese with their zero defect philosophy were and are ruthlessly efficient.
In Spain the only worthwhile tourist attractions were of the Islamic era which took very good care of the Jews.
Maimonides, the great Jewish scholar was a product of Islamic Spain. The Arabs mastered the art of Qanats (wells in the desert) to survive.
The wheel was invented in Mesopotamia/Iraq and maybe Dunlop developed the pneumatic tyre we use today.
Our legal system in SA has more to do with Roman Dutch than British law and once Latin was a very important subject.
Around the 15th century, what did Europe really have or was about? The buildings in Europe, in terms of global history, were only built a “few days ago”. Progress was made by each era building upon the previous. The current issue around colonialism only praises the British, ignores their shortcomings and assumes no progress would have occurred without them. Lots of other cultures and groups contributed to humanity, the living standards, lifestyles and human rights we enjoy today. Durban North