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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Evangelists, migrants and progressive farmers: Basotho as 'progressive Africans' in Southern Rhodesia, 1890-1927
Author:Mujere, JosephISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
colonial period
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03057070.2014.896718
Abstract:African migrants played a crucial role in the early history of Southern Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe). A number of them were already literate and had converted to Christianity before they came to Southern Rhodesia. For example, a number of the members of the Basotho community in Victoria and Ndanga District had worked with missionaries of the Dutch Reformed Church, the Berlin Missionary Society and the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society (PEMS) and had acquired a level of education before they settled in the country. They had also adopted the plough, and were among the first Africans to own land on a freehold basis. As a result of this, colonial administrators often viewed them as progressive or 'more advanced natives' as compared to the indigenous Africans. This article seeks to show how, after helping Rev. A.A. Louw in establishing Morgenster Mission in Victoria District and spreading Christianity in the surrounding areas, Basotho evangelists settled and established themselves in the area. It analyses how these Basotho were incorporated into the colonial capitalist system and also why colonial administrators viewed them as 'progressive Africans'. It also analyses the centrality of land, Christianity and the ideology of being 'progressive Africans' in the community's strategies for entitlement and prosperity in Southern Rhodesia. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]