Problems experienced by the Imperial British East Africa Company in Kenya

  • There was a scarcity of mineral wealth and profitable export commodities which made it difficult for the company to generate enough wealth to meet the cost of administration.

  • There was a poor transport network which made the movement of goods slow/ difficult/ expensive thereby making the enterprise less profitable.
  • There was a lack of proper coordination between the company headquarters in Britain and the officials in Kenya hence delays/ waste and misunderstandings.
  • The company officials lacked the experience which was necessary for the success of the administration in the protectorate.
  • Some of the company officials were corrupt and therefore concentrated on their personal enrichment at the expense of the enterprise.
  • Resistance from the local communities posed a great challenge to the company as it had to administer and at the same time suppress the communities.
  • There was inadequate capital to carry out its operations thus making the administration of the protectorate ineffective.

  • Unfavorable climatic conditions/ tropical diseases claimed the lives of some of the company personnel.
  • Lack of enough personnel.
  • Rivalry from German East Africa affected its operations.

The factors that promoted international trade along the east African coast

When Seyid Said took control of Zanzibar, he encouraged foreign traders to trade with Zanzibar in order to develop new markets for products from the East African mainland.

He strived to attract Indian money lenders (Banyans) to come and settle in Zanzibar, which increased the volume of trade in east Africa.

the factors that promoted international trade along the east African coast.

  • The Monsoon winds, which facilitated transport.
  • Trade between the coast and the far east, which existed before the 19th century.
  • Demand for goods at the coast and the outside world.
  • Availability of trade goods like ivory, gold, slaves, beads and guns.

  • Protection of Arab and Swahili traders by the Sultan.
  • The deep harbours and good beaches as well as the accessibility of the region by sea, which attracted traders.
  • Imposition of a unified customs duty of 5% by the Sultan, which encouraged trade.
  • Introduction of a monitory system by Seyid Said, which facilitated trade. Copper coins, Spanish Crown and Maria Theresa dollars were used.
  • Indian Banyans or Baluchis (money lenders), who financed trade by giving credit facilities to the traders.


  • It sparked off national wide rebellions in South Africa.
  • A lot of lives were lost in the street riots that lasted for 8 days

  • Led to the arrest of Steve Biko on 18 August 1977 and later secretly killed on 2nd September 1977.
  • A lot of property was destroyed as the burned white cars, schools, buildings.
  • Some whites joined Africans to fight apartheid. For example white students in south Africa demonstrated against apartheid
  • African nationalists were arrested for example, Mandela.
  • Two white men were stoned to death by the rioters.
  • The Plans of enforcing the Afrikaans language to non-white students in colleges and universities were stopped
  • Many young Africans joined militant groups against the apartheid regime.

  • Africans were oppressed the more For examples prisoners were denied Hot water.
  • African nationalism increased.
  • Opposition against apartheid increased.
  • International sympathy for Africans increased.
  • The UN and OAU condemned the apartheid

The Effects of the Great Trek on the Africans

The Great trek increased on the whites’ population into the interior of South Africa i.e. both the British and the Boers.

The Great trek led to the establishment of the Boers republic in the interior of South Africa like Transvaal, Orange Free State and Natal.

The Great trek led to the mistreatment of the Africans since they treated them as second-class citizens by the whites more especially the Boers.

The Great trek led to increased wars between the trekking Boers and the Africans e.g. the battle of Vegkop, battle of Blood River, Moshoeshoe and the Boers.

The Africans lost their lives during the conflicts with the whites like the conflicts between the Boers and Dingane resulted into many Africans left dead.

There was depopulation was caused by the constant wars fought between the Boers and Dingane the leader of the Zulu people.

The Ndebele lost land to the Boers after their defeat at the battle of Vegkop by Boers who later took over the Ndebele land.

The Bapedi lost land to the Boers after their defeat in the Pedi resistance of 1861 against the Boer trekkers.

There was the displacement of many Africans from their original land by the Boers and later the British like the Ndebele and the Basotho people.

The Zulu under the leadership of Dingane lost 17,000 herds of cattle to the Boers and this left them in a state of absolute poverty.

Africans lost their independence to the Boers in the interior of South Africa like the Ndebele after the battle of Vegkop, the Zulu after the battle of Blood River.

There was increased exploitation of African labour by the Boers who paid them little or nothing for the labour offered on their farms by the Africans.

There was decline in agriculture production since Africans were not concentrating on agriculture activities, which led to famine in the interior.

The Africans lost their traditional culture since they adopted the western culture like western religion, dressing, education, etc. introduced by the whites.

The African traditional chiefs lost their powers and authority to the whites who became the rulers in the interior of South Africa.

The Great trek also led to the increased general insecurity because of the constant wars between the Africans and the whites who had come in the interior.

The Great trek intensified internal conflicts among the Africans like Dingane and his brother Mpande and this caused disunity among Africans.

The Great trek made Africans to acquire venereal western diseases through their contact with the whites.

The Great trek made Africans to acquire guns through their contact and this increased on the insecurity within the interior of South Africa.

The Great trek made African languages put in writing and this promoted African literature in the interior of South Africa.

The white communities in the interior of South Africa weakened many African states economically following their dominations.

Some Africans began to collaborate with the trekking Boers against the fellow Africans and this undermined the development of nationalism e.g. chief Moroka.

Because of the establishment of commercialized farms by the whites, Africans provided cheap labour on the Boers farms thus created a master slave situation.

Racial discrimination and segregation extended into the interior and promoted by the Boers living many Africans in a state of misery


Who were the Utilanders?

  • These were Europeans of British origin who comes to Africa during the mineral discovery.

  • They were prospectus miners and money lenders.
  • Most of them settled in Transvaal especially in the mines.
  • The Utilanders were supported by the British government at the cape.
  • They were not allowed political rights by the government of Paul Kruger.

What problems did the Boer trekkers encounter?

The local people like Chief Dingane of the Zulu killed Piet Retief and some of his members and the leaders of the Boer trekkers.

The Boers trekkers ran short of food and other consumer goods and this caused starvation among the trekkers in the interior of South Africa.

The trekkers were also attacked by diseases like malaria, smallpox, etc. which killed some of the people who were traveling to the interior of South Africa.

The animal diseases like foot and mouth diseases, which killed a good number of them, attacked their cattle and other domestic animals like sheep.

The Boer trekkers were attacked by wild animals, which left many of them died while on their way into the interior of South Africa.

The Boers also had the problem of geographical barriers i.e. they faced difficulty in crossing rivers and climbing Mountains like Mountains Drakensberg.

Communication was also a problem because this made it difficult for the Boer trekkers to communicate with other trekkers in the interior of South Africa.

The Boers also ran shoot of gun powder and other ambitions, which made their lives insecure, as they could not easily defend themselves against their enemies.

The Boers were militarily weak and as a result, they continued suffering from attacks from the Africans like the Xhosa, Zulu, among others.

The Boers ran shortage of workforce and this was because most of the trekkers had lost their lives due to the continuous attacks from their enemies.

The Boers also quarreled (disagreed) among themselves and this caused disunity thus affecting their movement e.g. Jan Van Rensberg quarreled with Trigardt.

Most of the Boer trekkers were not prepared for the long journey and thus they faced many hardships, which resulted into the death of many on the way.

The British were a problem to the trekkers as they continued following them wherever the Boers went.

The trekkers lacked social amenities like schools and health centers where they could receive social services like education for their children and medicare.

The Boer Republic lost their independence after the British annexed their Natal republic in 1843.



Shaka was murdered by his own brothers Dingane and Mhlangane on 14th December 1828 with the help of Mbhopa; Shaka’s very Induna.

Shaka was killed because of his brutality especially after the death of his mother Nandi

However, after the death of Shaka, Dingane and Mhlangane developed misunderstandings and failed to share the power.

Dingane killed Mhlangane and Mbhopa and become a new ruler of the Zulu state

Dingane ruled the Zulu state between 1828 – 1840 when was defeated by the Boers at the battle of the Blood River and in his brother Mpande was made a king in his place.

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