in Response

in Response

  • The imposition of colonial rule in East .Africa did not go unchallenged.
  • Africans responded to the loss of their independence in two ways;
  • Through Collaboration and
  • Resistance.


  • This is where African societies or individuals co-operated with the colonial powers in the establishment of colonial rule.
  • Societies that collaborated included Buganda, Toro and Ankole.
  • Individuals included Semei Kakungulu (Buganda), Laibon Lenana (Maasai), Nabongo Mumia (Wanga), and Nuwa Mbaguta (Ankole).

Reasons for collaboration

  • Some societies collaborated with the Europeans in order to get military support against their enemies e.g. Toro and Buganda collaborated with the British to get weapons to fight Kabalega of Bunyoro.
  • Some individuals collaborated because they wanted to get employment from the Europeans e.g. Semei Kakungulu, Sir Apollo Kaggwa e.t.c.
  • Some societies collaborated because they had been hit by natural calamities and therefore could not stage any resistance against the Whiteman e.g. the Chagga and Maasai had been hit and weakened by famine, small pox and rinder pest.
  • Others looked at collaboration in line with civilization, modernity and Christianity. Therefore they wanted their areas to be developed by the Europeans e.g. Kabaka Muteesa 1 of Buganda.
  • Some Africans were blind folded by gifts and simple presents from Europeans e.g. bibles, clothes and rosaries which forced them to collaborate.
  • Some Africans collaborated due to the fear of the military strength of the colonial powers i.e. the Europeans had the maxim gun yet Africans were at a disadvantage with spears, arrows and stones.
  • Due to missionary influence, some societies collaborated e.g. Buganda where many people were converted to Christianity they ended up collaborating.
  • Some individual collaborators e.g. Semei Kakungulu and Sir Apollo Kaggwa were simply opportunities i.e. they were after material gains from the Europeans e.g. land, titles like Sir.
  • Some societies collaborated because their rivals and Neighbours had resisted e.g. once Bunyoro resisted, Toro and Buganda collaborated.
  • Some societies collaborated out of prestige e.g. Muteesa 1 of Buganda wanted to be recognized for working with the British or the white people.
  • Some African societies had been terrorized by their leaders which forced a few individuals to collaborate with the Europeans e.g. Nuwa Mbaguta of Ankole had been terrorized in his childhood days by Ntare IV.
  • Some societies wanted to strengthen their diplomatic ties and relationship with the whites e.g. Buganda and Ankole wanted to trade with the British.
  • The nature of societies also led to collaboration e.g. the Baganda were known to be friendly and hospitable hence they collaborated with the British.
  • The failure of resistances also led to collaboration e.g. when Mwanga was defeated by the British, the Baganda decided to collaborate.
  • The direction or route taken by European invaders also determined African reaction e.g. in Buganda visitors who entered from the South were warmly welcomed. Since missionaries came from Tanganyika in the south, the Baganda collaborated with them.