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Madikane Qandiyane Cele, a Zulu prince of the royal line, gave an interesting talk on the plans and purposes of the Armstrong Institute to be founded in Africa. It is the purpose of this institution to train the negro to apply brain training to the use of his hands.
At present, the Africans are living in darkness and ignorance, but the race presents great possibilities for development. The men possess the mental and physical qualifications for progress but have never received instruction along proper lines. Leaders are needed for this work.
Mr. Cele mentioned the superstition still existing among the Zulus which requires the king when he is crowned to cut the throat of a tiger which has been caught alive by the naked hands of a certain number of young men, the idea being that the tiger's fierceness is transmitted to the king. It is the superstitions of this nature which must be dispelled before the race can make great progress towards civilization.
Polygamy the Test of Influence.
No African man performs any sort of manual labor which is considered degrading, but the women are the toilers. Standing in a community is measured by the number of wives which a man has. An ordinary person has about five, while the more influential members possess about thirty. Mr. Cele is well fitted to conduct a trade school to teach the Africans, having taken courses in blacksmithing, wheelwrighting, carpentry, upholstery, shoemaking, painting and agriculture at Hampton Institute. The trouble with many missionaries who have gone to Africa has been that they have had no practical experience in actual work, being only fitted to train the minds of the Africans. By the system which will be employed at the Armstrong Institute, the physical side of the negro will be developed first, leaving the higher mental development to come later.
The Armstrong Institute has the backing of Harvard, Yale and Brown in its work, and it is hoped will in time develop to the size of these. When the initiative of the Africans has been awakened and their natural abilities developed, they will undoubtedly become a power of great international importance.
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