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History of Africa

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History of Africa

The History of Africa Podcast

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Take a deep dive deep into African history with this in-depth podcast. From Casablanca to Cape Town, tune in to this podcast to learn about the magnificent and oft-forgotten history of Africa. To access more free resources about African history, provide feedback, or support the show, check out our associated website at https://historyofafricapodcast.blogspot.com
 
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This is episode 49 and Khoe and Oorlam Afrikaaner uprising of 1799. Keep in mind at this point in South African history, Afrikaaners are the mixed race band of former Khoe, mixed race, slaves and Namaqua living in the northern Hantam and at times, raiding Namaqualand.When we left off last episode things were sliding towards war as the settlers of t…
 
With his place on the golden stool in a tenuous position, the young asantehene Osei Kwame secures his power through a series of purges of the Ashanti government. But, despite firmly entrenching his allies in power, Kwame's downfall will come not because of his governmental policy, but his personal religious views. Support the show (https://patreon.…
 
This is episode 48 and we’re following the sagas of the Visagies and others in the Hantam, that rough and ready part of the northern Cape.This chaotic land had spawned another by the name of Petrus Pienaar of the Afrikaaners. Regarded as one of the most influential men of the frontier, Pienaar emerged as the spokesman of the Hantammers. He was clos…
 
This is episode 47 and we are concentrating on a mysterious and contradicted part of southern Africa, the Hantam. We’re also going to meet a German sailor who’d deserted and ran away to the Orange River in the 1780s by the name of Jan Bloem. He worked as an overseer, a Knecht, at Sandfontein farm owned by Petrus Pienaar. Groups of white hunters wer…
 
This is episode 46 and it’s about Namaqualand, the Oorlam Afrikaaners and the GriquasBut first a note about the British occupation. We know that they arrived in 1795, defeated the Dutch forces and then attempted to take control of events on the frontiers. As the Dutch had found, this was not an easy undertaking. The new Governor Sir George Yonge ha…
 
In the years following the death of the reformer king Osei Kwadwo, the Ashanti Empire once again regressed into a period of political instability. In 1777, two factions vied to place their favorite candidate on the golden stool. The two factions generally fell along lines of class and religion. On the one hand, the entrenched nobility and governmen…
 
This is episode 45 and it’s time to turn our attention to Namaqualand. This is an area which is not spoken of very often, the wild northern frontier where bandits rode oxen and escaped slaves, white ex-soldiers and black clans joined forces – or fought each other. The brigands and Badlands here are exotic to say the least as you’re going to hear. F…
 
This is episode 44 and we continue to travel about the Zuurveld and beyond with Englishman John Barrow. Remember he’d arrived in Graaff-Reinet with landdrost FR Bressler and their entry into the mud and daub village marked the restoration of Cape control after an interval of two and a half years. That was late 1797.Because they were accompanied by …
 
Asantehene Osei Kwadwo attempts to reintegrate the lost Ashanti conquests of Wasa and Akyem. To do this, he must pry them away from their premiere ally - the Fante confederation. To show good will to the Fantes, he sends his close relatives, Osei and Danso, to the Fantes as hostages. However, when relations between the two states deteriorate and wa…
 
This is episode 43 and we’re dealing with the arrival of the English at the Cape. As you know, the Peninsular had become more important in the eyes of the English as they fought a lengthy war against France at the end of the 18th Century – a war that was to continue through until Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo in 1815. The British would occupy t…
 
This is episode 42 and the English have just seized the Cape. Remember at the time they were in a world war with the French and revolutionary fervour had swept the world with its populist refrain, its’ berets of southern France and Liberte Equalite Fraternite narrative. This had swept the globe – all the way to Graaff-Reinet in the upper Zuurveld o…
 
The late 18th Century was a period of revolutions throughout the world, and the Ashanti Empire was no different. After the unpopular asantehene, Kusi Obodom, is impeached and removed from power, a new king is elected by an assembly of citizens in Kumasi. The newly elected asantehene, Osei Kwadwo, will prove himself to be the most energetic, active,…
 
This is episode 41 and we’re dealing with two main things – firstly the shift in power amongst the Xhosa at the end of the 18th Century, then the arrival of the English in South Africa. Remember we’ve been focusing on the Zuurveld as the trekboers and the amaXhosa both expanded their interest in the region. The fate of these contending parties woul…
 
This is episode 40 and we’re dealing with the Second Frontier War. The Zuurveld Boers were indignant at the reluctance of the distant government of the Cape to come to their aid as the amaGqunukhwebe swept onto their farms. Remember Xhosa king Ndlambe was trying to bring them to heel and had ordered the amaGqunukhwebe and Langa’s amaMbalu to move w…
 
The Ashanti's Akwamu allies, after decades of gradual decline and infighting, are conquered by emerging Dahomey Empire. Later, when the Ashanti catch the Dahomey supporting their enemies in the south, the hawkish Ashanti nobleman Appiah Odankua urges the Asantehene to order a punitive invasion of Dahomey. Support the show (https://patreon.com/histo…
 
This is episode 39 and we’re going to meet one of the country’s most incredible characters who’s activities on the frontier in the late 1700s were to be forgotten. Coenraad de Buys was probably one of the most African of all trekboers as you’re going to hear and the saga of his life was written out of text books long before apartheid. That was beca…
 
This is episode 38 and we’re focusing on the first war between the isiXhosa and the settlers which took place in 1781. Rharhabe had proposed an alliance between himself and the Colony – in return for Boer assistance against the imiDange clan who he had represented as rebels. Rharhabe framed the conversation as offering “friendship and peace upon a …
 
When the old Asantehene passes away, the regional governors and bureaucrats of the Ashanti Empire find that their tensions can no longer be contained to political meddling. The Ashanti are soon engulfed in a true civil war for the first time. The man who emerges from this war the victor, Kusi Obodom, will prove to be one of Ashanti's most well rega…
 
This is episode 37 and we’re continuing the saga of late 18th Century Xhosa kingdoms. By late in the 18th Century, the Zuurveld was home to small groups of San, some khoekhoe chieftans, several Xhosa chiefdoms and the trekboers. They were mixing up together in a fairly confined territory and jostled each other increasingly angrily to secure the sum…
 
This is episode 36 and its time to return to Xhosaland. Before we do that, let’s step back a little and consider the effect of action beyond Africa that was having an influence on the continent, particularly the southern reaches. Adam Smith may have been somewhat bemused, as American historian Noel Mostert writes in his book frontiers, to find that…
 
With Osei Tutu killed in action, the Ashanti descend into an extended succession dispute. As chaos envelopes the Ashanti, their capital is sacked by a foreign invasion, leading to a compromise to enstool a new king. The new asantehene was a teenager named Opoku Ware. While nobody knew it yet, the teenage king would eventually go on to double the em…
 
This is episode 35 and we’re going to focus on the forerunners of the Zulu – the Mthethwa and Ndwandwe, the Qwabe and how they emerged in the region between the Tugela and Pongola rivers in northern KwaZulu Natal or what became known as Zululand. By the first few centuries AD the migrations of farmers moving into the area between the Drakensburg, t…
 
This is episode 34 and we’re going to take a close look at what was going on in the region bounded by the Orange River, the Kalahari Desert and the Indian Ocean. This is where the Zulu emerged but the story is not the simple tale most of us know about Shaka. As with other areas we’ve investigated, the popular narrative over time is not always an ac…
 
At the small village of Feyiase, the Ashanti and Denkyira armies would clash. The outcome changed the history of Ghana and the world. However, while Osei Tutu's leadership on the battlefield would be his most famous trait, his legacy runs even deeper than that. Join us as we discuss not only his conquests, but his forward thinking civic reforms tha…
 
This is episode 33 and we’re focusing on the Cape after spending last episode partly in Xhosaland. By 1771 the inn on the sea – the town in Table Bay – was being referred to as Cape Town for the first time by travellers. It appears there was not even a formal process, just the town at the foot of the mountain emerged over the preceding 120 years an…
 
This is episode 32 and we’re swinging back to the Cape frontier through the last few decades of the 18th Century. I am going to thoroughly probe this period because so many crucial things were unfolding across southern Africa such as the development of new centralized powerful kingdoms in the East, the acceleration of land occupation by the trekboe…
 
After returning to his capital of Kumasi after years in exile, the new king of the Oyoko Tribe, Osei Tutu, begins constructing a new army to fight the inevitable war against his Denkyira foes. He will be aided by his own group of Akwamu advisors and bodyguards, and will succeed in turning the Ashanti army from a collection of feudal mercenaries int…
 
This is episode 31 and we’ll now take a broader look at what was going on across southern Africa after a few episodes peering closely at the northern Cape. We’ll also take a closer look at how the Cape government was expanding. Sleeping giants were to awaken by the last quarter of the 18th Century, with the emergence and expansion of a number of in…
 
This is episode 30 and we’re covering the mid-18th Century, including tales of shipwrecked sailors, the art of making amasi and dealing with the amatakati or witches. We’ve heard much about the developments in the north of the Cape, the bokkeveld and the Roodezand up to 1740. Now we’ll swing our gaze to observe what was going on at the same time in…
 
On this episode, we look at the humble beginnings of what would eventually become the Ashanti empire, including the origins of its dominant tribal family, the beginnings of Ashanti unity, and the foundation of its most important city. At this early state in the Ashanti Empire's metamorphosis, the Ashanti were still ruled by independent city states.…
 
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