Abushiri and Bwana Heri resistance was a small scale resistance which occurred along the coastal region of Tanganyika where by rich Arabs and local traders organized to fight against the British and the German interference on their trade in 1888-1889.
LARGE SCALE RESISTANCE IN AFRICA.
(a) MAJIMAJI RESISTANCE 1905-1907
It is not possible to recognize any simple pattern in African resistance to European rule. Samori fought a long defensive battle against the -French. Lobengula saw the futility of military resistance. People such as Nandi reacted immediately in violent manner to the British advance. Other groups, having failed to put up much of a resistance at first; were persuaded to rebel against the European later. Often a rekindling of traditional religious belief was combined with armed rebellion. An example of such a revolt was the Maji-Maji Rising of 1905-1907 in Tanzania.
The Majimaji resistance broke out in the southern Tanganyika against the German control. This is a large and popular African uprising in Africa. The term “Majimaji” is derived from Swahili word “Maji” which -means water. Majimaji was magic water drawn from river Rufiji and mixed up with maize and millet flour after mixing up the water was thrown on the various fighters so as to protect them from German bullets in war, The leader of the Maji maji uprising was known as Kinjekitile Ngware, who lived at Ngarambe in Southern Tanganyika. He organized his followers ‘and began to fight in July 1905, the Matumbi of Nandete in Rufiji were the first to take up arms.
Majimaji uprising was highly mobilized and its followers possessed courage as well as determination against the German rule in Tanganyika. It took a wide coverage’ and speeded very fast from Matumbi of Nandele in Rufiji to other areas like Uluguru, Masasi, the Makonde plateau, Songea, the Kilombero Valley, North Dar es Salaam and the Mahenge plateau. In these areas African communities such as Zaramo, Ngoni, Bena, Mwera, Ngindo; Pogoro, Mbunga, Ndendeule and Luguru united together to fight against German rule.
Causes of Majimaji Resistance
(i) The forced cotton growing that was ordered by the German government in 1902. The Akidas were ordered by the governor to establish cotton plots where African communities of southern Tanzania had to work with little pay or provide a free labour, they also worked under inhuman. This situation dissatisfied the people and decided to take up arms against Germans.
(ii) Forced labour was another African grievance. Africans were forced to work on railway construction as well. as settler farms.: Africans were humiliated by the Germans and friends while working. Generally, the colonial treatment towards Africans was inhuman.
(iii) The imposition of heavy taxes and fines on Africans by he Germans. ‘the taxes were unfair and had to be paid in the form of money. For example, the tax imposed for hut was to be paid in form of money for about three rupees. But Africans did not have money; the only way of getting money was through selling labour power to the Germans to earn money to pay different taxes imposed. The collection of tax aimed at raising the revenue for the colonial administration but this system was new to the Africans. They were also discontented because the colonialist used their land for production while at the same time forced them to pay taxes.
(iv)The Germans disregarded African traditional beliefs .and practices, such as dances and circumcision. They overlooked the African religious leaders and condemned sacred places as the areas of African witchcraft. The disruption of traditional practices disappointed the Africans thus decided to stage resistance against Germans.
(v) The hostile and harsh treatment of the people by the German appointees, such as the Akidas. Akidas and their local police treated African people brutally. Their ruthless ruling system also discredited Africans hence lived like slaves.
(vi) African people wanted to regain their lost independence. Most of the young men felt that they had lost their manhood. by submitting to the Germans. The German occupation at the initial stage involved different ways which resulted into disunity among the Africans. Later Africans realized the need to unite together so as to-fight against common enemy, that is, German foreigners.
(vii) Africans wanted to oppose adultery, rapping and fornication exercised by German mercenaries and their house boys. These practices were crimes to African communities and the offenders had to be punished. This was predominant among the Ngindo communities. But the Germans and their house boys exercised all the practices that were regarded as crimes and disregarded the Ngindo taboo. The local communities, especially the Ngindo, were discontented with these events hence took up arms against Germans.
(viii) The Ngoni people wanted to revenge for the killings of 1898. During the initial stage of imposing German rule, a large -number of Ngoni people were murdered and their properties destroyed or taken by German forces. This event created bitterness, hence resulting into taking up of arms by Ngoni’s against Germans.
(xi) The influence of Kinjekitile, who was an. effective leader with ability of organizing people, instilled confidence in the African people by requesting them to unite and take up arms against the German invaders. The Kinjekitile’s force believed that they would be immune to German bullets as the water sprinkled on them would turn the bullets into water. The Majimaji resistance ended in. 1907 and African forces were defeated by the Germans. Many fighters were killed and those who survived lost the hope as the ‘magic’ water had failed to protect them from German bullets. Most of the fighters escaped to Mozambique, many were hanged while others surrendered to the Germans.
Causes for African Defeat
(i) Africans employed poor weapons such as arrows, spears and outdated guns against their enemies who used superior automatic machines like machine guns. They also lacked fighting skills and were poorly organized as opposed to their counterpart, the Germans, who were well trained and organized.
(ii)The Germans were supported in many ways, such as weapons and mercenary soldiers from Sudan, Germany, New Guinea, and Somalia. All these reinforced the Germans and led to emergence of large army, which could attack Africans strongly and effectively.
(iii)The Africans lacked military communication infrastructures. They failed to communicate between one ethnic group and another. Every ethnic group fought in isolation in different areas and their leaders had different motives and grievances.
(iv)Failure of magic water ‘Majimaji’ to turn German bullets into water and protect the African fighters. A large number of the warriors were killed during the war hence others lost faith over their religion.
(v)The Majimaji uprising covered a small area, hence failing to cooperate a number of African powerful communities, like the Nyamwezi and Hehe in the interior. These powerful communities could bring support to African forces.
(vi)The effect of scorched-earth policy employed by Germans. This policy involved destruction of African residences and destroying crops and property/ thus famine caused deaths among –the African fighters since many of them were starving.
Impacts of Majimaji Resistance
(i)The Majimaji resistance made Germans ruler to reform their administration so as to avoid, another uprising in Tanganyika. These reforms were made under Governor Lord Rothenberg. They also changed their attitudes towards Africans. Governor Rothenberg introduced some important measures to improve Africa services, like education and health, farming and communication system. He also rejected extra taxation of Africans and abolished corporal punishment, The Governor recognized traditional chiefs, stopped forced labour and began to punish German settlers who mistreated the African workers.
(ii) It brought together many African communities such as Ngindo,Zaramo, Ngoni and Matumbi to resist against the European invaders
(iii) It led to the destruction of properties since the Germans used the scorched-earth policy which involved burning of villages and crops in all areas with African forces.
(iv)A large number of Africans lost their lives. It is estimated that between 75, 000 and 120, 000 Africans, including their leaders and soldiers, were killed by the German forces while other people died of diseases and starvation. A large part of the southern Tanganyika became depopulated
(v)The Majimaji resistance led to the emergence of severe famine since the German soldiers destroyed farms and granaries during the war. This period of famine was known as funga funga period among the people of south eastern Tanganyika.
(vi) The majimaji resistance led to the displacement of many African families during the war. Due to fear and insecurity, many people escaped to different directions to look for other areas of settlement where they thought to be peaceful. The war also influenced family separation among the African communities.
(vii) The war laid the foundation for nationalism in Tanganyika, because after the uprising Africans learnt a lot and adopted a new method of resistance against colonial in Tanganyika and disregarded their ethnic differences.
REACTION TO FRENCH INVASION IN WEST AFRICA
(a) Reaction to French Invasion Senegambia
French military conquests in West Africa, were first directed against Senegambia during the rule of Mohmadou Lamine, and against Guinea then under Samori Toure. The major aim of the French was to capture the trading centers of Western Sudan and the strategic area between Upper Senegal and Niger. They had already built warehouses and fortresses along these rivers to control trade in palm oil, groundnuts, and gold from the interior. However, the power base of African ruling classes lay in the control of this trade. This was one of the factors of the conflict between the French imperialists forces and the African rulers.
The French employed a number of techniques to conquer the territory One of this was to- utilize existing local differences, or to initiate new conflicts between African ruling groups. To be able to conquer Senegambia, the French formed alliances with the empires of Tukulor under Sheikh Ahmaddu, Bandu Empire under Umar Penda and Khasso under Luku Sambala. In so doing the French managed to’ conquer and subjugate the weaker states.
(b) Reaction to French Invasion of Guinea
Samori Toure of Guinea illustrates for many people the courage and determination of African resistance to European conquest. Samori Toure was successful for sixteen years in preventing his own state from being colonized by the French. Although he was ultimately defeated, the duration of his resistance was in itself a victory, which can only be understood by looking back to the earlier period of his life.
Samori Toure was born into a Malinke family, the first child of a -farmer who had strongly family connections with the Dyula, the trading community of the Malinke people. The Dyula lived in the great commercial centers on the northern edge of the West African forest belt separating the inland regions from the Gulf of Guinea. They were also very famous in the commercial centers along the trans-Sahara trade routes such as Timbuktu, Taghaza and Walata. Commodities such as cloth, iron tools and salt were carried by the Dyula merchants and exchanged with forest products such as palm oil, kola nuts, and ivory. Fire arms also occupied a very important position in-this trade
At the age of eighteen he asked to be released from his duties on the farm and be allowed to join the Dyula. For about five years he built, up strong, business and made many contacts throughout the Western Sudan. This life was interrupted in 1852 when his mother ‘was made captive by’ Soni ‘Birama, the King of Bisandugu.Samori offered his services as a soldier to Soni Birama in return for his mother’s freedom.
Samori’s power and leadership attracted many followers and within a few years he found that he was strong enough to be independent of Soni Birama, He set out to control the whole of Malinke land and thus to maintain peace, law and order. He was joined by many minor leaders and supported, by his family.
By 1879 his territory had stretched from Sierra Leone ‘to the Ivory Coast in the West from Bamako in the north to the Liberian borders in the south. His authority was based more on his military power than on his religious leadership. His arm was composed of young captive r, soldiers trained mostly as foot soldiers-the infantry. His army could have at total of ten or twelve thousand fully equipped soldiers.
Samori determined to defend commercial centers and the trade routes, always sought to acquire and maintain regular supplies of firearms, ammunitions and horses for his army. He was helped by the Dyula merchants in this endeavour. The merchants obtained the firearms through trade with European merchants. Samori further maintained a group of skillful craftsmen who repaired and even made guns.
In 1882, French forces of occupation started advancing towards Bamako. They demanded that Samori should keep away from the large Bambara and Mandingo markets. Samori rejected the demand and managed to keep the French off up to 1890. From 1891 to 1898 Samori conducted guerrilla warfare. He organized an excellent system of military intelligence to spy on enemy troop movements.
Why Samori Toure Fought Against the French (1891-1898)
(i) The French activities of selling arms to Samori’s enemies, such as Tieba of Sikasso alarmed Samori Toure. The French’ aimed at weakening the Mandika so as to acquire it smoothly.
(ii) Samori Toure was shocked by the failure of his plan of playing off the British against the French. He had signed an agreement with the British on non-interference in each other’s sphere of influence. Unfortunately, the British refused to support Samori against the French.
(iii) Samori Toure wanted to protect the independence of his empire. The use of force by the French in acquiring colonies could not be tolerated by Samori Toure
(iv)The French wanted to conquer Mandika when Samori’s empire had reached at its peak with military supremacy and economic prosperity. The French therefore threatened Samori’s territorial expansion into areas which they claimed belonged to them.
(v)Samori wanted to safeguard trade. He was determined to, defend commercial centres and the trade routes and maintain regular supplies of firearms.
Reasons as to why Samori Toure Managed to Contain (Fight) the French Forces for so long?
(i) Strong army. Samori Toure had established strong army of approximately 12,000 men and about 90,000 reserves. He had a standby army, trained military men who could be taken in emergence, cases to help the permanent army.
(ii) Modern weapons. Samori Toure had ‘excess to modern arms that he had acquired from the coastal traders’ that he had been friend with them. Samori Toure had established friendship with the coastal traders for quite some time. lie also had military workshops which supplied him with weapons and repaired his defected weapons.
(iii) Samori Toure had a lot of wealth from trade in slaves, gold and colanuts, which was utilized in rewarding his workers and soldiers for their services.
(iv) Some of the Samori soldiers had served in the French-army where they had acquired modern military techniques and so were able to respond effectively to the invaders. These soldiers passed those skills to the rest of the Army.
(v) He was determined to maintain and preserve his independence in the eyes of Europeans advance. This motivated him to resist for a long time.
(vi) Samori Toure established state control of agriculture -and markets to ensured regular food supply for the army. Availability of food to the soldiers encouraged them to fight for long time.
(vii) The use of guerrilla or commando tactics of surprise ambushes and right raids. This’ helped Samori Toure occasionally to win the war. ‘The French soldiers found the Mandika people too difficult to control
(viii) He used scorched earth military technique such as burning villages and destroying crops in order to make the French starve when they reached the area.
(ix) Samori Toure got support from the Mandika people in national war of defense. This support helped Samori Toure to resist for a long time.
Why Samori Toure was Finally Defeated?
(i) Anglo-French conspiracy. Between 1889 and 1890 Samori had reached an agreement with the British to supply arms to Samori’s armies up to 1896. But in 1896 the British breached the treaty by occupying Sierra Leone thus blocking Samori’s access to arms supplies. In the same year British forces occupied the Gold Coast making it impossible for Samori to form a military alliance with Ashanti.
(ii) Shortage of military weapons. Surrounded by enemies, Samori doubled efforts to manufacture arms within his empire. However, these were not sufficient for the’ ever-increasing war demands. In 1889 the French managed to defeat Samori’s forces. Samori was captured and exiled to Gabon where he died two years later.
(iii) Disunity among rulers. The resisters were unable to unite together as their enemy was common. Samori sought alliance with AImed Seku of Tukola and Tieba of Sikasso with no success. In fact, these rulers even assisted the French in defeating Samori.
(iv) A disciplined and well organized army helped to defeat Africans. The colonial armies were better trained and more experienced in strategy and tactics. Hence the armies led by Samori Toure did not stand a chance. Thus the Africans were taught a lesson, that those “modern” societies with institutionalized war and professionalism in modern fighting techniques
could never be defeated by warfare.
(v) The Europeans wanted to preserve their new acquired economic positions and that made them fight at all costs, ruthlessly and untiringly.
(vi)Instability and public misery were also a major factor in defeat. The wars of resistance of Samori Toure were fought with bitterness which culminated into greater devastation. Villages were set on fire, farmlands destroyed animals looted. This ended up with loss of property, year and famine and stirred up local resistances.
Lack of support from communities. The non- Mandika communities and non- Muslims in the empire did not give him full support because they had been mistreated during his leadership. Some decided to support the French forces against him.
The Mashona – Matebele (Chimurenga) Uprising in Zimbabwe (1896-1897)
The whites created their settlement in Mashonaland in 1890.They thought that the Shona might thank the whites and were grateful to them since they could protect them against their traditional rivals, the Ndebele. But the matter was not so. The whites had misconceptions about the Ndebele, for they thought that with the fall of Lobengula, the son of Mzilikazi, the Ndebele power was completely dwarfed and could not stage war. As a result, in 1896, the whites were caught by surprise, for there was a more or less joint uprising between the Shona and Ndebele. In April 1896, the Matebele started a war that spread like summer fire to the Mashona tribe. In June of the same year, the war broke out in Mashonaland. The war was motivated by outstanding political, social, and economic dissatisfactions against the white men.
The Causes of the Uprising
Land expropriation: The B.S.A.C. and the whites confiscated and gave the white settlers the better and more fertile land of the Mashona without consulting the local chiefs, for formerly land was considered the property of the community and it was the chiefs’ duty to distribute lands. On the other hand, the Ndebele were pushed into the reserves of the Shangani and Gwani, which had water shortages and were infested with tsetse flies respectively. Worse still, the Ndebele’s population was too high to inhabit this barren land. The situation was as the nduna Gambo said One cause of dissatisfaction and unrest is that after we have lived many years in a spot, we are told that the white man has purchased it and we have to go” to reserve. That incited the people to
Forced labour: The prevalent policy of the whites was to compel Africans in both Matebeleland and Mashonaland to supply labour. The commissioner in each district was given power to compel chiefs to offer labourers in mineral and farm circles. All able-bodied men had to work regardless of their former status in the society. This was done against their will. Labourers were recruited by armed forces or by police who went around into villages to seize people by force.
Harsh treatment: The 1893 Mashonaland and Matebeleland situation was as Sir Martin Richard I, the resident commissioner, said: “The system was no better than slavery.” The employers and native
commissioners used the Sjambok, a kind of whip, to mistreat the local people. The elderly people were flogged and killed in public, and the conditions in the mines were deplorable.
Taxation policies: In 1894, the Hut Tax was introduced. Some of the Shona chiefs and their subjects refused new laws introduced by the colonial administration as well as the British technique of collecting taxes. There were also cases of officials’ grabbing cattle, goats, and grains from the people who could not manage to pay taxes. Tax defaulters were crucified and at times jailed without trial or inflicted to manual labour; thus, the nature of taxation policies, plus other discontents, prompted the Chimurenga uprising.
Low wages: Because the Africans were subjected to forced labour in mines and on white farms, while they were lowly paid as return for their toil under atrocious conditions, including the nature of the work and long working hours. Interference in the Shona trade: The desire of the B.S.A. company to monopolise trade in Mashonaland contributed to the uprising. The Shona had for a considerable length of time developed a trade relationship with the Portuguese for which they sold gold-dust, ivory for guns, and other cheap manufactured products. The British, however, intended to possess that commercial activity by force in which they wanted the Shona sell and buy from South Africa. Worst still, the company wanted to control gold mining and not in buying gold from Africans. Since the Shona failed to man the situation, war was the only option. The Ndebele were also disturbed by the whites’ confiscation of their trade links, however local and insignificant they were.
The abolition of induna age regiments among the Matebele: The Matebele were made to suffer socially and psychologically. Military towns were outlawed and the Ndunas were deprived their power, importance and position. Above all, it was embarrassing for the British to nominate the Shona policemen to enforce law and order in Ndebele areas. Such social grievance, coupled with other factors, helped to excite the Ndebele community into the uprising.
Favoritism: The colonial government elevated injustices in both the Shona and Ndebele societies. There was very little justice bestowed on the African people. Most often, the colonial government gave positions of responsibility to people who were untrained, unsuited, and unaccepted by the people. The administration even enacted laws that protected the white population against the Africans. For instance” the whites had fair punishments in comparison to those of the blacks. The
traditional chiefs, who had yielded great powers, were saddened when reduced to the lot of commoners. The foreign police were given the responsibility to ensure observance of law and order and maltreated the Africans,
Loss of cattle: Cattle were the backbone of people’s livelihood. It is believed that Lobengula possessed 250,000 cattle before his death. The Ndebele were only permitted to keep 40,930 out of the total number, and t many of them were offered to the volunteers or to the B.S.A.C. The others were dispatched to South Africa. Worse still, there was a render pest outbreak in 1895 killed nearly two million cattle. On a sadder note, it was portrayed that some animals were shot dead on the
command of the white man. Due to this grievance and others, war was unavoidable,
Renderpest calamities in association with the white man’s presence: The Render pest epidemics and swarm of locusts that invaded had dismantled food crops. Traditional religious leaders said that the
Render pest occurred due to the presence of the white men. The word spread that the ancestral spirits were angered with the presence and activities of the white men. In this process, the local population was provoked and finally they joined the war of resistance.
Missionaries disregarded the traditions and customs of the Shona – Ndebele people: It has been argued “the missionaries failed to understand the attachment the Shona had for their traditional religion and their own form of government”. In Matebe1eland, the missionaries wanted the Ndebele to alter their culture, ignoring especially their religion based on the Mwari cult. That was the reason probably why the mission stations were attacked during the uprising.
Desire for their lost independence: It encouraged hostility on the part of the Ndebele to dismantle their monarchy. The Ndebele people resisted in the hope of repossess their lost independence. None of the Nduna was appointed in any responsibility of administration, and as regards the Mashonaland, the white men had dominated even the chiefs’ power to chastise the wrongdoers. Their own discipline was extremely brutal. The uprising therefore wanted to re attain the pre- colonial administration.
Jameson’s raid: For long time, dissatisfactions among the Shona – Ndebele people were piling up accumulating, but hardly ignited the war. The immediate cause of the uprising was the Jameson’s raid. In December 1895 Dr. L.S. Jameson commanded a party of policemen to capture and defeat Transvaal for Cecil Rhodes. The Boers however, decisively overpowered him. To avoid the shame, Jameson was returned to Britain. This was clear sign to the Ndebele that even the British were weak and could be subdued like other African tribes. Hence, the Shona and Ndebele adjudged to attack British. After seeing that they were not unbeatable. The uprising ended in 1897, but with a
number of repercussions. The Africans who were fighting to repossess their independence achieved little success. Nevertheless, the Ndunas’ importance was considered after the 1893 war and they were appointed as officials in colonial administrative structures and were to given remunerations.
The Course of the War The Mlimo cult and the medium spirit leaders mobilized the people in the uprising. The Matebele mobilized the Mkwati and Siginyamotsha, who had been most active. The Mashonaland, Banda, and Ishiwa grouped the Shona into military regiments.
The Ndebele chief priests, Ungulu, and Lobengula’s son, Nyamanda, enspirited the Ndebele uprising. Women, children, men, young and old fight and get rid off the white men from their land. The African warriors organised the war and took the whites by surprise and it costed the whites’ lives. By 1897, the whites with the new coordination and tactics and defeated the Ndebele and finally the Shona.
Consequences of the Chimurenga Uprising The Chimurenga warriors were taught bitter lesson and many of them died during the confrontation.
The BSAC administration incorporated and expropriated more fertile land and cattle as war indemnity.
The company administration received much criticizism from the colonial office for mistreatments of the natives. Then Cecil Rhodes guaranteed to make changes in governing the Matebeleland.
The Ndebele were redistributed new lands in the lowlands where they lived happily unperturbed by the company and European mistreatment.
The Ndebele indunas were considered and employed in various administrative positions under the BSAC administration.
Most of the educated Ndebele were given responsibilities as administrators in Mashonaland.
Mashonaland and Matebeleland were allocated to Most European settlers created their settlement in the fertile land that formerly belonged to Shona and Ndebele.
Many Africans adopted Christianity due to the inability of Mwari cult and the Chanimuka (medium spirit) to defeat the Whiteman.
Because of the failure in war the Mwari cult leaders could no longer command popularity in the eyes of a rising number of people abandoning traditional religion and adopting Christianity.
The confrontations witnessed the unification of traditional foes against the shared enemy, a cohesion that was exploited well.
The Ndebele’s claims were recognized and were given worthy treatments from the whites, because the Ndebele looked for peace while the Shona persisted in war.
The Nama and Herero uprising 1904- 1907 (Namibia)
The German occupation and imposition of its colonial rule in Namibia met with a limited success in the 1880s and 1890s. The region was inhabited by three main ethnic groups; the first and second group comprised Bantu people of Ambo and Herero who engaged in crop cultivation and livestock keeping. The other group comprised the Nama who were Hottentots and engaged in Pastoralism. Both groups depended on land for cultivation and pasture, The history of Namibia in the nineteenth century was characterized by intense conflicts between the Nama and Herero who angered in Pastoralism and hunting. After the arrival of Europeans, the conflict was intensified since this foreigner’ s used the. rivalry for their benefit. The Herero welcomed Germans who offered them a treaty of-protection and proposed to help them against the Nama. But this German and Herero alliance was opposed by the Nama leader Hedrick Witbooi since he understood the nature and real aims of Germans.
Chief Hedrick Witbooi realized that the Herero Chief could become just a mere subordinate chief under the German government The Nama and Herero rivalry threatened the German missionaries. Later on, in 1884, the Germans declared a protectorate over Namibia; they also occupied the region effectively. The German government introduced the settler policy between 1884 and 1904 which affected both the Nama and Herero hence accumulated a lot of grievances which resulted into uprising.
Causes of Nama and Herero Uprising
(i) The imposition of forced labour in 1896: Germans wanted labourers to work in plantations and in the construction of infrastructures such as roads, railways as well as public buildings. The African communities, that is, Nama and Herero were not used to the manual labour hence resisted to.
work. The German government used a lot of force to obtain labourers Africans were forced to work in settler farms and mines. This discontented the Africans, thus deciding to take up arms against Germans.
(ii) Another reason for Nama and Hereto uprising was the cattle raiding that was done frequently by the German traders and settlers. But cattle was the most treasured commodity among the Herero and Nama communities, robbing of cattle threatened the economic interest of these African commodities
(iii) Land alienation: This included grabbing much of the best grazing land in the central plateau of Namibia. The German government reserved the fertile land for settler settlement. The Nama and Herero depended on this land for cultivation and pasture; they were thrown out of this fertile land so as to give room for construction of railway and roads. This in turn created hostility between African communities and Germans. .
(iv)Imposition of taxes: the Germans imposed taxes that had to be paid by Africans. They began to demand taxes in 1896. In order to make effective collection of taxes, Germans used force. But the African communities like the Eastern Herero and mbanderu, resisted by taking up arms against Germans.
(v) The destruction of traditional authority:
after they had established their contrlt
over Namibia, Germans did not pay attention to the region. For example, they imposed some policies without consulting the traditional chiefs from African communities. On the other hand, the Germans did not recognize the traditional rulers hence considered them as illiterate. Having been discontented with this situation, the Nama and Herero decided to resist against Germans so as to restore their traditional practice and their independence. –
(vi) Harassment to the Herero indebted people by the Germans following the credit ordinance of 1903 that all debts had to be collected in one year time, after which the debt would be invalid. Initially, the German trader entered into commercial relationship with Africans, the Germans gained huge profits while Africans acquired a little profit. Many Africans were in debited by the Germans traders and were forced to pay back the debts. The Germans also lent some money to Africans at high interest rates, they also sold commodities to Africans on credit terms, but in most cases Africans failed to pay the money. The Germans urged the colonial government to enact laws that would enforce the Africans to payback the money. The law was enacted in 1903 and began to be implemented. Germans took the Africans livestock and land with the aim of selling them to regain their money. This law disappointed the African rulers and their subjects hence took up arms to resists against Germans:
(vii) The outbreak of Rinder pest disease: It. killed about ninety percent (90%) of Nama and Herero’s cattle in 1903. This affected their economy and many sold their idle land to German settlers to sustain their life. But the rinder disease was interpreted by the religious leader’s punishment from God since the Nama and IIerero cooperated with the whites, hence created bad luck in their communities, thus the people had to resist against the Germans so as to get rid of these misfortunes.
(viii) The German control over the religious beliefs: The Nama believed on their traditional religions and trusted their religious’ leaders like chief Witbooi. When their beliefs were threatened by the Germans, Chief Witbooi organized and motivated his subjects to resist against the Germans since he believed that his army would defeat the Germans. He also promised these people several benefits after the resistance. The Nama-Herero uprising went on until the end of 1905 when the Nama Chief, Witbooi, was killed. Since then the Nama unity began to decline gradually. The Namaleadership was succeeded by Morenga, but he was also killed. He was succeeded by Chief Simon cooper who continued the resistance until 1907 though the Germans reasserted their control. At the end of the uprising, the remaining Nama and Herero independence was destroyed’ by the Germans forces. They confiscated their cattle. and deposed all their chiefs, the African commuriities who survived were subordinated, forced to work in German farms and mines. This created hatred between Germans and African communities up to the period of the first word war.
The effects of the Nama Herero Uprising
After the uprising, the Nama and Herero lost their cattle and land to Germans. They became very poor and lived in severe life that could not enable to live in a conducive environment and good life
The African communities, such as the Hereto lost their life, only 16, 000 Herero survived out of previous population of 80, 000. Whereas only’ 9800 Nama were alive in 1911, compared to 20, 000 people who survived in 1892:
The chief township’ in Namibia was officially abolished by the German government.
There was an increasing number of Germans in Namibia. For example, up to 1903 the number of Germans was aboutA, 640 but after the war, the number increased up to 14, 840 in 1913.
Namibia became a German colony and the German administration continued to be strong. For this reason, the Nama and Herero uprising did not materialize and had Very minimal effect compared to that of Majimaji in Tanganyika. .
After the uprising, the German government introduced concentration camps where African women and children were grouped. In these camps they lived in bad conditions hence many of them died of sun, famine and very cruel condition of forced labour. The Nama-Herero uprising went on until the end of 1905 when the Nama chief Witbooi was killed. Since then the Nama unity began to decline gradually. The Nama leadership was succeeded by Morenga, but he was also killed. He was succeeded by Chief Simon cooper, who continued the resistance until 1907 though the German reasserted their control. At the end of the uprising, the remaining Nama and Herero independence was destroyed by the German forces. They confiscated their cattle and deposed all their chiefs. African communities which survived were subordinated, forced to work in German farms and mines. This created hatred between Germans and African communities up to the period of the first World’ War.
CAUSES OF AFRICAN RESISTANCE.
There four major causes of African reaction to the colonial rule; These includes the following
(a) COLONIAL ECONOMY
Land alienation; whereby Africans arable fertile- land was taken by the colonialists and
they became landless. The land was the major live hood of African it was grabbed from
them and distributed to the white settlers and colonial state plantations as to reduce the
African to mere suppliers of cheap labor to the colonial plantations.
Imposition of taxation by the colonialists. From the 1898 head tax was levied on all adult
Africans in the colony of Tanganyika, at least 1 year or its equivalent this amounted to at least a month’s wage on white-owned mine or two months or more on the white- owned farm. Later alone other taxes like hut tax, gun tax, Matiti tax, aimed at forcing Africans to provide cheap labor to the colonialist plantations and social service, and to facilitate colonial administration expenditure. Such heavy taxation led to mass uprising of the African to oppose colonialism.
Cattle confiscation so as to break the backbone of African economy and to be forced to integrate into capitalist economy. The African societies who were pastoralists that depended much on the cattle for their live hood, people like the Herero, Masai, Sukuma, their cattle were confiscated.
Forced labor and forced cropping, Africans were forced to produce cash crops and also forced to provide cheap labor, e.g. Kipande system in Kenya. In places were production,
did not exist migrate -Labour was carried out, the adult men ere to move in the areas of production were only substance wage was provided, accommodation was provided for only one person, the work’s family was there for to remain at home in some far-off rural area and try to grow enough food to feed themselves.
Provision of low wages of African who worked on European farms mines and office the major aim was to-break the self-sufficiency African rural economy. It was no longer enough for the family to feed, clothes, and house itself. And on top of that cash was to be found to pay taxes regardless of the family’s income.
(b) POLITICAL CAUSES.
African local rulers were thrown from their administration and lost control of their
people and independence in general where by the colonialist establish the notorious colonial rule. Thus resistance to the colonial rule.
Africans lost their control over their trade that they controlled and benefited from. The
colonialists established the so called ‘legitimate trade’ which isolated the African traders,
like Abushir and Bwana Heri who lost control of trade at the coast, Jaja of Opobo, the
Mandika Sarnori all these resistance as to regain their trade control.
Destruction of African agriculture, which led to the problem-of hunger and famine. The
colonialists opened cash crop plantations hence resistance.
(c) COLONIAL INJUSTICE AND OPPRESSION
Corporal punishment like caning of the lazy Africans
Destruction of African culture and introduction of western culture
Racism and segregation of Africans.
Intimidation and violence to the Africans.
OBJECTIVES OF AFRICAN RESISTANCE.
To regain independence and their sovereignty this had been taken away by colonialists
To maintain peace and order in their society which they had experienced before the coming of colonialists.
To pursue and maintain African freedom which prevailed before the coming of colonizers.
To retain Africa self sustaining economy which was based on substance agriculture.
To fight and get rid of foreign domination of Europeans to make them go back to their home countries.
To avoid humiliation and subjugation of by the foreigners.
To fight against land alienation and cattle confiscation.
To establish African trade this had been overthrown by slave trade and the so called legitimate trade
1. “While some societies resisted the imposition of the colonial rule in Africa others appeared to collaborate”. Discuss this context giving concrete examples from East Africa. (NECTA-2000)
2. “African resistances against the imposition of colonial rule failed due to Africans’ technological backwardness”. Discuss (NECTA-2003)
3. What brought about the Chimurenga war in Southern Rhosedia in 1896-1897? (NECTA-2005)
4. With concrete examples show why the conflict between Africans and the whites during the colonial period was inevitable. (NECTA-2007)
5. Through their activities the missionaries become forerunners of colonialism. Justify this statement. (NECTA-2007)
6. The maji-maji war of 1905-1907 in Tanganyika remains a symbol of the African struggle against colonial rule. Justify (NECTA-2008)
7. Account for the Nandi resistance against their land occupation by the British. (NECTA-2009)
8. With examples from East or west Africa, show how company rule helped to create European colonization in Africa. (NECTA-2010)
9. Account for Ethiopia’s successful resistance against Colonialism. (NECTA-2010)
10. Account for six reasons that led to the scramble for and partition of Africa in the second half of the 19th century. (NECTA-2011)
11. With examples, explain six reasons for African resistances to colonial rule. (NECTA-2013)
12. Analyse six methods that were used by the imperialist in imposing rule in Africa. (NECTA-2014)
15. “Missionaries prepared Africa for European colonization”. Discuss (NECTA-2016)