A selection of African historical facts and commentary

Zimbabwe History & Heritage Tour 2016

October 27, 2015

Download article as PDF Details and Prices In August 2016, after years of thinking about it, I will be launching my Zimbabwe History and Heritage itinerary. This trip will be personally guided by myself, utilizing a few colleagues and local experts, and will emphasize the unique history of Zimbabwe, details of which are all over this website. For those that do not know me, I am the author of the current definitive History of Rhodesia, which is the pre-independence history of Zimbabwe, as well as a handful of other books related to the history and militaria of Zimbabwe. I will be assisted on this trip by Rob Burrett, and eminent Zimbabwean historian and author, Propser Rusike and Philip Chatikobo, both […]

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Zanzibar, and the East African Slave Trade

June 22, 2014
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Download article as PDF The recall of the Zambezi Expedition in 1863, and the failure of the Universities Mission to Central Africa, largely as a consequence of mounting costs, not least in human mortality, and the failure of the expedition to find the practical highway into the interior that it sought, was a significant blow to David Livingstone’s personal prestige, his reputation, his self confidence and his fundamental sense of purpose… ‘By the failure of the Universities Mission my work seems in vain.’ He wrote soon afterwards in a personal correspondence. ‘Am I to be cut off before I can do anything to effect permanent improvement in Africa. I have been unprofitable enough…’ He returned to England in the aftermath […]

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The Turning Point Strategy

July 22, 2013
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This entry is part 20 of 20 in the series History of the amaNdebele

Download article as PDF This entry is part 20 of 20 in the series History of the amaNdebele1976 also witnessed important political developments that once again put a stranglehold on the various advocates of a total solution in order that a negotiation process neither invited nor wanted by any of the warring factions. This again was a peace process forced upon the protagonists by their sponsors, and this time involved to a large degree the United States in a world post-Vietnam, and vary cautious about international power play in a sphere increasingly dominated by Marxist or communist liberation groups. Most notably was the gathering interest and involvement of the Soviets and Cubans in Angola, threatening a valuable communist foothold in […]

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Images from 209 Squadron RAF Coastal Command

July 15, 2013
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Download article as PDF These images were shared with me by Australian Denis Saunders, whose father, a pilot with the RAF, served with 209 Squadron off the coast of East Africa for much of WWII. RAF 209 Squadron began life in 1918 as No: 9 Squadron Royal Naval Air Service in 1918, being renamed 209 Squadron in March 1930 when all former RNAS squadrons had 200 added to their flight numbers. The Squadron saw service in both world wars, as well as the Malay Emergency and the Korean War, being effectively disbanded after 1968. From March 1942 until July 1945, No.209 was stationed in East Africa. It flew patrols over the Indian Ocean with detached bases in South Africa, Madagascar, […]

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Léopold Sédar Senghor, the Life of a French African

November 19, 2012
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Download article as PDF The life of Léopold Sédar Senghor spanned a century of change in Africa, a century during which the colonial occupation of the continent reached it’s zenith, began to topple and ultimately fell. An award winning poet, decorated scholar, pioneer of negro cultural autonomy and liberation icon, Senghor was, as he remains, one of the towering figures of the African liberation struggle. His voice, and the very phases of his life, marked the key navigation points of the black journey towards self-determination. His influence embraced not only the political kingdoms of Africa, but perhaps more importantly the intellectual, artistic and spiritual kingdoms so long submerged under the weight of foreign cultures. Although Senghor was not at his […]

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The Hidden Journeys Project – Travel Africa By Air

August 6, 2012
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Download article as PDF Royal Geographical Society’s Hidden Journeys Project The Royal Geographical Society is a highly august institution founded in 1830 by the learned gentlemen of London as a debating and dining society, but also to promote geographic awareness and to provide some intellectual and financial impetus to the exploration of a world that, although broadly speaking mapped and understood, was nonetheless still largely a mystery to the academic world. The Society began as the Geographical Society, but was awarded a Royal Charter in 1859. An enormous amount of study and exploration took place during this period of history, much of it driven by the British intellectual classes, but also much of it philanthropic, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, which […]

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