The idea of connecting a contemporary or existing Afrika culture to Kemet was first done by Yoruba clergymen. From all historical accounts, this linking of the Yoruba and Edos to Mecca first and then Kemet began in the late 18th century. It all began with the popular Hausa traditional historiography approved by the Sokoto Caliphate which described the " Yoruba-Oyo" people as cousins, having a common ancestry in Arabia. Later when Bain Hugh Clapperton, the Scottish traveler and explorer of West and Central Africa, visited Sultan Bello of Sokoto ( the son of Uthman Dan Fodio ) told him of the Arabic ancestry of the Yorubas ( Oyo Yorubas). Clapperton wrote it down in his notebook and the Rev Samuel Johnson borrowed the narrative from him. Johnson tried to reconcile the " Ife version of the history of the Yorubas with that of the Oyo version." He created an unwieldy Pan-Yoruba history which has a very strong Oyo-centric perspective. This was how the Hausa version of the Yoruba history got into the main-streamed Yoruba history which has been fed to generations of Nigerians. It was in that book the ancestors of the Edos were first mentioned. Rev. Olumide Lucas merely built on the foundations laid by Rev. Samuel Johnson. The Mecca or Egypt version is not the history of the Yoruba according to their tradition, however. It is a later imposition made popular in the 20th century.
Today it is common, even requisite, often perfunctory for the Dogon, the Bamana, or any Afrikan high culture (that has revealed its initiatic knowledge) to be linked to Kemet. The other day, I even found an extensive piece arguing that the Akan originated in the Nubia, then colonized the Nile Valley, before they spread to other parts of the continent. I have never heard this before, but I am aware that like the Yoruba, Akan scholars have also attempted to tie its origins back to Kemet. Maybe this blog is based on emerging scholarship, but I do not think so. (Its ghetto-scholarship as Kazi often says.) I think that this is the problem that Mazrui was alluding to--this is Afrikan Gloriana at its worst. (Mind you, I am critical of Mazrui, but I think he has a point here.)
One of the problems with this Gloriana/Kemetic-dependency is it can create a dependency or over reliance on Kemet, both distorting their high culture, and lessen our capacity to act with agency to consciously attain Black Power! There is no Afrikan Restoration without Black Power. Let us be clear on this! So, although Kemet will play a part in our restoration, it is ultimately the same worldview that created Kemet, that we must reconnect to. It does little for us to become copycats believing we must dress like the Kemeyu, worship the neteru, attempting to revive a civilization that is long gone. It is the eternal truth that we must tap in to. What we need to understand is that greatness of Kemet was based on a particular worldview and cosmology, and that it is this that has to be reconstructed, and not "Kemetic" culture. And that the same capacity that the Kemeyu had to create, so do we contemporary Afrikans.
When we go back and study our past let's not stay back there; let's not become reactionary. We go back while looking ahead--Sankofa. The concept of Sankofa was memorialized by King Adinkera of the Akan people of West Afrika when it became one of many glyphs. It is a glyph that expresses in the Akan language "se wo were fi na wosan kofa a yenki"; it literally translates as "it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot." (By the way the concept of Sankofa means the same thing as Kawaida--that we should reach back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us, so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward.) Whatever we have lost, forgotten, forgone or been stripped of, can be reclaimed, revived, preserved and perpetuated. But this is with the understanding that reality exist in this time and this place.
We are just not perceiving the world through Afrikan eyes. As a race we need a plan--a cosmology. We need to see practical and measurable results too. And this will not happen as long as we force everything into a Kemetic cookie-cutter mold, while denying existing systems that are still alive, still vibrant.