Desmont Tutu: “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.” Analyze these words under the light of Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong’o.

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This powerful quote by Desmond Tutu refers to how Christian missionaries played a leading role in the colonization of African nations. The Bible and the rifle went hand-in-hand as European militaries and missionaries descended upon Africa in droves throughout the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Hundreds of years...

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This powerful quote by Desmond Tutu refers to how Christian missionaries played a leading role in the colonization of African nations. The Bible and the rifle went hand-in-hand as European militaries and missionaries descended upon Africa in droves throughout the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Hundreds of years of European colonization left its mark as Africans and African tribes and nations lost their lands and had a foreign religion forced upon them. The quote by Desmond Tutu also emphasizes the deception that missionaries would often use to aid in the military conquest of Africa. Within the context of Wizard of the Crow, this quote is incredibly relevant in terms of how Wizard of the Crow is a piece of post-colonial East African literature. While the novel is certainly whimsical and even light-hearted, it powerfully touches on the affects of European military and religious colonization on nations within East Africa.

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