This is one the most informative books ever written about Africa. John Reader goes back to the beginning, uncovering why once homo sapiens left Africa they seemed to increase in population by much greater numbers than in their home continent. Part of it is the fact that, believe it or not, there was a much greater supply of nutritious foodstuffs in Asia and Europe than in Africa, were they were generally limited to millet. The author does hint at it, but having read much about the early big game bunters in many parts of Africa, I learned the large number of species of very large or dangerous animals on the continent contributed greatly to the low level of human populations. Whole tribes were forced to depart their homelands because of the depredations of herds of elephant, rhino, and buffalo, as they did not have the weapons to deal with them. Same with outbreaks of man eating by lions, leopards and hyenas,.
In addition, although slavery did come to exist on all continents, Africa was the true home of the salve system, dating back to a period before the European ever existed. In fact today, other than Yemen and possibly Saudi Arabia, Africa is today' still the true home of slavery. This, despite the efforts of Nineteenth Century Europeans, particularly the British, to eliminate it.
Other interesting facts. The famous Zulu Tribe was simply an amalgamation of peoples who were stirred into action by the sudden revival of the slave trade in the late 18th Century near today's Maputo, by Portuguese and French slavers making raids on them in order to satisfy their plantation needs in Mozambique and Madagascar. Because the people of the various tribes were more robust than their neighbors to the south and because of their experiences against the Europeans they developed better weapons and tactics and applied them with fantastic success against the native Africans to the south. There was no Zulu Tribe per se.
These bits of information are only the beginning. If you must, call your place of employment, and claim you are seriously ill. The following week at home in an easy chair or in bed will help you understand more what life is all about than just another week with your boss and his cohorts.