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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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Trouble was not so much brewing as fermenting on the eastern Cape frontier as we heard last episode. The British were aware that Ndlambe and his wardoctor, Nxele, had gathered troops ready to invade the Albany region, the Zuurveld, and Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Wilshire, or Tiger Tom as he was known, had been dispatched from the Cape with reinforce…
 
Tired of his despotic abuse, a coalition of disgruntled Ashanti elites overthrows Asantehene Mensa Bonsu. Rather than ushering in a new era of peace and prosperity, Mensa Bonsu's impeachment marked the beginning of an unprecedented period of misery and violence in the Ashanti Kingdom. In this episode, the Ashanti state falls apart into a brutal civ…
 
The period between 1816 and 1819 saw the level of conflict rise significantly across southern Africa – not only were the Zulu beginning their ascent to power in the east, but in the frontier district of the Cape, war was afoot. The seer, the man we’ve tracked for a few episodes, Nxele, was about to make his move and the repercussions of his actions…
 
Things were beginning to move along the eastern Cape frontier, through the region known previously as the Zuurveld, the Albany district, with its rocky rivers and ravines, thorny bush covered recesses, rolling grasslands and magnificent mountains. The Great House of the amaGcaleka had sorted out its differences, these were the amaXhosa based east o…
 
As the dust settles from the bloody war against Juaben, Asantehene Mensa Bonsu begins the hard work of trying to bring his crumbling empire back to a state of relative repair. Aiding him in this task is the radical reformer Owusu Ansah, a British-educated diplomat turned political advisor. As the duo struggles to reform the Ashanti Empire's civic a…
 
It had taken twenty years from the initial British landing on the Cape for the occupation to become permanent. So by August 1814, following the first abdication of Napoleon, the Netherlands regained independence with the Prince Orange re-installed as sovereign. The British duly restored some of his colonies to him – but not the Cape. In 1803 Lord N…
 
It’s the second decade of the 19th Century - the trekboers as you heard last episode were alarmed by the British decision to drop loan farms – and using the quit-rent system to reinforce land ownership. Governor Somerset had arrived to take over the management of this new system, and to oversee the new Circuit Court process where justice was suppos…
 
In the aftermath of the catastrophic Third Anglo-Ashanti War, Asantehene Kofi Kakari desperately tries to bring Ashanti finances into a state of normalcy and gets impeached for his efforts. The responsibility to stop the imminent economic and political collapse of the Ashanti Empire falls to Kakari's brother, an obscure prince named Mensa Bonsu. Hi…
 
So, in 1817, Shaka had been forced to flee his home as Zwide’s Ndwandwe attacked repeatedly – and he found himself south of the Thukela. He needed to forge a stronger relationship with the people to the north, and in particular the Qwabe who were found south of Umhlatuzi river, near his mother’s clan, the Langeni. What doomed Phakathwayo was the fa…
 
By the 1810s, Zwide had built a powerful centralized kingdom and reinforced this power using his extensive family. He also formed feared amabutho such as the amaPhela, the abaHlakabezi, and isiKwitshi and the amaNkaiya. Most of these were around before Shaka became king of the Zulus, and the Ndwandwe were so large that they split into semi-autonomo…
 
As the Ashanti armies retreated back across the Pra River, Kofi Kakari and the Ashanti legislature were forced to admit defeat. They offered to concede on all of the British demands. However, the British commander Garnet Wolesly was not willing to accept these terms. Despite the pleas of others in the British colonial authority, Wolesly decided tha…
 
This is episode 71 and Shaka has just been installed as the Zulu regent in 1812. There is even debate about this as the year – some say it was more like 1816. However, I believe historian Dan Wylie’s earlier date is probably the right one – by the way 1812 is the same year that Napoleon advanced on Moscow in his disastrous Russian campaign. How dat…
 
This is episode 70 and we’re walking with Shaka. He spent the bulk of his early and teenage years in Zulu country, that area to the north of the Umhlatuzi, between the Langeni and the white Mfolozi rivers.Towards the end of his youth things became increasingly difficult for him, although the history is rather murky. There are hints in oral traditio…
 
In 1873, Ashanti crowds celebrated as the nation's army marched through the streets of Kumasi. This army was en route to leave the city in a southern direction, where they would invade the British protectorate and force the British to relinquish their claims on Elmina. This celebration would not last long, as the Ashanti offensive of 1873 would soo…
 
This is episode 69 and we’re hunting the origins of Shaka. Throughout the area north of the Thukela River the main medium of exchange in terms of goods was no longer cattle by 1810 – it was beads. These glass objects manufactured in Europe had flowed through southern Africa starting in the first days of contact between Europe and Africa – way back …
 
We heard last episode how the fourth Frontier War of 1811/12 had been a short sharp affair and the anger bubbling away amongst amaXhosa leadership about the brutal emptying of the Albany district, so recently called the Zuurveld.We need to close a chapter here for a while to return to the incredible happenings further north east as Shaka began to i…
 
When the British annexed the Dutch Gold Coast in 1872, a new conflict kicked off between the Ashanti and British Empires. Allowing the British to possess a complete monopoly on the Ghanaian coast was not an acceptable option for the Ashanti government. In response, the Ashanti government debated its next move. Would it be war? Listen Up Listen In T…
 
Graham’s war in the Eastern Cape had sent the amaXhosa hurrying eastwards over the Great Fish River, with Ndlambe settling near where East London is today. Not surprisingly, however, the 1812 explusions caused an increase in cattle raiding rather than more stability because the power of the chiefs had been removed from the area. While the British w…
 
This is episode 66 – it’s late 1811 and Sir John Cradock has just dispatched Lieutenant Colonel John Graham into the eastern Cape frontier to rid the Zuurveld of the amaXhosa. Cradock suffered from none of his predecessors inhibition against taking military action. This did not reflect a change of policy in London – in fact, far from it. As you’ll …
 
In 1867, Asantehene Kwaku Dua passed away suddenly after four decades of ruling the Ashanti Empire. Shortly after, roving gangs of royal executioners would begin massacring thousands of civilians in Kumasi. Amidst this chaos and violence, an unlikely candidate ascended to the golden stool: a previously minor prince named Kofi Kakari. Listen Up List…
 
This is episode 65 and we’ll spend time with the amaXhosa, and hear about Lieutenant Colonel John Graham. I mentioned last episode that he was going to introduce what he would call a proper degree of terror in the Zuurveld where the British adopted an ethnic cleansing campaign in 1811 and 1812. All the important players in this terrible drama have …
 
This is episode 64 and we’ve rejoined Lieutenant colonel Richard Collins and Governor Caledon in Cape Town. If you remember last episode we heard about Collins’ military intelligence gathering trip to the eastern Frontier.He’d returned with two main ideas about what to do about the amaXhosa still living in the Zuurveld. His report of 6th August 180…
 
Much more obscure than its earlier and later wars, the second Anglo-Ashanti war is certainly a fascinating topic. This brief conflict almost ended the British colonial project in Ghana altogether. Listen Up Listen In This will be a weekly podcast on Fridays discussing different topics that will help us... Listen on: Apple Podcasts Spotify Support t…
 
Last episode we spent some time back in Zululand hearing about the amaMthethwa, the amaNdwandwe, the amaHlubi, the amaQwabe and that tiny little chiefdom called the amaZulu. They were largely irrelevant in the history of South Africa at the time, until Zwide’s amaNdwandwe began pushing southwards into Mthethwa territory. Then Dingiswayo’s amaMtheth…
 
We’re hustling towards the year 1807. If you remember last episode, we heard that the young Shaka had grown up in amaZulu chief Senzangakona’s house – the Zulu chief – but by 1802 he’d fled. By the early 1800s only about 2000 people were part of the AmaZulu and they lived between the upper Umhlatuzi and white Umfolozi Rivers. Remember that Shaka wh…
 
Following the disastrous rule of Osei Yaw Akoto, the Ashanti Empire was not in its best spot. The refugee crisis of the people of Juaben was on the verge of boiling over into a full-blown civil war, the economy was in terminal decline, and an ever-growing number of Ashanti workers and peasants were becoming relegated to debt slavery. Into this mess…
 
This is episode 61 and the English are back in Cape Town.This was a momentous moment for southern Africa. Gone was the VOC and its chaos, in its place a world superpower had arrived and it was going to exploit the region in various ways over the next century. This led much later in the 19th Century to what became known as the Scramble for Africa. I…
 
Its January 1806 and the British have dispatched a fleet of 61 vessels to Cape Town under the charge of Commodore Home Popham to seize the port. As you’ve heard that was after the war between England and France reignited in 1805 after a the briefest of lulls. On the 2nd October 1805 Admiral Nelson overcame the combined French and Spanish fleets at …
 
After his humiliating defeat at Katamanso, the asantehene Osei Yaw Akoto attempts to drown his sorrows in Akpeteshie. However, as the king's behaviors become increasingly unhinged, a crisis begins to envelop the Ashanti Empire, leading to the first foundation of New Juaben. Listen Up Listen In This will be a weekly podcast on Fridays discussing dif…
 
The Batavians trying to setup a formal long-term administration that was rooted inside the Cape rather than in Europe. Unfortunately, their tenure was to be short. International events were conspiring to upset this plan – with the renewal of the war between the English and the French – old enemies with a propensity for blood-letting. While the Cape…
 
For on 18th May 1803, ten days after Janssens had reached Algoa Bay on his long journey overland to the frontier from Cape Town, Malta in the Mediterranean became a flashpoint. This little island was the first step on a Mediterranean passage from Europe to India as far as both Napoleon and the British were concerned. Under the Treaty of Amiens, Bri…
 
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