At university, (a Calvinist Afrikaans university) our very liberal English literature lecturers would go to great lengths to point out that in Joseph Conrad's novel "Heart of darkness," he was actually writing about the white mans "Heart of darkness", not Africa's. (Africa, according to them, was as pure as the driven snow before the white man got here). Conrad's character, Kurts' heart, could have gone bad anywhere , but Africa was the perfect place to make it really rotten. Conrad spent enough time in the darkest spot on the continent, to know this.
Below is a photo of a photo of Africa's real heart of darkness. I would not go near one of these people, not for all the riches in the world. Thus the photo of a photo.
Photo of a Sangoma/witch doctor/shaman. (Throwing the bones to divine the future).
Death and dirt surrounds these people. You don't voluntary decide to become a sangoma, the ancestors "call" you, refuse and the chances are pretty good that you will die.
Africa's indigenous religion is ancestor worship, and the sangoma is the channel through which you contact the ancestral spirits. The whole of Africa, south of the Sahara, is locked into this dark, fatalistic, and extremely negative power.
According to this "religion" there is not much you can do to influence the direction of your life, it's all in the hands of the "ancestors" and they are an extremely capricious, vindictive, and unreliable lot. What will be, will be. The result an extreme kind of fatalism that beats the Muslim's Inshalla" hands down. When you die and become an ancestor you can then get your own back on your decendents.
More than 70% of South Africa's population claim to be Christian, (yet every second person is wearing a piece of rawhide around the wrist from the last sacrifice to the ancestors), but in Africa Christianity is never more than skin deep. If 70% of our population were really Christian, or even just nominally Christian, we would be living in a Paradise on Earth, not one of the most crime ridden and most violent countries on the planet. Two hundred plus years of missionary activity have not had much impact.
When a Black African really converts to Christianity he becomes an outcast in his society, unless he compromises and continues to serve the ancestors, on the side as it were.
This is a huge subject so I'll be devoting several posts to it.