Friday, 17 February 2023 07:44

Early Civilization in Africa - Grade 7 Social Studies Revision Notes

Share via Whatsapp

Meaning Of State, Kingdom And Empire

A territory is considered as an organised political community under one government
An extensive group of semi autonomous states ruled by one ruler
A state or territory ruled by a king or queen

The Ancient Egypt

Factors that led to growth of Ancient Egypt Civilization

  1. Presence of river nile
    It the annual flood of river nile and the use of shadoof method of irrigation boosted agriculture
  2. Early technology
    It ushered in the bronze stage where copper and tin were used to make simple tools such as chisels and needles
    Artisans also made pots for storage and cookery purposes using potter’s wheel
  3. Population
    High population in Ancient Egypt provided ready manpower and market
  4. Strong military and leadership
    They ensured growth of the kingdom through conquests and assimilation of conquered neighbours into the empire
  5. Use of hieroglyphic
    The formal writing helped keep reliable and accurate records in religion, government and history
  6. Use of the calendar
    Tracking of days and monitoring events such as annual flooding of the nile, planting and harvesting period
  7. Specialised workers
    They worked in various institutions. They helped in keeping recods in the Egyptian empire.
    They recorded harvest, finances and history

The Great Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe was a city near Masvingo in the central part of the modern day Zimabwe, Mozambique and Botstwana.
It existed between 1000BC to 1500BC
Zimbabwe is a shone word meaning “stone houses”
Great Zimbabwe had a centralized government with hereditary kings. This system of government led to the rise and growth of the kingdom

Factors that led to the growth of the Great Zimbabwe civilization

  1. Strong agricultural economy
  2. Existence of several minerals deposits such as gold, copper
  3. Trade
  4. Strong leadership
  5. Acquisition of firearms in exchange of goods
  6. Strong army
  7. Religious beliefs brought them together

The Kingdom Of Kongo

Factors that led to the growth of kingdom of Kongo

  1. Strategic location of the kingdom
  2. Favourable climate and the kingdom its closeness to congo river which supported agriculture throughout the year
  3. Arrival of Portuguese
  4. Religion
  5. Trade
  6. Christianity

Locating ancient kingdoms on a map of Africa

Pupil’s activity
Page 77-78

Contributions Of Early African Civilisation To The Modern World

  • Modern civilisation owes ts current development to the ancient civilization.
  • Ancient Egypt was the beginning of building designs and construction of permanent buildings we have today.
  • The hieroglyphics form of writing in Egypt used to keep records developed into the modern writing and education
  • The knowledge of planning and prediction of seasons based on calendar started in the early civilisation. Today it is has been developed further to include weather forecasting in predicting accurate changes.
  • The industrial development in the ancient kingdoms was based on simple skill. Copper and tin were used in ancient Egypt to make items. Today most of the industries use metals and alloys to make construction and infrastructural equipment.
  • The modern irrigation technology barrows a lot from the ancient irrigation techniques such as shadoof. This has been applied in the agricultural sector
  • Tools such as jembes/hoes used in farming today were developed in the ancient civilisation
  • The political structure of modern government resembles the early civilisation goverment

Social Organisation Of Selected African Communities Up To 1900

Locating areas by the Ogiek, Zulu and Asante communities in Africa


Social Organisation Of The Ogiek Community Up To 1900

Ogiek are southern nilotic speakers
Most of them live in the county of nakuru, mau and mt elgon forests

  • Family was the basic unit among the ogiek community
  • The lineage was responsible for enforcing traditional law and order
  • Father was head of the family
  • The ogiek were polygamous
  • There was division of labour among the ogiek community
    Men provide for the family needs, provide leadership and security
    Women worked in homestead, bear children and do household chores
    Children helped with household chores, cultivating in farms and artisanship
  • The ogiek were a patriarchal society- men owned property and passed it to their sons
  • The ogiek believed in one supreme being called Tororet
  • They believed also in the existence of ancestral spirits called Oiik
  • They had diviners who could foretell the future using supernatural powers
  • Both boys and girls were initiated
    Boys ceremony was called tumdo op went
    Girls ceremony was called tumbo op tiipik
  • Intiated boys of the same age group sets known as ipinda
  • The ogiek used plants and herbs from forest for treating diseases

Social Organisation Of The Zulu Community Up To 1900

Zulu are Ngni people, bantu speaking
They occupy Kwazulu natal province in South africa
In the Ngumi languages izulu means heaven or weather
The zulu clans referred to as the isizwe
The zulu society was organised into parilineal sibs. The sibs were further divide into lineages which were composed of descendants of a common ancestor
Most households comprised extended families who lived in one household called kraal
Men inherited everything. Inheritance was patrilineal
The zulu people were polygamous. Men married many wives and lived with them with the extended family in the kraal.
Men paid dowry in terms of cows and gifts during the weeding day umabo
The zulu community believed in Umhlanga or reeds dance ceremony
Beadwork was a prominent wttire that worn at the Umahlanga
Beadworks was a sign of communication
It also symbolised wealth status of a person
Zulu believed in one God called uNkulunkulu
The controlled day to day human life of the Zulu community
The zulu had traditional mediceine men who treated the sick

Social Organisation Of The Asante Community Up To 1900

Asante are Akan speaking people
They live in the central part of the Modern day Ghana
Are organsised into clans whch is headed by a chief
Each clan speaks its own dialect of the Aken language
They believe in one supreme creator called Nyame
Ancestors were believed to connect people to Nyame
Asante empire leader was called Asatehene
He also acted as a spiritual leader
Omamhene and chiefs were all religious leaders who presided over religious ceremonies
Golden stool was th symbol of national unity in the Aasnte empire
It symboised ones and authority from the Asantehene
It was based in Kumasi, the capital of Asant empire
Odwira festival was an annual ceremony
They believed in the spirits of the departed rulers
Asante were socially stratified into 5 main divions
1st division – king and those close to the king
- Lived in the capital of Kumasi
- Were wealthy and lived in luxury
2nd division – consisted of the chiefs and top officials who assisted the king in enforcing law and order
3rd division – those who had acquired a lot of wealth hence respect in the society
4th division – comprised of ordinary farmers, traders and fishermen
5th division – the lowest class was for the slaves
Asante families were extebded and matrilineal – mother’s brother was the legal guardian of her children
Asante were experts in form of decoration, logos, arts, sculture and pottery
These were known as Adinkra symbols

Comparing the social organisation of thr Ogiek, Zulu, and Asante community up to 1900

 Aspect of social organisation   The Ogiek   The Zulu   The Asante 
 Marriage  Polygamous   Polygamous   
 Art and Clothing      
 Family set up      
 Name of their God  Tororet  believed in one God called uNkulunkulu  supreme creator called Nyame 
 Inheritance   The ogiek were a patriarchal society- men owned property and passed it to their son  Men inherited everything. Inheritance was patrilineal  
 Circumcision  Both boys and girls were initiated    

Human Diversity And Inclusion

Personality Attributes Which Make Individuals Different From Others

Personality attributes are qualities or characteristics that differentiate the character, action and attitude of a person from one another

 Personality attribute    Description 
 Openness to experience   


Desirable and undesirable personality attributes in a multicultural society

Peace and Conflict Resolution

A state of calmness when there is no war
Conflict resolution
This is the process or act of solving or settling a disagreement.

Peace and conflict for personal well being

Join our whatsapp group for latest updates

Download Early Civilization in Africa - Grade 7 Social Studies Revision Notes.

Tap Here to Download for 30/-

Why download?

  • ✔ To read offline at any time.
  • ✔ To Print at your convenience
  • ✔ Share Easily with Friends / Students