When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
It seems that in my lifetime the Four Horsemen have been running amok in Africa’s’ 47 mainland countries. From war to famine to pestilence the horsemen have had a wild ride from the Mediterranean Coast to the Cape of Good Hope from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean feasting gluttonously on the carcasses of the innocent as well as the guilty. For neither war nor famine nor pestilence discriminate, all are fodder for their insatiable appetites.
Since the ending of World War Two almost 70 years ago and the death of Imperial Colonialism not one area of this vast continent, the birthplace of all humanity, has escaped unscathed. As the Colonial Powers left old tribal and religious animosities rose again and tribal warfare for power became the norm. There was also racial war as the white residents of some of the former colonies such as Rhodesia, Angola, and South Africa fought to maintain supremacy and the apartheid system of segregation they had set up. In the north Algeria, rebelled against the French. In Egypt the military took over making the country a dictatorship. In the 50s Libya became independent only to fall in the 60s to a military coup and it too became a dictatorship until 2011 when the populous rebelled and overthrew and killed the dictator Gadhafi. Now over a decade into the 21st century Africa is still witnessing religious wars with Muslims pitted against Christians and terrorism flourishing quite nicely.
In just the past few months the countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal, and Mali, in western Africa have been wracked with an epidemic of the Ebola Virus causing almost 17,600 cases and resulting in a total of 6,556 deaths all but 2 of them Africans. This continent has long been known as the birth place of the Human Race it is from here that the rest of the planet was populated through many migration the last of which was about 35,000 years ago.
Perhaps Africa would have been better off if Vasco da Gama and his four ships had run aground at the entrance to Lisbon’s harbour and the Europeans had not come for a visit and decided to stay. Hindsight is a marvellous thing but it cannot change what happened. Maybe in another 100 years the majority of African States will catch up to the rest of the world. Let us hope it happens far sooner.