Mission and Colonialism

Afrikaners in Turn of the Century British Southern and Central Africa (Late 1800s to Early 1900s)

In: Social Sciences and Missions
Retief Müller Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Theology

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This article focuses on two British colonial territories in southern and central Africa, Mashonaland and Nyasaland in the late 19th to early 20th centuries. It concerns the history of Afrikaner missionaries from South Africa’s Dutch Reformed Church (DRC), and their relationships with opposing interest groups. The period in question saw some inter-ethnic conflict among indigenous peoples, which included an underground slave trade, as well as much colonial-indigenous strife. The article particularly considers the balancing act missionaries sought to achieve in terms of their paternalistic, yet interdependent relationships with indigenous rulers over against their equally ambiguous relationships with the colonial authorities. As such this article presents a novel way of looking at Afrikaner missionaries and their entanglements with indigenous leaders.

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