A Kiswahili term for “Disaster” or “Terrible Occurrence”.
This is the word that best describe the more than 500 hundred years of suffering of people of African descent through Slavery, Imperialism, Colonialism, Invasions and Exploitation.
It All Started with the European Holocaust of Afrikan Enslavement (The Maafa)The story of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery in the New World is a story of European cruelty and African suffering. The barbarity of the slave trade is attested by the slavers themselves. For example, a Dutch slave trader on the West African cost in the 18th century wrote: “The Invalides and the Maimed being thrown out . . . the remainder are numbered. . . . In the mean while a burning Iron, with the Arms or Name of the Companies, lyes in the Fire; with which ours are marked on the Breast. . . . I doubt not but this Trade seems very barbarous to you, but since it is followed by meer necessity it must go on; but we yet take all possible care that they are not burned too hard, especially the Women”
(qtd. in MacPherson).
The Enslavement of Africans Timeline
The world’s most heinous crime
1444 – first slaves brought to Portugal from northern Mauritania
1444-5 – Portuguese make contract with Sub-Saharan Africa
1471 – Portuguese arrive in the Gold Coast
1482 – Portuguese begin building Elmina Castle on the Gold Coast
1488 – Bartholomew Diaz goes round the Cape of Good Hope
1490 – first Portuguese missionaries go to Congo
1500 – sugar plantations established on island of Sao Tome two hundred miles from coast of West Africa
1510 – first slaves shipped to Spanish colonies in South America via Spain
1516 – Benin ceases to export male slaves, fearing loss of manpower
1532 – first direct shipment of slaves from Africa to the Americas
1780’s – slave trade at its peak
1652 – Dutch establish colony at Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
1700 – Asanti begin to consolidate power
1720’s – Kingdom of Dahomey expands
1776-1783 – American War of Independence
1787 – Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery by Quobna Ottobah Cugoano published foundation of the Society for the Abolition of Slave Trade
1789 – French Revolution Life of Olaudah Equiano published
1791 – slave uprising in Haiti (Saint Domingue) led by Toussaint L’Ouverture
1804 – – Danes pass law against slave trade Haitian independence
1807 – British law passed declaring buying, selling and transporting slaves illegal (ownership continues)
1808 – North America abolish slave trade
1814 – Dutch outlaw slave trade
1823 – founding of Anti-slavery Committee London
1834 – British law passed declaring ownership of slaves illegal
1839 – Amistad slave ship rebellion
1848 – French abolish slavery
1860-65 – American Civil War
1865 – 13th Amendment abolishes slavery in America
1869 – Portugal abolishes slavery
1886 – slavery abolished in Cuba
1888 – slavery abolished in Brazil
1873 – slave market in Zanzibar closed
1936 – slavery made illegal in Northern Nigeria
The European African Plunder
Africa still suffers today as a result.
1805 – Muhamed Ali comes to power in Egypt.
1807 – British abolish slave trade
1808 – Sierra Leone declared a colony
1816 – Gambia occuped by British
1820 – British settlers land on Eastern Cape
1820-34 – Mfecane (crushing) establishes Zulus as leading kingdom in South Africa
1822 – Liberia colony established
1830 – French occupy Algiers
1834 – Slavery abolished in British Empire
1835 – Great Trek across Orange and Vaal rivers
1838 – Piet Retief killed by Dingane & Zulus & Vortrekkers in Natal.
Boers beat Dingane Zulus
1842 – Britain takes Natal
1847 – Liberia declares independence.
Slavery abolished throughout the French Empire
1852 – Transvaal declared independent
1854 – Louis Faidherbe conquers Senegal Valley for the French.
First railway on continent in Egypt (from Alexandria)
1861 – US recognises Liberia
Britain occupies Lagos
1863 – French declare Protectorate over Porto Novo (Dahomey)
1866 – French establish trading posts on Guinea Coast
1867 – First diamonds found in South Africa – Hopetown, Cape Colony
1868 – French Protectorate treaties Ivory Coast.
Emperor Theodor of Ethiopia commits suicide.
British annex Basutoland at invitation of King Mosheshwe
1869 – Completion of Suez Canal
1870 – Lobengula becomes king of Ndebele.
Diamond rush to Griqualand South Africa
1872 – Cape Colony made self-governing
1874 – Kumasi, capital of Asanti, sacked by British
1876 – Egypt bankrupt – Anglo French control established
King Leopold of Belgian founds International African Association
1877 – Britain annexes territory from Walvis Bay (modern Namibia) to Cape.
Shepstone annexes Transvaal for British despite protest of Afrikaners
1878 – Berlin Congress
1879 – Zulu War
1881 – French proclaim protectorate in Tunisia Boers invade Natal and are defeated
1882 – Egypt occupied by British army after riots in Alexandria
1884 – USA recognises Congo Free State
1885 – First telegraph cable laid between West Africa and Europe
Mahdi takes Khartoum, death of Governor General Gordon
Germany annexes East Africa
British declared Protectorate over Bechuanaland
Bishop Hannington murdered on order of Kabaka (king) of Buganda
1886 – Christians put to death in Buganda by Kabaka (king) Mwanga
1890 – Dunlop invents the pneumatic tyre
1894 – Uganda made Protectorate
1896 – Asantehene (king of Asanti) forced into exile by British
Chimurenga war breaks out in Southern Africa
1897 – Khartoum retaken for British by Lord Kitchener
1899 – Kabaka (king) of Buganda and Kabarega (king) of Banyoro sent into exile by British
1904 – 50,000 Herero driven into desert by Germans and die
1912 – ANC established as South African Native Congress
Trade in fire arms forbidden by Portuguese in Angola
Liga Angolana established
1914 – Outbreak World War I
1916 – Tax riots in Yorubaland (Nigeria)
Source of Data:
The Mad Scramble for Africa
‘In contrast with the surging growth of the countries in our socialist camp and the development taking place, albeit much more slowly, in the majority of the capitalist countries, is the unquestionable fact that a large proportion of the so-called underdeveloped countries are in total stagnation, and that in some of them the rate of economic growth is lower than that of population increase.
‘These characteristics are not fortuitous; they correspond strictly to the nature of the capitalist system in full expansion, which transfers to the dependent countries the most abusive and barefaced forms of exploitation. It must be clearly understood that the only way to solve the questions now besetting mankind is to eliminate completely the exploitation of dependent countries by developed capitalist countries, with all the consequences that this implies.’
Che Guevara , 1964.