Efforts Made To Unite Back the Two Groups 

Efforts Made To Unite Back the Two Groups

The existence of such poor relations between missionaries and Bombay Africans greatly affected the expansion of the church.

The missionaries therefore feared to ashame the church and therefore started working out ways of harmonizing the two groups in order to enhance spreading of the gospel.

The following are the efforts/ steps taken to unite back Bombay Africans with the Christian missionaries.

  • Sir Bartle Frere came up and appreciated as well as respected the services of the Bombay Africans and called upon his fellow missionaries to respect the Bombay Africans.
  • William Prince of the CMS also condemned his fellow missionaries for not putting Bombay Africans in responsible offices and positions in the church.
  • William Prince further condemned racial discrimination that the white missionaries practiced through under looking Africans as inferior.
  • Attempts were made to give Bombay Africans important positions in the church e.g. William Jones was made a pastor at Rabai and arch deacon in 1896 hence bring back the lost relationship.
  • Africans were now trained as catechists and the African priests were given freedom to establish churches and run them according to the principles of the mission church.
  • Missionaries started Africanizing the church by accepting some African cultures like baptizing Africans with African names and even circumcision later.
  • Missionaries also started offering literacy and practical education to the Africans hence preparing them to the life a head and this made Bombay Africans very happy.
  • Missionaries further increased on the charity works to the poor Africans i.e. they gave the frustrated Africans food, shelter, clothes and health facilities especially at Frere town which bridged the gap between them and the Bombay Africans.
  • Missionaries put pressure on the colonial authorities to consider African interests like allowing Africans to have representatives to the legislative councils from 1923.
  • Missionaries carried out efforts for ecumenism i.e. they tried to bring unity and co-operation in the church which restored the trust and confidence of masses to the church.
  • The CMS appealed to other missionaries to come to East Africa to work with the Bombay Africans something that reduced the too much work load of the Bombay Africans.
  • Missionaries encouraged peasant farming in order to improve on the income of the Africans and stop them from complaining for positions of the church e.g. K.Borup distributed seedling and fertilizers to Africans.
  • Torture and heavy punishments to the indiscipline ex-slaves was replaced by guidance and counseling which impressed the Bombay Africans.
  • There was an increase in the rate of facilitation to the Bombay Africans in terms of food which was being harvested from farms of the re-habilitation centers thus making Bombay Africans happy.
  • Missionaries adopted a motivation spirit of thanking the Bombay Africans who had done great work, rather than despising their contributions.
  • Some Bombay Africans were allowed to lead commercial campaigns like supervising farms and carrying out transactions from which they got some money.
Christianity and the Establishment of Colonialism in East Africa
  • The establishment of colonialism in East Africa took place in the 19th century and in the early years of the 20thcentury.
  • However, before this period, some European groups had already been in the region but had no interest of controlling the Africans.
  • The first group of Europeans to come to East Africa was that of the Portuguese who operated at the coast of East Africa between 1500-1700
  • Explorers such as John spoke, Henry Morton Stanley and David Livingston had also been in East Africa for some time and they reported back the economic potentials of East Africa to their home government.
  • The good reports of the explorers made European traders to come into East Africa to exploit its resources e.g. IBEACO formed by William Mackinnon and GEACO formed by Carl Peters.
  • In the mean time, missionary groups also arrived in the region and it was not easy to identify them as colonialists because they presented themselves as evangelists.
  • The truth is they were real colonialists who came to pave way for the colonization of East Africa hoping that colonialism will help them spread the gospel.
Role of The Missionaries In The Colonization Of East Africa
  • They softened the hearts and minds of the East Africans through their Christian teachings which made Africans to accept European colonialism e.g. they taught Africans to love their neighbours as they loved themselves which made them not to fight the colonialist.
  • Some missionaries worked as explorers e.g. David Livingstone and Rebmann. These reported the East African mineral wealth to the British government forcing British to come and take over East Africa.
  • Missionaries involved themselves in signing treaties which also eased the colonization of East Africa e.g. they involved in signing of the 1900 Buganda agreement which gave powers to the whites to control Buganda kingdom.
  • Missionaries financed the activities of chartered companies which also facilitated colonialism e.g. IBEACO went bankrupt; it was financed by the CMS to continue with its work in Uganda hence facilitating colonialism.
  • They involved themselves directly in the politics of East African society like in Buganda were they over threw Kabaka Mwanga which made Buganda to lose her independence
  • Christian missionaries directly worked together with chartered companies in spread of colonialism e.g. in Buganda the CMS worked with Captain Fredrick Lugard of IBEACo to take over Buganda region.
  • The missionaries education produced to a number of African elite collaborators with the whites e.g. Apollo kagwa and Semei  Kakungulu spread colonialism in the whole of Uganda because of missionary education.
  • Missionaries built roads and railways which were later used by the colonialists to transport colonial troops and administrators into East Africa.
  • They put up health centers in form of dispensaries and hospitals in East Africa that reduced on the disease threatsthat had scared colonialists hence attracting them to come in East Africa
  • The missionaries introduced cash crop economy by encouraging East Africans to grow cash cops which attracted colonization of Buganda kingdom
  • Missionaries decompaigned African culture and praised the European culture which made many Africans to admire anything European including colonialism.
  • Missionaries engaged in wars of colonial concept e.g. religious wars in Buganda that contributed to the colonization of Buganda kingdom.
  • Christian missionaries provided the earliest sketch maps of East Africa that guided the colonial masters in their conquest and colonization of the East Africa interior.
  • Missionaries invited their home government to come and colonize the area that they had Christianized. E.g. the CMS invited Britain to come and take over Buganda shortly after the religious wars.
  • They divided the East Africans along Christian denominations i.e. into Catholics and Protestants making them too weak to fight against colonial rule.
  • They reported the hostile and friendly communities of East Africa which made the colonialists come well prepared to fight the hostile tribes.
  • Missionaries befriended East African leaders who easily accepted the colonialists when they came leading to colonialism e.g. the kabaka of Buganda welcomed the colonialists and gave them his chiefs to help them extend colonial rule.
  • Missionaries abolished slave trade which made Africans love them and when the colonialists came they welcomed them thinking that they were as good as missionaries.
  • Christian missionaries introduced legitimate trade which made many East African rich through selling their agricultural produces. This made them well come the colonialists thinking that they were as good as the missionaries.
  • They civilized the East Africans through abolishing barbaric practices like human sacrifices, circumcision etc which made East Africa fall in love with all the whites including the colonialists hence the colonization of East Africa.

Other factors:

  • Good climate.
  • Fertile soils that favoured plantation farming.
  • Rise of Nationalism in Europe.
  • The Berlin conference of 1884-1885.
  • Discovery of minerals in South Africa.
  • Industrial revolution in Europe made them to come for raw materials.
  • Need to invest their excess capital.
  • The desire to secure market their finished goods.
  • The need to settle their excess population.
  • Role played by the chartered companies. The strategic location.


  1. Assess/discuss the contributions of missionaries in the colonization of East Africa in the 19th century (25 marks)
  2. To what extent did the missionaries come to East Africa to spread European colonialism? (25 marks)
  3. To what extent did the missionaries contribute to the colonization of East Africa? (25 marks)

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