History and Culture

Language - How it All Started From Africa

Language and it's origin in Africa

Daniel Ukah

May 11, 2021

Humans have tried to uncover the origin of language and its diversity; where did it all come from? What was the first word said? Who spoke it? Etc.

The ancient Greeks fashioned a myth which explains language as a gift from the God and goddess of ingenuity, Philarios and Philarion. On the other hand, the Bible describes language as an innate feature of humans which later into several variations after the Tower of Babel episode.

Fortunately, modern scientists have discovered the answer as a study by a New Zealand researcher reveals compelling evidence that the first language began from the world's most unappreciated region: Africa.

This article aims to present this topic interactively and show black people under prejudice their value to humanity.

What we Know

A study published by Dr Quentin Atkinson provides compelling evidence for Africa being the first language's birthplace, which evolved to what we know today.

The study involved a thorough analysis of languages worldwide, leading the researchers to pinpoint where the first language was spoken - Sub-Saharan Africa. The researcher studied the distinct units of sound that distinguishes one word from another (phonemes) in 504 languages and discovered that the number of phonemes is highest in Africa.

What's more surprising is that the further away you go from Africa, the lesser the phonemes become. If you're not following, some examples of phonemes are /k/, which are present in words like kit, cat, scat, and skit. Another example is p, b, d, and t, which can be found in pad, pat, bad, and bat.

These phonemes shape the words we use and how we speak. Upon analyzing these cues, the researchers discovered fewer phonemes in South America and in the Pacific Ocean which fits a "Serial Founder Effect", meaning populations at the edge of the expansion gradually lose diversity.

One factor that makes this study interesting is how it works harmoniously with current evolutionary theories which reveal that modern man originated from African and slowly migrated over the years.

What This fact Means for Black People

Blacks, and other people of colour, have been subject to prejudice due to them not being on the same level in wealth and colour as the colonials. While the unjust slavery of Black people has ended, there's still a stigma associated with having black pigments on your skin as racists associate it with "incompetence".

This negative perception often leaves some individuals feeling helpless and unwanted because they think their ancestors' idea not contributing to humanity's development is valid.  Fortunately, these people can lift their head high, knowing their ancestors carried the world's languages on their shoulders.

While no race is superior to the other, it's essential to educate the upcoming generation that they aren't inferior, irrespective of what the racist says.

Ultimately, we need to work together to eradicate racism as we all play a significant role in preserving the planet and our race - the human race.


In conclusion, science has revealed the origin of language and its connection to Africans, which directly places black people as humanity's foundation. While this fact doesn't mean Africans or their relatives are superior, it shows that we're all connected as one unit and should function like one.

Keep in mind that irrespective of the situation, WeAfric will always be here to lend a hand. We aim to eliminate the negative stereotype that controls people's communications with Black people, Brazilians, Caribbeans, and more and provide future generations with access to resources, ensuring they live a happy life free of prejudice.

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