It was not Mungo Park that discovered the River Niger (Mungo Park abuhi onye choputara Oshimmili Niger)

They will teach you that a white man called Mungo Park discovered River Niger. That is rubbish!

Our people fished in the Niger long before Mungo Park’s grandfather was born. But in your exam, write that it was Mungo Park,” says Odenigbo (Half a Yellow Sun).
Note: We must decolonise our minds, culture, history and education so that in future, school children in Igboland and Africa will be taught that our own ancestors discovered our part of the Niger River and not some uninvited guest from Europe.”

But come to think of it, how could these people possibly say Mungo Park discovered River Niger? And what happened to our ancestors who lived around the bank of the river
, whose mainstay was fishery, hunting  and…other pastoral engagements? Theyfished in the River, they bathed on the bank of the river and…they fought with the mermaid spirits of the River. 

Who received Mungo Park when he arrived? Was it spirits he met? If it is argued that Mungo Park settled alone and started life in the Igbo land, then are we all descendants of Mungo Park?

Well, we must aide our forebears to re-write our distorted history. Historical lies such as Mungo Park and the River Niger must be erased with the truth.  

Our ucommon history has been raped so severely that it requires clasified surgery (high intellectualism).

Our names were changed, our stories were re-scripted, our beliefs were condemned and our culture battered. How could our ancestors be happy hearing names like Onitsha instead of Onicha; Enugu instead of Enugwu; Owerri instead of Owere; Ibusa instead of Igbouzor; Oguta instead of Ugwuta; Awka instead of Oka. Oshimili/Orimiri instead of Osimiri and the most hurting Ibo/Ebeo/Igbos instead of Igbo/Umuigbo.

This I learnt much later in life , then the Great River Flora Nwapa talked about in EFURU made a lot of sense to me afterwards

By OzoIgboNdu1 of Igbo Defender

Digital marketer and Marketing analyst