Two Africans Recall the Arrival of the Europeans Baba and Ilanga bot remembered the event of the Europeans coming to their villages. The villagers sat and wondered what it would be like when the Europeans came. Before they came Baba and Ilanga lived in their village where they both worked out in their fields, or hoeing their plantation. Everyone had different opinions of what life would be like once they arrived. Some thought that it would be good and that the Europeans would take care of them, feed them and clothe them.
They also thought that they would repair the world, stop oppression and lawlessness.
While other people from the village did not want the Europeans to come because they knew that they would treat the village people badly and capture them to be slaves. They often wondered how the Europeans would arrive to their village, by train or car. They would prophesize of what would happen once they arrived and what would become of them.
What actually did happen to them I don’t think anyone was prepared for. Instead of taking them back to Europe, the Europeans intruded onto their village and took the gifts that the villagers had prepared for them. (The villagers thought that they would not be harmed if they presented gifts. Once the Europeans took the gifts they waited a few days, then bombarded they village destroying their homes, and tying up the villagers. Once they were tied up, the villagers were made to walk far distances without food or water. They were treated very badly, to the point of where some of them chose to be killed by the Europeans than to continue walking the torturous path. The difference in the twos lives is that Baba of Karo was taken to the place where they treated the Africans nicely. They made them do work for them but they did not refer to them as “slaves”.
If someone were to call them a slave, they could go and complain to the alkali and the master would be punished. Ilanga’s experience was very, very bad. She and her family were tortured and her husband chose to die by his captures instead of continuing to live on being tormented. Ilanga was removed from her village, tied up and forced to walk far distances without food or water. From what I have read, Baba was much more fortunate in their experiences. Though both were taken from their happy homes to be forced to labor for their owner, Illanga’s life was incredibly harsh and unfair.
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