A collaborative group of African historians and storytellers have taken to Twitter and launched 100 Story Africa. The project gives local historians a chance to share histories about their “communities, countries, and continent” and strives to move away from euro-centric representations and accounts of the past. The core vision of 100 Story Africa is for “African history to be told by African voices” and the multi-country team hail from Kenya, Somalia, South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana, and Uganda.
Tweets are posted daily, and each represents a “different narrative and perspective as selected by a historian.” The utilisation of social media makes these histories widely accessible and easily digestible. History no longer has to solely exist in lengthy textbooks or archival institutions. It can also exist in the fast-paced, online world and be accessed easily and shared quickly. History really is just a click away.
Representing Forgotten Histories of KwaZulu-Natal and Beyond
The project aims to share indigenous knowledge and offers new insights into the past. Learn about the Nama people of Southern Africa and how they fiercely fought against imperialism, delve into the wonder of Uganda’s Kasubi Tombs, or explore the stone structure in Lake Victoria named Thimlich Ohinga. There are even some gems from KwaZulu-Natal.
Engage with the enthralling tales of Nobhiyane Madondo, King Shaka’s diviner. Shaka was known to be sceptical of diviners and did not trust their explanations for disease and drought across Zululand. This scepticism led to his creation of a secret test. In the middle of the night, he is said to have secretly sprinkled the blood of a beast on the doorway of his royal homestead (known as his isigodlo). He then asked local diviners to explain the mystery of what had happened, but none could do so, until four diviners, led by Nobhiyane, solved the mystery, claiming that the blood was sprinkled by the ‘heavens’ and not a mere man. In consequence, King Shaka is said to have held these diviners in high esteem and Nobhiyane’s tomb can still be found in KwaZulu-Natal to this day.
There are, of course, a number of museums in KwaZulu-Natal that document the notorious history of King Shaka, including:
- Ncome Museum
- The Blood River Heritage Site
- Dukuza Museum (Shaka Memorial Garden and Interpretive Centre)
- KwaZulu Cultural Museum
The Voices of 100 Story Africa
The voluntary social media project is run by 15 African historians and led by Dr Bongani Ndhlovu, Chao Tayiana, and Fardowsa Jama. 100 Story Africa is administered by Dr Laura Gibson of King’s College London and Mugabi Turya of the BBC. If you want to learn more about this exciting project, check out their Twitter page and give them a follow. Make history a part of your every day!