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Kuukila kwa Chilembwe

Coordinates: 15°44′20″S 35°11′31″E / 15.739°S 35.192°E / -15.739; 35.192
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Kufuma Wikipedia
(Kufumila ku Kuuka kwa Chilembwe)

Chilembwe uprising
Chilembwe supporters being led to be executed
DateJanyuwale 23–26, 1915 (1915-01-23 – 1915-01-26)
LocationShire Highlands, Nyasaland
(modern-day Malawi)
Organised byJohn Chilembwe
OutcomeUprising repressed by British

Chilembwe chikaŵa kuwukira boma la Britain mu charu cha Nyasaland (lero ni Malawi). Mubali John Chilembwe ndiyo wakalongozganga gulu ili. Ŵalongozgi ŵa chipani ichi ŵakakhalanga kufupi na tchalitchi lake mu muzi wa Mbombwe kumwera kwa charu ichi. Ŵanthu aŵa ŵakakhuŵara na vinthu ivyo ŵakakanizganga ŵanthu awo ŵakakhalanga mu vyaru vinyake, kusazgapo ntchito zachiwawa, kusankhana mitundu, na ivyo ŵanthu ŵakakhumbanga kufuma ku ŵanthu ŵa mu vyaru ivi.I.[1]

Nkhondo iyi yikamba pa Janyuwale 23, 1915. L. Wakayama Bruce Plantation ku Magomero ndipo wakakoma ŵanthu ŵatatu ŵatuŵa. Usiku unyake, ku Blantyre kukachitika cigeŵenga ico cikaponya vilwero mu sitoro. Pa zuŵa la 24 January mulenji, ŵamazaza ŵakakolerana na gulu la ŵasilikari na kutumizga ŵasilikari ŵa King's African Rifles (KAR). Pamanyuma pakuti ŵasilikari ŵa boma ŵatondeka kuwukira msumba wa Mbombwe pa Janyuwale 25, ŵakugaluka ŵakawukira mpingo wa Cikhristu wa ku Nguludi na kuwotcha. Gulu la KAR na gulu la ŵasilikari ŵakatora Mbombwe kwambura kukumana na ŵanthu ŵakususka pa 26 January. Ŵanthu ŵanandi awo ŵakagaluka, kusazgapo Chilembwe, ŵakachimbilira ku chigaŵa cha Portuguese East Africa (sono ni Mozambique). Ŵalwani pafupifupi 40 ŵakakomeka, ndipo 300 ŵakakakika; Chilembwe wakakomeka na ŵapolisi pafupi na mphaka pa Febuluwale 3.

Nangauli kugaluka uku kukacitika yayi, kweni ŵanthu ŵanandi ŵakuwona kuti kukaŵa kwapadera comene mu mbiri ya Malawi. Chigaluka ichi chikakhwaska chomene boma la Britain mu charu cha Nyasaland, ndipo pamasinda ŵakasintha vinthu vinyake. Nkhondo Yachiŵiri ya Caru Cose yikati yamara, ŵanthu ŵa ku Malawi ŵakamba kukhumba comene kuti ŵanthu ŵa Chilembwe ŵambeso kuwukira. Chikumbukiro cha Chilembwe, icho chikulutilira kuŵa na nkharo yiwemi mu chalo, kanandi chikuzunulika na ŵandyali ŵa Malawi. Mazuŵa ghano, ŵanthu ŵakukumbukira kuwukira uku chaka chilichose ndipo Chilembwe nayo wakuwoneka kuti ni munthu wakuzirwa chomene..

Mbili

Nyasaland (modern-day Malawi), highlighted in dark red on a map of pre-World War I Africa

Boma la Britain likamba kulamulira chigaŵa icho sono chikuchemeka Malawi, pakati pa 1899 na 1900. Chigaŵa ichi chikaŵa pasi pa Britain mu 1891 (pakuti "British Central Africa") ndipo mu 1907, chikachemeka Nyasaland. Mwakupambana na vigaŵa vinyake vya mu Africa, uko boma la Britain likathembanga ŵanthu ŵa ku malo agha, ku Nyasaland boma la Britain likathembanga ŵasilikari. Mu vyaka vya m'ma 1890, boma likapoka ŵanthu ŵa ku Yao, Ngoni, na Cewa..[2]

Ufumu wa Britain ukasintha chomene vinthu mu charu cha Nyasaland. Mu nyengo yakwambilira, ŵanthu ŵanyake ŵakaluta ku vyaru vinyake na kukhazikika mu vyaru ivi, ndipo ŵakagura malo ghanandi ku ŵalongozgi ŵa ku malo agha. Malo ghanandi agho ŵakagura, comenecomene mu vigaŵa vya Shire Highlands, ghakazgoka minda ya ŵanthu ŵatuŵa uko ŵakakuliranga tiyi, khofi, katoni na hona.[3] Ŵanthu ŵanandi ŵakakhalanga mu malo agha ŵakagwiranga ntchito za malipiro ndipo chifukwa cha ntchito izo ŵakagwiranga mu malo agha, ŵakazgoka ŵantchito.[4] Ŵachikuda awo ŵakagwiranga nchito mu minda iyi, kanandi ŵakaŵatimbanga na kusankhana mitundu.[3] Ŵakaŵaso na dango lakuti ŵagwirenge nchito zinandi nga ni renti, ndipo ŵakaŵachichizganga kuti ŵagwirenge nchito zinandi.

Chilembwe na Tchalitchi lake

The last known photo of John Chilembwe (left, with British missionary John Chorley "Sir Potts the 4th" on the right) taken in 1914 about a year before his death

John Chilembwe, wakababikira mu malo agha mu 1871, ndipo wakasambira pa tchalitchi la Church of Scotland ndipo pamasinda wakakumana na Joseph Booth, mishonale wa tchalitchi la Baptist. Booth wakasambizganga kuti ŵanthu wose ŵaŵe ŵakuyana waka, ndipo Chilembwe wakakondwa chomene na ivyo wakayowoya. Pa nyengo iyi, Chilembwe wakaluta ku United States kuti wakasambire vya cisopa ku Virginia. Ku malo agha, wakasangananga na ŵanthu ŵa ku Africa na America ndipo wakasambizgika nkhani za John Brown uyo wakasuskanga kusopa kwaunenesko na Booker T. Washington.[5]

Nangauli wakaŵa Mkhristu wakutemwa mtende kweniso wakughanaghana vinthu mwamahara, kweni wakatinkhanga chomene maboma agho ghakalamuliranga charu cha Nyasaland. Wakaŵatinkhanga comene ŵamishonale ŵa Church of Scotland ku Blantyre, ndipo wakasuskanga umoyo wawo uwemi pakuyaniska na ukavu wa ŵalimi ŵa ku malo agha. Boma la ku malo agha na ŵamishonale ŵa mpingo wa Presbyterian ŵakafipanga mtima na "mzimu wakofya wa kuyana kwa ŵanthu" uwo Booth wakaŵa nawo.[6] Kweniso Booth wakakhumbanga chomene kuti waŵeso na ntchito yinyake ya m'munda, ndipo wakagura malo ghakukwana mahekita 26,537 ku Mitsidi. Nangauli Booth wakaŵa wakususka comene boma la Scotland ndipo Johnston wakavikiliranga boma la Scotland, kweni wose ŵakakolerananga cifukwa ca kuyuyura mpingo wa Church of Scotland.[6] Mulimo wa Booth ukaŵa wakuti "ŵanthu ŵa ku Africa awo ŵakaŵa na masambiro ghapachanya ndiwo ŵajilamulirenge ŵekha, ndipo ŵakaghanaghaniranga chomene vya ulimi na mafakitale". Ŵacifurika ndiwo ŵakeneranga kovwira ŵanthu aŵa, ndipo ŵanthu ŵa ku Europe ndiwo ŵakeneranga kuŵa ŵalongozgi na ŵapharazgi. Booth wakaŵa na mazaza pa Chilembwe, ndipo maghanoghano ghake ghakukhwaskana na wanangwa wa ŵanthu ghakawovwira chomene Chilembwe kweniso chisopa chake cha Baptist.[6]

Pakuŵa mishonale wa Ciphwitikizi, Booth wakasanga ŵanthu ŵanandi ŵa ku Africa awo ŵakasambizgika na ŵamishonale ndipo wakaŵafumiska ku Presbyterian. Ndipouli, wakapelekanga malipiro gha ŵanthu ŵa ku Africa mu calico, agho ghakaŵa gha mashilingi ghaŵiri pera. Wakayambiska wupu wa African Christian Union, ndipo wakadidimizga fundo yakuti ŵanthu ŵa ku Africa ndiwo ŵakwenera kulamulira chuma chawo m'malo mwa ŵazga ŵa ku Europe. Gulu lake likaŵa na vilato vitatu, "kuti likapharazge makani ghawemi gha Chikhristu mu vyaru vyose vya mu Africa; kukhazikiska ivyo wakavicemanga kuti "Milimo ya ku Africa"; ndipo paumaliro, kuwezgerapo Africa ku ŵanthu ŵa mu Africa". Wakayowoyanga kuti ŵanthu ŵa mu Africa ŵajilamulirenge ŵekha, ndipo wakakhumbanga kuti ŵanthu ŵa mu Africa ŵasambirenge chomene kuti ŵasange ndalama zakukwana. Morris wakawona kuti ivyo Booth wakayowoya vikaŵa vyakupambana chomene na ivyo Chilembwe wakahara, chifukwa wakaŵa wakutemwa kusopa mwakuyana waka. Kuti ivi vicitike, Chilembwe na Booth ŵakaŵa "ŵanthu awo ŵakalongora nkharo ya Ŵaprotesitanti ndiposo mzimu wa ŵantchito".[6]

View of Mbombwe with the Providence Industrial Mission in the background

Mu 1900, Chilembwe wakawelera ku Nyasaland, ndipo na wovwiri wa African-American National Baptist Convention, wakambiska tchalitchi lake lakuchemeka Providence Industrial Mission mu muzi wa Mbombwe. Mu vyaka vyakwambilira vya upharazgi uwu, boma la ku Africa likamuwona kuti ni "muteŵeti uyo wakachitanga vinthu mwambura nkhaza". Wakambiska masukulu gha ŵanthu ŵafipa gha ku Africa, agho ghakaŵa na ŵana ŵakujumpha 900, ndipo wakambiska wupu wakuchemeka Natives' Industrial Union. Ndipouli, ivyo Chilembwe wakachitanga vikapangiska kuti ŵantchito ŵa ku Alexander Livingstone Bruce Plantation ŵaleke kukolerana nayo. Mu Novembala 1913, ŵantchito ŵa kampani yinyake ya ku malo agha ŵakamba kugwira ntchito mu ofesi ya munthavi. L. Wakayama Bruce Estates wakawotcha matchalitchi agho Chilembwe panji ŵalondezgi ŵake ŵakazenga pa malo agha.[7]

Nangauli palije vinandi vyakukhwaskana na tchalitchi la Chilembwe pambere kugaluka uku kundambe, kweni fundo zake zikaŵa zakutchuka chomene. Kwa vyaka 12 vyakwambilira vya uteŵeti wake, wakapharazganga fundo za kujikuzga kwa ŵanthu ŵa ku Africa na kuwusa makora ŵanthu kwizira mu masambiro, kulimbikira ntchito, na udindo wawo, nga umo Booker T. Washington, ndipo wakaciska ŵalondezgi ŵake kuti ŵavwarenge nga mba ku Europe.[8]Nangauli palije vinandi vyakukhwaskana na tchalitchi la Chilembwe pambere kugaluka uku kundambe, kweni fundo zake zikaŵa zakutchuka chomene. Kwa vyaka 12 vyakwambilira vya uteŵeti wake, wakapharazganga fundo za kujikuzga kwa ŵanthu ŵa ku Africa na kuwusa makora ŵanthu kwizira mu masambiro, kulimbikira ntchito, na udindo wawo, nga umo Booker T. Washington, ndipo wakaciska ŵalondezgi ŵake kuti ŵavwarenge nga mba ku Europe.[9]

Pakulondezga ciyelezgero ca Booth, Chilembwe wakacitanga nchito ya kusambizga na kupharazga, kweniso wakayezga kupanga munda wake. Wakagwiliskiranga nchito ŵantchito ŵa ku Lomwe awo ŵakagwiranga nchito mu minda yake ya khofi, mphira, yisiti na katoni. Ŵanthu ŵa ku Africa na ŵa ku Europe awo ŵakaŵa na malo ŵakamutemwanga comene.[10] Wakazgoka mulongozgi wa ŵamalonda ŵa ku Africa awo ŵakamba kulima minda na kupanga vinthu vinyake. Mu nyengo iyi, Chilembwe wakamba kuwona kuti ŵanthu ŵa ku Africa wose ŵakukondwa yayi. Ŵanthu ŵa mitundu yose ya ku Africa ŵakakhalanga kutali na ŵanyawo cifukwa ca dango la thangata, ilo likakhumbanga kuti munthu waliyose wagwirenge nchito kwa mweneko wa nyumba kuti walipire renti na msonkho. Pa nyengo ya vula, ŵanthu ŵakakhalanga mu vyaru vinyake ndipo ŵakagwiranga nchito mu minda ya ŵeneco. Ŵanthu ŵa ku Africa awo ŵakakhalanga mu malo agha ŵakeneranga kulondezga malango ghakudunjika, ndipo ŵakakanizgikanga kugura makuni panji kuvina. Mwakusazgirapo, ŵeneco ŵa caru ca ku Europe kanandi ŵakacicizganga ŵeneco awo ŵakagwiranga nchito kuti ŵagwirenge nchito zinandi comene kuluska izo ŵakazomerezgekanga. Chilembwe wakaŵa muyowoyeri wa ŵanthu ŵa ku Lomwe.[11]

Pa nyengo yeneyira, ŵalimi ŵa ku Africa ŵakakhuŵara cifukwa ca masuzgo gha vya cuma ndiposo kusankhana mitundu. Ŵakatondeka kusanga malo panji ngongoli ndipo ŵakaŵavya wanangwa wa kusayinira makalata gha msonkho wa ŵantchito ŵawo. Kweniso boma likakondweskanga ŵazungu awo ŵakaŵa na minda. Munthu waliyose wa ku Africa "wakeneranga kuvura cisoti cake para wakuwonekera kwa munthu wa ku Europe, kwali ni mulara wa boma panji yayi".[12] Ŵazungu awo ŵakakhalanga mu vyaru vinyake na ŵaliska ŵa Ciphwitikizi, nangauli ŵakapharazganga kuti ŵanthu wose ŵaŵe ŵakuyana, kweni ŵakakwiyiranga awo ŵakakhalanga mu vyaru ivi. William Jervis Livingstone wakamanyikwanga comene cifukwa ca kuyowoya mazgu ghaheni ku ŵanthu ŵa ku Africa awo ŵakaŵa ŵakusambira comene ndiposo ŵakaŵa na malo, ndipo wakafumbanga kuti "Kasi mbazga ŵa njani?" Morris wakati kusankhana uku ndiko kukacitiska kuti ŵanthu ŵagaluke.

Pamanyuma pa 1912, Chilembwe wakazgoka wankhaza comene ndipo wakamba kuyowoya vya kufwatuka kwa Ŵafrika na umaliro wa muwuso wa ŵakoloni. Kufuma mu 1914, wakapharazganga chomene nkhani za nkhondo, kanandi wakazunuranga nkhani za mu Cipangano Cakale, ndipo wakadodoliskanga pa ivyo Ŵaisrayeli ŵakacita kuti ŵafumemo mu wuzga ku Eguputo. Mulongozgi wa Watch Tower, Charles Taze Russell, wakayowoyerathu kuti Haramagedoni yizamwamba mu Okutobala 1914, ndipo ŵalondezgi ŵanyake ŵa Chilembwe ŵakaghanaghananga kuti Haramagedoni yizamuŵa umaliro wa muwuso wa maboma.[13]

Nkhondo Yakwamba ya Caru Cose

Nyasa porters, watched by British soldiers, during the East African campaign

Nkhondo Yakwamba ya Caru Cose yikamba mu Julayi 1914. Kuzakafika mu Seputembala 1914, nkhondo yikafika mu vyaru vya ku Africa. Ku Nyasaland, nkhondo yikapangiska kuti ŵanthu ŵanandi ŵa ku Africa ŵanjire usilikari.Awo ŵakanyamuranga katundu ŵakakhalanga makora yayi, lekani ŵakasuzgikanga na matenda. Pa nyengo yeneyiyo pera, ŵantchito awo ŵakagwiranga nchito ya kunyamura katundu ŵakasoŵanga nchito, ndipo ici cikapangiska kuti ŵanthu ŵa ku Africa mu charu ca Nyasaland ŵasuzgike comene. Ŵanthu aŵa ŵakagomezganga kuti Nkhondo Yakwamba ya Caru Cose yizamuŵa Haramagedoni, iyo yizamuparanya maboma gha vyaru ivyo vikalamuliranga caru ca Africa na kucitiska kuti paŵe vyaru vyawo.[14]

Chilembwe wakasuskanga ŵanthu ŵa mtundu wa Nyasan kuti ŵarwe nkhondo iyo wakawonanga kuti njambura kukolerana na iwo. Iyo wakakhumbanga kuti ŵanthu ŵa mu Africa ŵaleke kuchitako usilikari chifukwa chakuti ŵakaŵavya wanangwa. Mu Novembala 1914, Chilembwe wakalemba kalata ku nyuzipepara ya The Nyasaland Times ku Blantyre, ndipo wakapempha ŵamazaza kuti ŵaleke kulemba ŵasilikari ŵa ŵanthu ŵafipa mtima.

Pakuti nkhupulika kuti nkhondo yabuka pakati pa imwe na mitundu yinyake, ŵatuŵa pera, nkhumupemphani kuti muleke kutora ŵanthu ŵanyane, ŵabali ŵane awo ŵakumanya yayi cifukwa ca nkhondo yinu, awo ŵalije cilicose ico ŵangacita nayo. Cakuzirwa comene nkhulemba ŵamalonda, ŵamishonale, na ŵanthu ŵanyake awo ŵakukhala mu caru ici, awo mbakuzirwa comene ndiposo awo ŵakumanya ico cikupangiska nkhondo iyi. ... (original syntax and grammar)[15]

Vyakunozgekela

Preparations for the uprising had begun kuumaliro wa 1914. Vinthu ivyo Chilembwe wakakhumbanga vikumanyikwa makora yayi, kweni ŵanthu ŵanyake ŵakagomezganga kuti wakakhumbanga kujizgora yekha "Themba la Nyasaland".[16] Nyengo yichoko waka, wakasanga buku lakusambizgira vya usilikari ndipo wakamba kuwunganya ŵalondezgi ŵake na kuŵawovwira. Wakakhozga ubwezi wake na Filipo Chinyama ku Ncheu, mtunda wa makilomita 180 kumpoto ca kumanjiliro gha dazi, ndipo wakasimikizgika kuti wazamovwira ŵalondezgi ŵake kuti nawo ŵanjire mu gulu la ŵakugaluka.

Ŵalaraŵalara ŵa boma ŵakapokera macenjezgo ghaŵiri ghakuti kugaluka kuli pafupi. Mu Ogasiti 1914, mulondezgi munyake wa Chilembwe uyo wakakondwa yayi na ivyo mupharazgi uyu wakacita wakaphalira Philip Mitchell, uyo wakaŵa muteŵeti wa boma (uyo pamanyuma wakazgoka kazembe wa Uganda na Kenya), kuti "uyo wakakhumbanga kucita nthena wakaŵa na maghanoghano ghaheni". Kweniso ŵakatuma uthenga ku ofesi yinyake ya Katolika, kweni pakaŵavya uyo wakacitapo kanthu. Brian Morris wakuyowoya kuti pakaŵavya ico cikacitika cifukwa boma la ŵakoloni likaŵa na nthowa ya kukhorweskera mphindano izi yayi, cifukwa ca cisisi ca kuwukira.[17]

Kudelela

Outbreak

"This is the only way to show the whitemen, [sic] that the treatment they are treating our men and women was most bad and we have determined to strike a first and a last blow and then we will all die by the heavy storm of the whiteman's army. The whitemen will then think, after we are dead, that the treatment they are treating [sic] our people is bad, and they might change to the better for our people."

Chilembwe's speech to the rebels, 23 January[18]

During the night of Saturday 23–24 January, the rebels met at the Mission church in Mbombwe, where Chilembwe gave a speech stressing that none of them should expect to survive the reprisals that would follow the revolt but that the uprising would draw greater attention to their conditions and destabilise the colonial system. This, Chilembwe believed, was the only way change would ever occur.[18]

A contingent of rebels was sent to Blantyre and Limbe, about 15 miles (24 km) to the south, where most of the white colonists lived and where the insurgents hoped to capture the African Lakes Company's store of weapons.[19] Another group headed towards the Alexander Livingstone Bruce Plantation's headquarters at Magomero. Chilembwe sent a messenger to Ncheu to alert Chinyama that the rebellion was starting.[19]

Chilembwe also sought support for his uprising from the German forces in German East Africa, on Nyasaland's far northern border,[20] hoping that a German offensive from the north combined with a native insurrection in the south might force the British out of Nyasaland permanently.[21] On 24 January, he sent a letter to the German Governor by courier through Portuguese East Africa. The courier was intercepted and the letter was never received. During the latter stages of the East African Campaign, after the German invasion of Portuguese East Africa, the German colonial army actually helped to suppress anti-Portuguese rebellions, among the Makombe and Barue peoples, worrying that African uprisings would destabilise the colonial order.[22]

Attack on the Livingstone Bruce Plantation

The major action of the Chilembwe uprising involved an attack on the Bruce plantation at Magomero. The plantation spanned about 5,000 acres (20 km2) and grew both cotton and tobacco.[23] Around 5,000 locals worked on it as part of their thangata obligations.[24] The plantation had a reputation locally for the poor treatment of its workers and for the brutality of its managers,[25] who closed local schools, beat their workers and paid them less than had been promised.[25] Their burning of Chilembwe's church in November 1913 created a personal animosity with the rebel leadership.[7] The insurgents launched two roughly concurrent attacks—one group targeted Magomero, the plantation headquarters and home of the main manager William Jervis Livingstone and a few other white staff, while a second assaulted the plantation-owned village of Mwanje, where there were two white households.[19][26]

Modern-day view of a tea plantation at Mlanje

The rebels moved into Magomero in the early evening, while Livingstone and his wife were entertaining some dinner guests. The estate official, Duncan MacCormick, was in another house nearby.[19] A third building, occupied by Emily Stanton, Alyce Roach and five children, contained a small cache of weapons and ammunition belonging to the local rifle club.[19] The insurgents quietly broke into the Livingstone's house and injured him during hand-to-hand fighting, prompting him to take refuge in the bedroom, where his wife attempted to treat his wounds. The rebels forced their way into the bedroom, and after capturing his wife, decapitated Livingstone.[27][28] MacCormick, who had been alerted, was killed by a rebel spear.[29] The attackers took the women and children of the village prisoner but shortly released them unhurt, having reportedly treated them well.[27][30] It has been suggested that Chilembwe may have hoped to use the women and children as hostages, but this remains unclear.[29] The attack on Magomero, and in particular the killing of Livingstone, had great symbolic significance for Chilembwe's men.[31] The two Mauser rifles captured from the plantation formed the basis of the rebel armoury for the rest of the uprising.[31]

Mwanje had little military value but it has been proposed that the rebels may have hoped to find weapons and ammunition there.[27] Led by Jonathan Chigwinya, the insurgents stormed one of the houses and killed the plantation's stock manager, Robert Ferguson, with a spear as he lay in bed reading a newspaper.[27][26] Two of the colonists, John Robertson and his wife Charlotte, escaped into the cotton fields and walked 6 miles (9.7 km) to a neighbouring plantation to raise the alarm.[32] One of the Robertsons' African servants, who remained loyal, was killed by the attackers.[32]

Later actions

The rebels cut the Zomba–Tete and Blantyre–Mikalongwe telephone lines, delaying the spread of the news.[27] The African Lakes' Company weapons store in Blantyre was raided by a force of around 100 rebels at around 02:00 on 24 January, before the general alarm had been raised by news of the Magomero and Mwanje attacks.[33] The defenders mobilised after an African watchman was shot dead by the rebels. The insurgents were repulsed, but not before they had captured five rifles and some ammunition, which was taken back to Mbombwe.[34] A number of rebels were taken prisoner during the retreat from Magomero.[35]

A modern view of the Shire Highlands

After the initial attacks on the Bruce plantation, the rebels returned home. Livingstone's head was taken back and displayed at the Providence Industrial Mission on the second day of the uprising as Chilembwe preached a sermon.[36] During much of the rebellion, Chilembwe remained in Mbombwe praying and leadership of the rebels was taken by David Kaduya, a former soldier in the King's African Rifles (KAR). Under Kaduya's command, the rebels ambushed a small party of government soldiers near Mbombwe on 24 January, described as the "one reverse suffered by the government" during the uprising.[34]

By the morning of 24 January the government had levied the Nyasaland Volunteer Reserve, a settler militia and redeployed the 1st Battalion, KAR from the north of the colony.[37] The rebels did not mount any further attack any of the many other isolated plantations in the region. They also did not occupy the boma (fort) at Chiradzulu just 5 miles (8.0 km) from Mbombwe, even though it was ungarrisoned at the time.[27] Rumours of rebel attacks spread, but despite earlier offers of support, there were no parallel uprisings elsewhere in Nyasaland and the promised reinforcements from Ncheu did not materialise. The Mlanje or Zomba regions likewise refused to join the uprising.[27][38]

Siege of Mbombwe and attempted escape

View of the Providence Industrial Mission shortly after its destruction by government troops

Troops of the KAR launched a tentative attack on Mbombwe on 25 January but the engagement proved inconclusive.[39] Chilembwe's forces held a strong defensive position along the Mbombwe river and could not be pushed back. Two African government soldiers were killed and three were wounded;[40] Chilembwe's losses have been estimated as about 20.[40]

On 26 January, a group of rebels attacked a Catholic mission at Nguludi belonging to Father Swelsen. The mission was defended by four African armed guards, one of whom was killed, Father Swelsen was also wounded in the fighting and the church was burnt down.[27] The military and militia forces assaulted Mbombwe again the same day but encountered no resistance.[41] Many rebels, including Chilembwe, had fled the village disguised as civilians.[41] Mbombwe's fall and the government troops' subsequent demolition of Chilembwe's church with dynamite ended the rebellion.[41] Kaduya was captured and brought back to Magomero where he was publicly executed.[42] This was the final attack of the rebellion, and Morris attributed the decision to attack the Catholic mission to "the pervasive anti-Catholic sentiments expressed by the independent Baptists".[43]

Following the attacks, Chilembwe would meditate on the summit of Chilimankhanje hill instead of attempting to regroup the now dispersed rebel troops. He was eventually convinced to leave the hill and escape to Mozambique, a land that he had already been to numerous times during his hunting trips. Chilemwe also wrote a letter to the German colonial regime in Tunduru, asking for aid. He never received a response, and the letter was considered an embarrassment to his supporters, given the Germany's reputation as a particularly oppressive colonial power.[43]

After the defeat of the rebellion, most of the remaining insurgents attempted to escape eastwards across the Shire Highlands, towards Portuguese East Africa, from where they hoped to head north to German territory.[41] Chilembwe was seen by a patrol of Nyasaland police and shot dead on 3 February near Mlanje.[41] Many other rebels were captured; 300 were imprisoned following the rebellion and 40 were executed.[41] Around 30 rebels evaded capture and settled in Portuguese territory near the Nyasaland border.[44]

Aftermath

The colonial authorities responded quickly to the uprising with as much force and as many troops, police and settler volunteers it could muster to hunt down and kill suspected rebels. There was no official death toll, but perhaps 50 of Chilembwe's followers were killed in the fighting, when trying to escape after or summarily executed.[45] Worrying that the rebellion might rapidly reignite and spread, the authorities instigated arbitrary reprisals against the local African population, including mass hut burnings. All weapons were confiscated and fines of 4 shillings per person were levied in the districts affected by the revolt, regardless of whether the people in question had been involved.[44] As part of the repression, a series of courts were hastily convened which passed death sentences on Forty-six men for the offences of murder and treason and 300 others were given prison sentences. Thirty-six were executed and, to increase the deterrent effect, some of the ringleaders were hanged in public on a main road close to the Magomero Estate where Europeans had been killed.[45][46]

The colonial government also began attacking the rights of missionaries in Nyasaland and, although Anglican missions, those of the Scottish churches and Catholic missions were not affected, it banned many smaller, often American-originated churches, including the Churches of Christ and Watchtower Society, from Nyasaland, and placed restrictions on other African-run churches. Public gatherings, especially those associated with African-initiated religious groups, were banned until 1919.[47] Fear of similar uprisings in other colonies, notably Northern Rhodesia, also led to similar repression of independent churches and foreign missions beyond Nyasaland.[48]

Though the rebellion failed, the threat to colonial rule posed by the Chilembwe revolt compelled the local authorities to introduce some reform. The colonial government proposed to undermine the power of independent churches like Chilembwe's, by promoting secular education but lack of funding made this impossible. The government began to promote tribal loyalties in the colony, through the system of indirect rule, which was expanded after the revolt. In particular, the Muslim Yao people, who attempted to distance themselves from Chilembwe, were given more power and autonomy.[49] Although delayed by the war, the Nyasaland Police, which had been primarily composed of African askaris levied by local white officials, was restructured as a professional force of white colonists.[47] Forced labour was retained, and would remain a resentment for decades afterwards.[50]

While the uprising enjoyed sympathy amongst Yao commoners, none of the Yao chiefs in the Shire Highlands supported it. Most of them embraced Islam instead of Christianity and considered the African planters a threat to their political hegemony. The Commission of Enquiry dismissed the uprising as a localised affair caused by harsh mistreatment of natives by the Magomero estate.[51] However, the grievances expressed by Chilembwe were not unique to his area, and the Africans across the entire Nyasaland identified with his struggle. Africans had no rights as tenants under the thangata system, had to pay rent in labour, and were prohibited from gathering wood or hunting wild animals in the woodlands surrounding the European estates, even though they considered woodland resources to be common property. Harry Kambwiri Matecheta noted that while the British colonial regime did suppress slave trade, the thangata system simply introduced a new form of slavery.[52]

The rebels were of diverse social and economic backgrounds, consisting of Yao people, Lomwe immigrants, agricultural farmers and African pretty bourgeoisie. The colonial regime ignored African petitions and failed to translate their laws into local languages, leading to many locals not understanding them at all. Morris notes that Africans of Nyasaland were increasingly hostile to the British rule due to physical abuse and mistreatment they had to endure, and if the rebellion managed to get support from German East Africa and acquire weapon caches during the attack African Lakes Company depot in Blantyre, it could have turned into "a wider and more protracted struggle".[52] Morris concludes that the rebellion was a response to colonial oppression, particularly towards racial injustice. It was a "struggle for freedom" with elements of Christian utopianism, with Chilembwe expressing two contrasting political traditions - Booth's radical egalitarianism and a "petty capitalist orientation" of the Protestant churches, which stressed the right to private property, wage labour and commercial agriculture.[53]

Commission of Enquiry

In the aftermath of the revolt, the colonial administration formed a Commission of Enquiry to examine the causes and handling of the rebellion. The Commission, which presented its conclusions in early 1916, found that the revolt was chiefly caused by mismanagement of the Bruce plantation. The Commission also blamed Livingstone himself for "treatment of natives [that was] often unduly harsh" and for poor management of the estate.[54] The Commission found that the systematic discrimination, lack of freedoms and respect were key causes of resentment among the local population.[54] It also emphasised the effect of Booth's ideology on Chilembwe.[55]

The Commission's reforms were not far-reaching—though it criticised the thangata system, it made only minor changes aimed at ending "casual brutality".[56][49] Though the government passed laws banning plantation owners from using the services of their tenants as payment of rent in 1917, effectively abolishing thangata, it was "uniformly ignored".[56] A further Commission in 1920 concluded that the thangata could not be effectively abolished, and it remained a constant source of friction into the 1950s.[56]

In later culture

Hastings Banda, Malawi's independence leader, championed Chilembwe's legacy in the 1960s

Despite its failure, the Chilembwe rebellion has since gained an important place in the modern Malawian cultural memory, with Chilembwe himself gaining "iconic status."[57] The uprising had "local notoriety" in the years immediately after it, and former rebels were kept under police observation.[58] Over the next three decades, anti-colonial activists idealised Chilembwe and began to see him as a semi-mythical figure.[57] The Nyasaland African Congress (NAC) of the 1940s and 1950s used him as a symbolic figurehead, partly because its president, James Chinyama, had a family connection to Filipo Chinyama, who had been believed to be an ally of Chilembwe's.[57] When the NAC announced that it intended to mark 15 February annually as Chilembwe Day, colonial officials were scandalised. One wrote that to "venerate the memory of the fanatic and blood thirsty Chilembwe seems to us to be nothing less than a confession of violent intention."[57]

D. D. Phiri, a Malawian historian, characterised Chilembwe's uprising as an early expression of Malawian nationalism, as did George Shepperson and Thomas Price in their 1958 book Independent African, an exhaustive study of Chilembwe and his rebellion that was banned during the colonial era but still widely read by the educated classes.[57] Chilembwe became viewed as an "unproblematic" hero by many of the country's people.[30] The Malawi Congress Party (MCP), which ultimately led the country to independence in 1964, made a conscious effort to identify its leader Hastings Banda with Chilembwe through speeches and radio broadcasts.[59] Bakili Muluzi, who succeeded Banda in 1994, similarly invoked Chilembwe's memory to win popular support, inaugurating a new annual national holiday, Chilembwe Day, on 16 January 1995.[59] Chilembwe's portrait was soon added to the national currency, the kwacha,[59] and reproduced on Malawian stamps.[30] It has been argued that for Malawian politicians, Chilembwe has become "symbol, legitimising myth, instrument and propaganda".[59]

Historical analysis

The revolt has been the subject of much research and has been interpreted in various ways by historians. At the time, the uprising was generally considered to mark a turning point in colonial rule. The Governor of Nyasaland, George Smith, declared that the revolt marked a "new phase in the existence of Nyasaland".[30] According to the military historian Hew Strachan, the Chilembwe uprising tarnished British prestige in East Africa which contributed, after the appointment of the future Prime Minister Bonar Law as Secretary of State for the Colonies, to renewed pressure for an Anglo-Belgian offensive against German East Africa.[14]

Chilembwe's aims have also come under scrutiny. According to Robert I. Rotberg, Chilembwe's speech of 23 January appeared to stress the importance and inevitability of martyrdom as a principal motivation. The same speech depicted the uprising as a manifestation of desperation but because of his desire to "strike a blow and die", he did not have any idea of what he would replace colonialism with if the revolt succeeded.[60] Rotberg concludes that Chilembwe planned to seize power in the Shire Highlands or perhaps in all of Nyasaland.[16] John McCracken attacks the idea that the revolt could be considered nationalist, arguing that Chilembwe's ideology was instead fundamentally utopian and created in opposition to localised abuses of the colonial system, particularly thangata.[61] According to McCracken, the uprising failed because Chilembwe was over-reliant on a small Europeanised petite bourgeoisie and did not gain enough mass support.[34] Rotberg's examination the Chilembwe revolt from a psychoanalytical perspective concludes that Chilembwe's personal situation, his psychosomatic asthma and financial debt may have been contributory factors in his decision to plot the rebellion.[62]

See also

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References

  1. Thompson, T. Jack (Malichi 2017). "Religion and Mythology in the Chilembwe Rising of 1915 in Nyasaland and the Easter Rising of 1916 in Ireland: Preparing for the End Times?". Studies in World Christianity (in English). 23 (1): 51–66. doi:10.3366/swc.2017.0169.
  2. Rotberg 1967, p. xi.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rotberg 1967, p. xiv.
  4. Rotberg 1967, pp. xv–xvii.
  5. Rotberg 1967, pp. xxiv–xxv.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Morris, Brian (Novembala 2016). An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands (PDF) (in English). Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 152–155. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-45258-6. ISBN 978-3-319-45257-9.
  7. 7.0 7.1 McCracken 2012, p. 133.
  8. McCracken 2012, p. 137.
  9. McCracken 2012, p. 128.
  10. Morris, Brian (Novembala 2016). An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands (PDF) (in English). Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 156–157. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-45258-6. ISBN 978-3-319-45257-9.
  11. Morris, Brian (Novembala 2016). An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands (PDF) (in English). Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 158–159. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-45258-6. ISBN 978-3-319-45257-9.
  12. Morris, Brian (Novembala 2016). An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands (PDF) (in English). Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 160–161. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-45258-6. ISBN 978-3-319-45257-9.
  13. McCracken 2012, p. 136.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Strachan 2004, p. 132.
  15. Rotberg 1967, pp. 33–4.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Rotberg 1971, p. 138.
  17. Morris, Brian (Novembala 2016). An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands (PDF) (in English). Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 170–171. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-45258-6. ISBN 978-3-319-45257-9.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Rotberg 1967, p. 48-9.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 Rotberg 1971, p. 135.
  20. Rotberg 1971, p. 162.
  21. Rotberg 1971, p. 163.
  22. Strachan 2004, p. 177.
  23. McCracken 2012, pp. 130–1.
  24. McCracken 2012, p. 130.
  25. 25.0 25.1 McCracken 2012, p. 131.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Shepperson & Price 1958, p. 274.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 27.5 27.6 27.7 Rotberg 1971, p. 136.
  28. Shepperson & Price 1958, p. 270.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Shepperson & Price 1958, p. 272.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 McCracken 2012, p. 127.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Shepperson & Price 1958, p. 273.
  32. 32.0 32.1 Shepperson & Price 1958, p. 277.
  33. Shepperson & Price 1958, pp. 279–280.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 McCracken 2012, p. 141.
  35. Shepperson & Price 1958, pp. 281–282.
  36. Power 2010, p. 19.
  37. Shepperson & Price 1958, pp. 283, 286.
  38. Shepperson & Price 1958, p. 289.
  39. Shepperson & Price 1958, p. 296.
  40. 40.0 40.1 Shepperson & Price 1958, p. 297.
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 41.3 41.4 41.5 Rotberg 1971, p. 137.
  42. McCracken 2012, p. 142.
  43. 43.0 43.1 Morris, Brian (Novembala 2016). An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands (PDF) (in English). Palgrave Macmillan. p. 173. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-45258-6. ISBN 978-3-319-45257-9.
  44. 44.0 44.1 McCracken 2012, p. 143.
  45. 45.0 45.1 S Hynde, (2010). ‘‘The extreme penalty of the law’’: mercy and the death penalty as aspects of state power in colonial Nyasaland, c. 1903 47. Journal of Eastern African Studies Vol. 4, No. 3, p. 547.
  46. D D Phiri, (1999). Let Us Die for Africa: An African Perspective on the Life and Death of John Chilembwe of Nyasaland. Central Africana, Blantyre, pp. 86–7. ISBN 978-9-99081-417-0.
  47. 47.0 47.1 McCracken 2012, p. 144.
  48. Yorke 1990, pp. 373–4.
  49. 49.0 49.1 Power 2010, p. 20.
  50. Power 2010, p. 21.
  51. Morris, Brian (Novembala 2016). An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands (PDF) (in English). Palgrave Macmillan. p. 174. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-45258-6. ISBN 978-3-319-45257-9.
  52. 52.0 52.1 Morris, Brian (Novembala 2016). An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands (PDF) (in English). Palgrave Macmillan. p. 178. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-45258-6. ISBN 978-3-319-45257-9.
  53. Morris, Brian (Novembala 2016). An Environmental History of Southern Malawi: Land and People of the Shire Highlands (PDF) (in English). Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 181–182. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-45258-6. ISBN 978-3-319-45257-9.
  54. 54.0 54.1 Rotberg 1971, pp. 137–8.
  55. McCracken 2012, p. 145.
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 McCracken 2012, p. 146.
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 57.3 57.4 Power 2010, p. 27.
  58. Rotberg 1971, p. 139.
  59. 59.0 59.1 59.2 59.3 Power 2010, p. 28.
  60. Rotberg 1971, p. 133.
  61. McCracken 2012, p. 140.
  62. Rotberg 1971, pp. 158–60.

Bibliography

External links

Media related to Chilembwe uprising at Wikimedia Commons

Template:British colonial campaigns

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