To seek a presentation of the most intelligent tribes in Africa would automatically mean relegating some tribes to the background as less intelligent than others. That in itself is a very unintelligent thing to do because the results that come from such classifications have never been good, and will continue to be bad.
A more intelligent course of action would be to find ways to unify the various tribes on the continent, to make them see each other not as competitors but as brothers. This unity is the ingredient that has been lacking in Africa; the lack of it has been cited as the cause of wars, ethnic tensions, and other problems that have bedeviled the continent for decades.
Nevertheless, for reasons of entertainment only, the following are the most intelligent tribes in Africa.
Most Intelligent Tribes In Africa
1. The Igbo Tribe
The Igbo people are predominantly found in Southeast Nigeria; although they also have sizable communities in Gabon, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea. The Igbo people number some 40 million, and they are known for their complex social structure.
The Igbos are known for their ability to spot commercial opportunities; they are hardworking and committed people.
They thrive in academics; the Igbos are noted for their high performances in international examinations, and their numbers in Ivy League schools. They excel in literature, creative arts, and professions. They also venture into businesses, even when it appears that such ventures are ahead of their time in Africa.
2. Yoruba Tribe
The Yoruba Tribe occupies southwest Nigeria; and they have a sizable population in the UK among other places. Much of Yoruba land is on the coast; and as a result, the tribe made contact with the outside world long before many tribes in the hinterland.
They were thus exposed to “civilization” much earlier than others. The Yoruba have a very interesting culture- which was incorporated by the things they learnt from the Arabs and the Europeans- and then handed down to future generations.
The Yoruba excel in academics; they are the most educated tribe (by number) in West Africa. The Yoruba have many notable academics; many of who have made stellar contributions to academics in the country.
3. The Lebou Tribe
The Lebou Tribe is an ethnic group in Senegal, West Africa. Their original homeland is the peninsula of Cap-Vert, which is not far from the country of Cape Verde. Traditionally Lebou people are fishermen.
However, they have long interacted with people from outside their region, and therefore acquired knowledge and skills which have enabled them to thrive in business, especially in the areas of construction, engineering, commerce and industry and so on.
The Lebou excel in academics; this has been a cultural antecedent for centuries. From the time of their grandfathers, the Lebou have availed themselves the opportunity of getting western education, and now they are ahead of the other tribes in Senegal and French West Africa.
4. The Gurage Tribe
The Gurage tribe hails from Ethiopia. The tribe is not particularly strong in numbers; they are just about 1.5 million people. However, due to their superior intelligence they have bigger impact in the country, and their influence spreads into other parts of the region.
Traditionally, the Gurage people are farmers, but now they have embraced education on a large scale, and put the knowledge and skills they have acquired to use by excelling in academics, entrepreneurship, politics, arts, and so on.
The Gurage tribe plays a huge role in the economy of Ethiopia through their business endeavors; they provide jobs for the people. Their influence has also spread to other countries within the continent; especially in east and southern Africa.
5. The Venda Tribe
The Venda are a Bantu people who live in South Africa and Zimbabwe; their homeland is the area around the border between the two countries. The Venda have their history well recorded; they are said to have been the last people to cross the Limpopo River, and taking up residence in the lands to the south.
The Venda tribe is not particularly large; they number around 2.5 million people, and the tribe is subdivided into clans, although all the clans intermarry, and share the homeland together.
The Venda Tribe somehow managed to avoid hostility from the Whites during the time of apartheid; and this enabled them to avail themselves to education on the scale that was not possible by any other tribe in the country.
The result is that the Venda are everywhere in academics, the civil service, the government, and in business. They have also been able to instil the same love for studies into the younger generation, which means the Venda will continue to be very relevant in South Africa.
6. The Tutsi Tribe
The Tutsi people continue to be remembered for the atrocities they suffered during the Rwandan Genocide. However, what must be remembered is why there was a genocide in the first place- the Tutsi are a brilliant and successful people; and they have outshined the other tribes in almost all spheres of life.
The Tutsi are a tribe in the great lakes region which includes countries like Rwanda and Burundi. The Tutsi are known for their language and culture, and although there was no solid social structure, their society was arranged in castes.
The Tutsi were originally farmers and hunters, but due to the way their society was structured (a client ship in which commoners advanced the interests of the elite) they were able to rise to power and influence.
This made the Tutsi well positioned to receive education from the Belgians, and also to be well position within the structure of the country. The Tutsi remain very prominent in academics; many of them are teachers, businessmen, and so on.
7. The Ashanti
The Ashanti Tribe is a people from the Ashanti Region of Ghana. They have their unique language, culture and dress sense. The Ashanti number abound 11 million, and they are some of the most prominent people in Ghana.
The Ashanti are a very close knit society; this is perhaps because their nation was built on war. The tribe are traditionally warriors; and it was a king Osei Tutu who consolidated the people into an empire with many different classes of people woven into a complex social structure.
The Ashanti, due to their location along the coast, came in contact with the Europeans; namely the Dutch, Portuguese, and British. They established trading relationships with the Europeans and learned the value of education.
The Ashanti are the most dominant people in Ghana; they are everywhere- academics, business, politics, government, and even sports.
8. The Zulu Tribe
The Zulu Tribe is one of South Africa’s most prominent tribes. The tribe is notable in Africa’s history because of their bravery and the defiance which characterized the way they met with European hostility.
The Zulu tribe is known throughout the world for their shields and their war dance. The tribe numbers around 10 – 12 million people; making them the largest tribe in southern Africa.
Their sheer numbers enable them to dominate South African politics, and they are also very well positioned in other areas of life such as academics, business, sports, and so on. There are so may Zulus doing well in the creative industry; they are one of the backbones of the South African entertainment industry which has gained world recognition.
9. Swahili People
In truth the Swahili people is a broad identity which includes various tribes who have been incorporated into one. Identifiers include the location where the person lives, Swahili as his language, and Islam as his religion.
The Swahili people number around 4 million, and they are spread around Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, Comoros, and Madagascar.
The Swahili people are some of the most intelligent in Africa; their culture is a conglomeration of practices from so many tribes in Africa, and also from the Arab world. They are visible in business, arts, and every other walk of life.
10. The Berber Tribe
The Berber Tribe is a distinct cultural heritage located in North Africa; especially in Algeria, Libya, and morocco. This tribe numbers about 36 million, and though they now live mostly in scattered groups in the desert, they were once a more sophist aced society with kingdoms and vast lands.
The Berbers will be mostly identified by their turbans and the desert in the background. They are mostly known for their camel caravans with which they cross the desert.
What most people fail to see is the resilience in their way of life- they are the proudest of the African tribes who have refused to give up their old ways. They proudly show off their culture; their food, music, dress, and language. They have extensive knowledge of herbs and incorporate these into their teas, food, and smoke. They welcome strangers into their midst to sample their culture, and receive praise for retaining their identity.
It is with much regret that we write about the most intelligent tribes in Africa; we hope that this post will not cause divisions in the African community as such classifications are known to cause. All of Africa is intelligent; and our intelligence is becoming more evident every day through the rapid development we are making.