THE REASONS FOR THE DEFEAT OF AFRICAN RESISTANCES
AFRICAN REACTION TOWARDS COLONIAL RULE
The imposition of colonial rule in Africa did not go unchallenged, the Africans reaction to colonial rule was not homogeneous it varied from one society to another.
The techniques which the Africans used against the colonial rules establishment included the following:-
(a) Active resistance.
This was a physical African reaction characterized by the use of arms or violence against the establishment of colonial rule. Sometimes, active resistances was a spontaneous reaction while in some societies, it needed long preparations.
Active resistance occurred in societies that were economically strong and capable of staging a strong resistance. This method was used by the Hehe in Tanganyika against the Germans and the Nandi against the British in Kenya.
(b) Passive resistance.
This was a form of African reaction against colonial rule and penetration which did not involve the use of arms or violence but the colonized people simply refused to cooperate or to have any contacts with the colonizers.
Thisform of African reaction was due to natural calamities such as diseases that hindered the Africans to stage an active resistance. The Maasai for example are naturally war like people but during the establishment of colonial rule, they reacted passively because they had been weakened by Cholera.
(c) Adaptation technique.
This was used where the African ruling class sought friendship from the colonizers so that they can get arms and new fighting techniques. It should be noted that these arms and the new fighting tactics, were used against the same colonizers who gave them the arms.
Adaptation technique was used by King Menelik of Ethiopia who sought friendship from the Italians to obtain guns, but he used the same weapons to defeat the Italians in 1895.
THE DEFEAT OF AFRICAN RESISTANCES
Most of the African societies which decided to oppose colonial rule were defeated by the European powers.
There were various factors that contribute to the defeat of African resistances.
1. Military weakness of the Africans.
The African societies had inferior weapons compared to the Europeans; Most of Africans were using spears and arrows and yet the Europeans were using machine guns. The possession of this powerful weapon contributed to the defeat of resistances such as that of the Hehe against the Germans in Tanganyika and the Nandi resistance against the British in Kenya.
2. Lack of national consciousness and unity.
Lack of national consciousness and unity partly contributed to the defeat of Africans resistances for examples; the Germans easily defeated the Hehe in Tanganyika because the Sangu and Bena collaborated with the Germans. The British also defeated Lobengula in Zimbabwe because chief Lewanyika of the Lozi Kingdom collaboration with the British.
3. Natural hazards
Some African societies were defeated because of their material conditions which made them unable to put up a stiff resistance. These conditions were natural hazards such as diseases. The Maasai of East Africa could not put a stiff resistance because they were suffering from cholera and their cattle had been killed by render pest.
4. Influence of the Missionaries.
The Missionaries had a role to play in the defeat of African resistances. The Missionaries brain washed the minds of the Africans by preaching obedience which reduced African resistance to colonial rule. For example; the Buganda in Uganda and the Fante in Nigeria never resisted colonial rule because of the teaching of the Missionaries.
5. Succession disputes.
Succession disputes also contributed to the defeat of African resistances. Succession disputes brought about divisions which made it possible for the colonial powers to side with one group against the other in Buganda, for example, Semei Kakungulu sided with the British to defeat Mwanga.
6. Lack of good fighting techniques.
Lack of good fighting techniques went hand in hand with the absence of strong leadership which was needed to stage a strong resistance. A case in point was the Majimaji resistance which lacked adequate leadership and proper fighting techniques, hence contributing to its defeat by the Germans.