What were the causes of the Nama- Herero Rebellion?

What were the causes of the Nama- Herero Rebellion?

The rebellion was organized by both the Nama and Herero in Namibia against German colonialism in south west Namibia.




Africans were led by Samuel Maherero, Jacob Molenga and Hendrick Witbooi while Germany was led by General Von Trotha.

What were the causes of the Nama- Herero Rebellion?

  • Loss of African land to the Germans fertile lands of Africans for white settlement and farms this deprived Africans of their land for grazing and farming.
  • The undermining of African chiefs led to the rebellion. Chiefs were not consulted when confiscating land.
  • Loss of African cattle to the Germans. The German traders persuaded the Herero to take the German goods on credit but later they confiscated African cattle for nonpayment of debts.
  • The rinder pest disease of 189 which killed many Herero cattle. The disease was blamed on the Germans hence fighting them.




  • The shooting of the surviving Herero cattle by the Germans made the rebellion a must. To totally do away with the rinder pest epidemic, the German administration ordered the Herero to kill their Animals affected by rinder pest disease.
  • Forcing the Nama and the Herero to provide cheap labour on the German projects. The Germans needed labour on their farms yet Africans read to provide it hence forcing the latter to rebel.
  • Disbarment of the Africans by the Germans. The German settlers demanded the colonial government to disarm the Nama before they could join hands with the Herero to fight the Germans
  • Heavy taxation by the Germans also led to the rebellion Africans were heavily taxed yet they had no means to pay.
  • The brutal methods of tax collection were yet other causes. Africans were flogged and their property confiscated for non payment of taxes.
  • Creation of reserves by the German administration in 1903 This was seen by the Nama as the method of grabbing more of their land.




  • Hash German rule that involved the flogging of Africans on smallest mistake.
  • The increasing Number of German settlers in the area worried the Nama and the Herero .Foe example by 1902 there were about 300 white settlers in Namibia.
  • The need to regain independence by both the Nama and the Herero
  • The role of prophet Starman who encourage many Africans to join the rebellion .he attributed all natural calamities to the annoyance of gods with the evil practices of Germans.
  • The strong leadership of Samuel Maherero also led to the rebellion.

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