Have you ever seen a man born in the 18th century who is still living among us today? No, this is no possible because death is inevitable but before it comes, there should be a means of passing occurrences to upcoming generations. It is in view of this that literature, memoir and film became something necessary in order to trace back the historical events of our culture. Literature, memoir and film can really teach African history to the point of visualizing how the scene would look like with ones mindset.
With the availability of good writers and reporters around the globe, it is possible for one to read a memoir, watch a movie and comprehend it to the extent of one thinking as being on the scene of the action. Going through the history of Africans, it is not something that brings the mind to rest though we are not present during the periods of the travails but through literature and films, we are able to know what happened and at the same time go through the pains and worries that those present at the scene went through.
Haven’t you heard of people crying when watching a film or reading? This was because the message was accurately passed. In the Bitter Struggle to Independence, the author, Major F. Wawery discussed what they went through as a military in the Whiteman country (Kenya) during the periods of the colonial masters. “ On arrival, colonialists believed that they had found a haven in Kenya. The weather, climate and the small population encouraged them to go ahead and settle down in the best parts of the country with total disregard to the indigenous Africans”.
It was in this excerpt of the Major that we were able to know what led to the revolution of the Kenyan before 1960s in which they fought for their independence. Literatures have made it possible for people to actually know of occurrences and make them refrain from jumping into conclusions without basis. Through Literature, Memoirs and Films, it has been possible for most Africans to know the reasons behind the title given to them as Third World Countries. At the same time Africans have been able to know that if not for the presence of the colonial masters, they might still be lagging behind technology wise.
As we have the good sides of memoirs, so also we have the bad sides. In the Novel Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono written in 1956 as Une Vie de boy and translated to English in 1966, Oyono portrayed the life of an average African as that full of horror, anguish and agony. Going through the life of Toundi in the novel, it would be seen that Toundi represents the Black folks while Madame, the commandant wife and Mr. Moreau represent the colonialists. It was these available sources that made us know that Africans were then treated as slaves.
Most African countries according to available literatures and films fought for their independence like a do or die affair because it was not really the thought of the colonialists to make them independence. With all the points raised on literature, memoir and film, we could see that they presently serve as the only means to learn African history. In conclusion, it would be better if most literatures and memoirs can be turned into films so that we will not only read but at the same time watch and appreciate a history that has been in existence ever since God created the world.