Lord Lugard’s assessment of Africans.

15 Jul

Sir Frederick Lugard between 1901 and 1928, was a British soldier, explorer of Africa and colonial administrator, who was Governor-General of Nigeria (1914–1919).

Lugard’s book, The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa was published in 1922. It discusses indirect rule in colonial Africa. In this work, Lugard outlined the reasons and methods that he recommended for the colonisation of Africa by Britain.

The piece below is an excerpt of his impression and perception of Africans –  What do you think and make of it?

Sir Frederick Lugard

”In character and temperament” wrote Lord Lugard, “the typical African of this race-type is a happy, thriftless, excitable person. Lacking in self controldiscipline, and foresight. Naturally courageous, and naturally courteous and polite, full of personal vanity, with little sense of veracity, fond of music and loving weapons as an oriental loves jewelry. His thoughts are concentrated on the events and feelings of the moment, and he suffers little from the apprehension for the future or grief for the past. His mind is far nearer to the animal world than the that of the European or Asiatic, and exhibits something of the animals placidity and want of desire to rise beyond the State he has reached. Through the ages the African appears to have evolved no organized religious creed, and though some tribes appear to believe in a deity, the religious sense seldom rises above pantheistic animalism and seems more often to take the form of a vague dread of the supernatural

He lacks the power of organization, and is conspicuously deficient in the management and control alike of men or business. He loves the display of power, but fails to realize its responsibility ….he will work hard with a less incentive than most races. He has the courage of the fighting animal -an instinct rather than a moral virtue……In brief, the virtues and defects of this race-type are those of attractive children, whose confidence when it is won is given ungrudgingly as to an older and wiser superior and without envy…….Perhaps the two traits which have impressed me as those most characteristic of the African native are his lack of apprehension and his ability to visualize the future.

Source: Sir. Frederick John Dealtry Lugard, (1922) The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa., Edinburgh, Blackwood & sons. p.70 Lugard’s assessment of the character make-up of Africans. Written by Afe Babalola, Monday, 30 April 2012

http://www.myweku.com/2010/12/lord-lugards-assessment-of-africans/

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