It is unfortunate that so much of the history of Africa has been written by conquerors, foreigners, missionaries and adventurers. The Egyptians left the best record of their history written by local writers.
History is not everything, but it is a starting point. History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is a compass they use to find themselves on the map of human geography. It tells them where they are but, more importantly, what they must be.
A strange thing is memory, and hope; one looks backward, and the other forward; one is of today, the other of tomorrow. Memory is history recorded in our brain, memory is a painter, it paints pictures of the past and of the day.
The truth is that all civic and social change is friction. Politics is friction. The only way you can bend the arc of history is to create that kind of friction, which is something that makes most people incredibly uncomfortable but which, for whatever reason, because of my upbringing or because of my genetics, is something that doesn't bug me.
In retrospect, the Millennium marked only a moment in time. It was the events of September 11 that marked a turning point in history, where we confront the dangers of the future and assess the choices facing humankind.
It's extraordinary how self-obsessed human beings are. The things that people always go on about is, 'tell us about us', 'tell us about the first human being'. We are so self-obsessed with our own history. There is so much more out there than what connects to us.