TOPIC 1: INTERACTIONS AMONG THE PEOPLE OF AFRICA – HISTORY FORM TWO
MEANING OF INTERACTION
Interaction was a state in which people from one community get into contact with one another community. OR
Refers to the spending time with other people in a way that you have effects on each other.
In Africa, People interacted since the Late Stone Age and Iron Age and up to 19th century. But interaction continued even after the coming of the Europeans. Before colonialism, African communities had social and economic interactions.
FACTORS FOR INTERACTIONS AMONG THE PRE-COLONIAL AFRICANS
A: SOCIAL FACTORS FOR INTERACTION
Social interaction refers to the contacts of the pre-colonial African societies through social factors like Migration, Religion, War, Music, Medicine and Marriage.
Migration refers to the movement of people and their properties from one place to another. The pre-colonial African societies interacted, once people from one community meet with another community due to various reasons like searching for land.
East Africa people belonged to four main language groups namely: The Khoisan, the Cushites, the Nilotes and the Bantu.
A: The Khoisan
Historical evidences show that the earliest inhabitants of East Africa were of Khoisan origin.
Features of Khoisan
<> Their speech is described as had “clicked” sound. It was similar to the language of present day KhoiKhoi and San of South Africa.
<> They were nomadic hunters and gathers.
<> They were tallest
These early large groups interacted with the larger Cushites, Bantu and the Nilotes communities that began settling in East Africa from the first century A.D.
B: The Nilotes
These were Negroes whose name was taken from the beliefs that lived close the river Nile and moved to Ethiopia at different time during the First Millennium A.D. The origin home kind of the Nilotes was in the Nile valley in Sudan.
Nilotes were divided into three groups as follows:
1. The highland Nilotes.
Made by the Kalenjini like the Pokot,Sebei,Bungomek,Marakwet Elgeyo,Dorobo and Nandi in western Kenya. Also included Barbaig of lake Eyasi in northern Tanzania.
2. The Plain Nilotes.
These included Maasai, Itunga peoples like Teso,Dodos,Jie, karamajong and Turkana. They came from Ethiopia highland. Maasai settled in Kenya, northern Tanzania, where most of these Nilotes were pastoralist.
3. The River-Lake Nilotes.
These included Alur, Achali, Labwon,Palwo, Lango, Pathola and Luo. They came to east Africa following the course of river Nile form southern Sudan and settled in Uganda and shores of the Lake Victoria in south- west of Kenya and Mara region in Tanzania, they were cultivators, fishers and animal keepers.
C: The Cushites.
Cushites originated from the race of western part of Asia and Western Europe.
They spoke Cushitic language belonged to Afro-asiatic language family.
They settled in Ethiopian highland and started movement to north eastern Africa around 100 B.C.
Cushites divided into two groups:
1. Southern Cushites.
They moved into East African regions and occupied the plain and highland of Kenya and northern Tanzania. They cultivated crops like millet, and kept animals like sheep, cattle and goats.
2. Eastern Cushites.
They arrived in Kenya about 14th A.D. They included Galla, Makokodo, Somali and Rendile in Kenya. Others are Iraqw ( Wambulu), Dahalo and Mbugu.
D: The Bantu.
The Bantu consist of largest group of people with similar language. They came from Cameroon highland and Nigeria.
The Bantus spoke the related language that had the same stem of the word people like Atu, Ntu, Ndu, or Mtu in their word for a person. Hence were known as Negroids people because of pure African race.
The Bantu were divided into:
1. Ruwenzori Bantu-moved from western Congo and settled in western Uganda. Examples were Amba and Konjo.
2. The Interlacustrine Bantu-came from the west and settled in a Lake Albert, Edward, Kivu, Tanganyika, Victoria and Kyoga. Their groups included Jita, Kerewe, Zinza, Toro, Nyoro and and Haya
3. The Western Bantu-moved from the southern direction and their examples were Sukuma,Sumbwa,Nyamwezi,and Konongo.
4. The Southern highland Bantu-came from South west of east Africa they included Fipa, Ndali, Nyika,Safwa,Nyakyusa,Mambwe, Pimbwe and Lumgu.
6. The Central Tanzania Bantu-came from central Africa, they were Gogo, Kaguru, Iramba, Isanzu, Lambi, Nyaturu, Rangi and Mbugwe.
6. The Southern Bantu-came from south west and southern Africa, these were the Ngoni people.
7. The Coastal and Hinterland Bantu-spreaded from the coastal Shungwaya area. They were Swahili, Zigua,Luguru, Zaramo, Kerewe and Bondei.
8. The Highland Bantu– they had similar traditions with the coastal and hinterland Bantu, these were Kikuyu, Embu, Meru, Thoraba, Kamba, Segeju, Sonjo, Kurya and Chagga.
Religion refers to the system of faith and worship. Religious activities made people to interact each other in the activities like burial rites, purifications, rituals naming of ceremonies and prayers to bless soldiers before they went to war.
The Bushmen of Congo held prayers before going to hunt as they believed that God was the source of all food. Among the Asante people of West Africa the king of Asante (Asantehene) based his right to office on the possession of the Royal or Golden stool, Asantehene was regarded as the chief priest.
War refers to the state of armed conflict between people, societies or states. African communities engaged in war from time to time and made them to interact;
They fought with various reasons such as to increase the number of the herds of livestock, to get fertile land for agriculture purposes and expansion of the kingdom e.g. Buganda conquered Karagwe and Busoga to expand their kingdom by 1839.
5. MUSIC AND DANCES.
African music and dances were activities involved dancing and playing musical instruments like drums and gongs. People interacted through music and dance when clearing fields, sowing and harvesting
Example of dances were Mdundiko among the Zaramo, Sindimba of Makonde,The Yomba of West Africa performed Orik music,while Luguru led their dance called Gubi.
Medicine refers to the study and treatment of diseases and injuries. The patients got treatment to cure their diseases when interacted with medicine men and women spiritually and medically.
Medicine were extracted from plant roots, barks, seeds and leaves e.g. the (neem tree)” Mwarobaini “is mostly used by various medicines in Matebele in Zimbabwe.
Marriage refers to legal union of men and women to live as husband and wife. Marriage brought interaction when one member of the society marries another from other community.
For example In Buganda the Kabaka married from different clans in order to enhance political unity in the kingdom. Therefore social interactions strengthened through marriage.
IMPACTS OF SOCIAL INTERACTIONS (BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE)
(i) Loss of originality:
People lost their originality in the process of migrations from one place of their origin to various destinations, through these interactions led to the interactions of new values, customs and beliefs.
(ii) Emergence of new language:
As people of different languages like Bantu, Nilotes and Khoisan meet with other groups; they developed new languages which were based on those new related groups.
For example Swahili language developed in East Africa having most of the Bantu vocabularies and Arabs.
(iii) Inter marriage
When people moved from their original areas and established settlement in new areas they got married with the natures and established new social relations.
These involved social conflicts since people were united together.
(iv) Population increased
The places which were attractive for people’s settlements become highly populated.
(v) Death and occurrence of conlicts due to wars between various communities.
(vi) Development of good moral and values due to religious activities among the people of Africa.
(vii) Occurrence of cultural exchange due to migration of people from one place to another.
(viii)Medicine in the societies enabled communities to live longer and health.
(ix) Development of unity, cooperation and entertainment due to music and dance
(x) Interdependence between people in different societies. No one society was self- sufficient socially.
B: ECONOMIC FACTORS FOR INTERACTION
Economic interaction refers to the contact of the pre-colonial African societies through economic factors such as metal Working, Agriculture, Crafts, Trade, Fishing, The need to search for new areas.
1. METAL WORKING.
Metal working refers to the activities that involved creating metal items like tools, weapons, utensils and ornaments from Iron, Bronze, Gold, Copper and Tin.
People interacted when exchanging their metal items through barter trade. Egyptians were the first people known to have used copper.
Agriculture refers to the activity that involved crop cultivation and animal keeping.
Many African communities cultivated varieties of crops like millet, maize, beans, pumpkins by using different farming methods, tools and crops that passed from one community to another.
For example The Maasai Kwavi (agriculturalist) became cultivators as the results they interacted with agricultural societies. The societies needed iron tools like hoes, knives, and axes hence led to increased interaction among communities.
Fishing refers to the activities of catching fishes from the water sources like rivers, ocean, lakes and dams.
African fishermen interacted with pastoral and agriculturalist so as to acquire animal product and agricultural commodities.
Fishing took place near water bodies such as lakes, rivers and the seas. The Luo, Ndengereko and Zaramo were fishermen.
Trade refers to the process of buying and selling of goods and services between people or communities. Through trade people interacted when exchanging goods through barter trade.
Example pastoralists exchanged their animals’ products for vegetable and grains. The best examples were Long Distance Trade and Trans Saharan Trade.
5. THE NEED TO SEARCH NEW AREAS.
The pre colonial Africans interacted when searching areas with fertile land and reliable rainfall. Agricultural societies kept on shifting from the area with infertile soil to areas with fertile soil;
Examples in the Interlacustrine regions were densely populated compared to areas like Central Tanzania and Northern part of Kenya where population was low.
THE IMPACTS OF ECONOMIC INTERACTIONS (BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE).
(i) Growth of towns and cities.
Trading activities stimulated the emergence of urban centers along the trade natures and centers. Areas that produced trade commodities in West, North and East Africa become remarkable urban center;
Example Taghaza, Timbuktu, Gao, Kumbisaleh in West Africa, Alex and Rial in Tripoli and Cairo in north Africa, Malindi, Mombasa. Bagamoyo, Zanzibar, Tabora and Ujiji in East Africa.
(ii) Exposure of Africa to the external world.
The African coast and interior areas were invalided to the outside world. People were engaged in trading activities and slowly they created trading contacts with the Europeans.
(iii) Intensification of agricultural production.
Due to good manufacturing and use of better tools and high demands of food stuffs; cash crops and animals products became very important among Africans.
(iv) Development of technical skills in the new areas.
Trading activities stimulated the emergency and growth of technical skills. Africans were able to process gold, iron smelting and cloth making.
(v) Over exploitation of African resources.
Trade items such as ivory, gold, copper and animals skins, supplied within African and later to outside world. Later on those resources were highly demanded by the outside world like Asia and Europe. Therefore traders take them to outside world of large quantities.
(vi)The decrease of manpower.
Many people in the Western Sudan and East Africa interior were captured as slaves to meet the high demands of slaves by long distance and Trans-Saharan trade.
(vii) Emergence of classes.
The classes of rich and poor people, those who engaged in trade and agricultural activities became economically powerful than those who did not engage in these activities.
Occurred because people decided to get married to the people they met outside their societies. For example the Haya in Kragwe were married to Baganda because of economic interactions during the 19th C.
(ix) Availability of goods
Which the people of African societies had not produced in their region. For example the West African societies obtained dates and salt from Taghaza in the Sahara desert since 11th A.D.
(x) It led the foundations for the present social, political and economic activities
Which took place between different regions of Africa to date. For example the formation of East African Community (E.A.C) helped in solving conflicts in some regions like Burundi,Congo and Sudan in 2000.
THE COMING OF THE NGONI
WHO ARE THE NGONI PEOPLE?
Ngoni people were the Bantu-Nguni speaking people of Northern Zulu land of Natal region in South Africa.
The Bantu speaking people lived in clans groups such as the Zulu led by Senzangakona, Mthetwa under Dingiswayo, Ngwane under Sobhuza and Ndwandwe under Zwide.
They lived in Natal Region between the coast of Indian Ocean and the Drankensburg mountain of South Africa as well as River Tugela and River Limpopo.
Zulu was the kingdom which got new king called Shaka or Tshaka Zulu who through frequent war campaigns succeeded to expand his empire.
The tribe defeated by Tshaka was recruited into his military service. Through this contradiction many other tribes fled northward to Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia.
Due to contradictions and political ambition Tshaka was assassinated by his brother Dingane in 1828.
MOVEMENT AND SETTLEMENT OF NGONI INTO EAST AFRICA
Ngoni migration refers to the movement of Nguni-Speaking people from the Natal region of South African towards East Africa and Central Africa from 1820’s up to the years of 1860’s.
The migration started when the clans were fighting the” Mfecane War” which was known as wondering war.
There were three groups of the Ngoni Migration towards East Africa. The Ngoni Tuta, The Ngoni Gwangara and The Ngoni Maseko
In 1835 they were two groups:
The First Group
The Ngoni led by Zwangedaba. This was the biggest group started its movement from the South of river Limpopo, he destroyed Urozwi kingdom, Zangwangendaba crossed river Zambezi in 1835 and defeated Chewa in Malawi.
The group reached and settled in Ufipa in the areas of Lake Nyasa in 1840 plateaus and established heard quarters at Ufipa Hence Zwangedaba died in 1845.
Zangwendaba experienced conflicts with his son and royal family which led to the split of the group into five sections. Three sections returned south to Zambia and Malawi, while the other two i.e Gwangara and Tuta sections remained at Ufipa.
The Tuta Ngoni the smallest group left Ufipa moved Northward and fighting with Holoholo near Lake Tanganyika. In 1850’s they invaded the Nyamwezi capturing many and incorporated them in their ranks. They finally settled in Kahama South of Lake Vitoria.
The Gwangara Ngoni under the leadership of Zulugama moved Eastwards to Songea where they met the Maseko Ngoni, they fought and the Maseko Ngoni pushed out of Songea in 1860’s
The Second group
This was led by Induna Maseko( Maseko Ngoni) crossed Zambezi River and passed to Eastern side of Lake Malawi (Nyasa) finally settled in present day Songea district in Tanzania.
Other Maseko Ngoni moved back to Mozambique while others migrated to Kilombero Morogoro were they become known as Mbunga. From Songea the Ngoni raided widely and finaly settled in Bena, Hehe and Sangu.
CAUSES OF THE NGONI MIGRATIONS NORTHWARD
(i) The Mfecane war
This was the period of political instability and upheavals in South Africa which led to the creation of political alliances among the displaced communities.
It covered the period 1820 – 1834 which referred as war of crushing the people. The war led the weaker communities to flee Northward of South Africa.
(ii) Boer expansion
Since the Ngoni’s economy depend much on land they wanted to expand southwards but due to presence of Boers it become difficult to them as they could not extend to west because Drakensberg mountain or to East because of Indian Ocean hence they involved north wards.
(iii) Zulu expansion
Shaka Zulu was the tyrannical and dictatorial rule of Shaka: The Zulu ruler was cruel in nature as he severely tortured people and those who failed to respond to his order were killed. Due to this some people decided to seek refuge by migrating to other areas.
This was caused by the infertility of soils and the reliability of rainfall between Drankensburg Mountains and the Indian Ocean, hence some other groups split away to find new areas to establish farms.
(v) Over stocking of their animals
Some Ngoni people owned large herds of cattle and northwards looking for pasture and water for their animals. So they wanted to look for more fertile land for their cattle. They also experienced famine and drought that led to lack of food and water.
(vi) The influence of their leaders
Leaders like Zwangendaba, Mputa and Zulu Gama provided good leadership. They encouraged them to move North wards.
(vii) Increased knowledge of military tactics by the age regiments
These were powerful military forces and dedicated to professional war, which was their livelihood. They believed that they could have other territories through migration.
WHY NGONI DEFEAT OTHER PEOPLE DURING THEIR MOVEMENT TO EAST AFRICA?
1. Strong army formed by the Ngoni
They had well trained, drilled and experienced to fight against their enemies during the contacts with other peoples on their way. The Ngoni army was known as Ruga Ruga.
2. The use of strong and superior weapons.
They used weapons like short stabbing spears, Axes, clubs and tough cowhide shields unlike enemies who used long- stabbing spears. The short stabbing spears were known as Assegai
3. Disunity and weaknesses among the East African people living in isolated societies, made it easy for the Ngoni to defeat them.
4. Strong military leaders, for stance Zwangendaba, Induna and Mputa who were able to unite and encourage his people to fight hard until they succeeded to occupy a territory in Tanganyika.
5. The use of Assimilation policy i. e they absorbed the young men captives into their army and become Ngoni Warriors.
6. They applied the scorched Earth policy hence taking people unaware. They burnt and destroyed crops.
EFFECTS OF NGONI INVASION OR MIGRATION IN EAST AFRICA
(i) Formation of refugees who lived by plundering and killing i.e. the Mariti and Rugaruga who were later used by ambitious men like Mirambo and Nyungu ya Mawe to form their empires.
(ii) Introduction of military organization and tactics to such an extent that the Ngoni lost their superiority. Example Holoholo were able to defeat the Tuta Ngoni when they attacked them.
(iii) It led to the rise on outstanding leaders. These included Mirambo, Nyungu ya Mawe and Mkwawa, who used the Ngoni military tactics to build their states.
(iv) Reorganization of societies in some places. Many small Ntemi chiefdoms came together (united) and formed large political units under strong leaders to fight the Ngoni for example Sangu and Hehe
(v) Formation of new communities for example when Ndebele fled to Kilombero Valley become known as the Mbunga.
(vi) Formation of strong states in East Africa. Example Hehe, Mirambo
(vii) Weakening of Kingdoms. The Kingdoms lost their lives as well as their warriors. Example it affect the Lozi, Fipa and the Sangu.
(i) Loss of lives leading to depopulation. This was due to the killing of people in the expansionist wars.
(ii) Intermarriages and emergence of mixed ethnic groups.
(iii) The spread of Ngonis’ language. The Ngoni language became to be used by other people in East and Central Africa.
(v)The rise of insecurity. Since the new weapons and military tactics increased warfare and aggression in East Africa.
(vi ) Intensification of slave trade in East Africa. This was because they displaced people from their homes and so making it easy for slave raiders to catch and sell them.
(vii) The increase of warfare among the African societies, including those areas that had been peaceful before.
(viii) The spread of Ngoni culture for example initiation ceremonies where girls were taught sex educations and circumcision f Rugarugas killed so many people
(i) Destruction of properties. The Ngoni warriors destroyed farms, crops, houses, and killed animals in their path in order to weaken the people they conquered.
(ii) Destruction of trade. Many traders changed their trading routes in fear of Ngoni attacks. For example the Yao and Nyamwezi traders were disrupted by the Ngoni raids.
(iii) Loss of fertile land. The Ngoni took fertile land from other people of East Africa
(iv) New technical skills were introduced i .e iron working as the long spears replaced short stabbing spears.
(v) Decline of agriculture production. People could not produce nor to engage in agriculture activities for fear of Ngoni attack.
(vi) Destruction of the economy of the people of southern Tanzania when they grabbed their cattle (the Ngoni were cattle plunderers). The Ngoni invasion led to poverty.
REVISION EXERCISE ESSAY QUESTIONS
1. Examine the social factors for the interaction among the pre-colonial Africa.
2. Discuss the social impacts factors for interaction among the pre colonial Africans.
3. What are the economic factors for the interaction among the pre colonial Africans.
4. Highlight the economic impacts for the interactions among the pre colonial Africans.
5. What are the Motives of the Ngoni migration?
5. Discuss the reasons which made Ngoni people to defeat other societies during their movement.
7. Explain the outcomes of the Ngoni migration in East and Central Africa.