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Revolutions In Southern Rhodesia Essay

1752 words - 8 pages

According to T.O. Ranger in “Revolt in Southern Rhodeisa”, the first Chimurenga, which occurred from 1896-1897, was an uprising in response to the imposition of colonial rule in Southern Rhodesia, present-day Zimbabwe (ix). The Nbele and Shona people resisted the colonial rule and in return endured a complex set of struggles over land and cattle and taxes. The inability and unwillingness of the Euroopeans to understand the Nbele and Shona people’s culture and religion misguides perceptions of events and views of their behavoior and actions (2). Terrance mentions during the colonial rule, many Europeans thought the people of Africa were content with the new administration and misunderstood the reaction of the “African pople of Southern Rhodesia to colonial rule…, this misunderstanding arose…partly out of white ignorance of the history of the Shona and the Ndebele…Edwards [confessed ],we knew nothing of their past history, who they were or where they came from, and although many of the Native commissioners had…knowledge of their language, none of us really understood the people or could follow their line of thought, we… looked down on them as a downtrodden race who were grateful to the white man for protection” (2). The Europeans did not treat them as equals because they saw them as dependent and thought of their lives as meaningless. They believed the Shona and Ndebele people had no roots or culture and therefore had no history. Terrance Ranger mentions “the whites believed that the Shona people would not rebel because they believed that the Shona had no roots, no sense of history; no sense of religion,…no way of life worth fighting and dying for” (2). The African people of these cultures were seen as inferior by the Europeans whom believed both societies would be easy to dominate and needed to be taught certain----- The book states in 1894, a Jesuit missionary wrote that “Mashonas are united as a common wealth by nothing except the unity of language…[and] believe[d] the Shona to be from religious maturity that they thought it necessary first to instruct them in natural religion before broaching the great truths of Christianity” (3). The people of Africa were seen as less than smart and less than human, as well as dirty and the “most hopeless of mankind” that “everyone over the age of 14 should be exterminated in order for their future to exist (3). The shona and Ndebele culture were believed to be so inferior by the Europeans whom thought the act of disrespect and control would convince them they needed the white man to lead and instruct them how to live and prosper. The whites invaded their, space, stole their cattle and governed and controlled them entirely thorough the influence of fear (3). The Europeans were not willing or even interested in understanding these cultures of people who showed unity, spoke common languages and had many common religious beliefs before they started to invade and dominate over because of certainly...

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