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COVID-19 Invasion: Is Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli Kijeketile Ngwale Reincarnate?

By Tony Wainga

In the epic history of Africans' early resistance to colonization, one of the prominent names from Southeastern Africa is Kijeketile Ngwale from Tanzania (then Tanganyika). Kijeketile led his people to put up a brave resistance against German invaders in the then German East African Territory of Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in a war that has come to be known as Maji Maji Rebellion.

Maji Maji Rebellion was a popular peasant uprising by native Africans against German settlers over their oppressive policies like forcing Africans to grow cotton as well as their harsh rule. The rebellion which lasted from 1905 to 1907 was mainly concentrated in the southern part of Tanganyika. Seeing the oppressive policies of  German settlers, religious leaders started encouraging workers in forced labor to start a rebellion.

One of these native religious leaders was Kinjeketile Ngwale, a reputed witchdoctor (mganga) who promised his people that he would provide a concoction (maji) that would protect them from German soldiers’ bullets during the rebellion. The native warriors in rebellion against the Germans, therefore, began using the clarion call "maji, maji” (water, water) in the battlefront and thus the name Maji Maji rebellion was born. The source of the magic water was Kimembara hot springs and Kijeketile truly believed that the waters had magical powers that would help them drive away Germans.

Even though the Africans managed to put up a brave a formidable resistance against the Germans and all foreigners like Arabs and Swahilis, they were eventually defeated by the end of 1907 after Germans brought in reinforcement in form of more German troops, Zulus, and Sudanese fighters. Unfortunately, despite the promise of divine immunity against German bullets as many as 120,000 Africans died in the uprising.

This proved that the claim of divine protection was not as powerful as scientific powers which the Germans possessed in the form of powerful rifles. The natives could have probably defeated the Germans if they in addition to their spiritual beliefs went ahead and protected themselves by not baring their chests against German bullets.

Today, nearly 115 years later when Tanzania is faced with another form of a foreign invader in the name of COVID-19 a replay of the Maji Maji rebellion seems highly likely.

John Pombe Magufuli the president of the United Republic of Tanzania while addressing faithful at St Paul’s Catholic Church, Dodoma on Sunday 22nd March 2020 urged Tanzanians not to fear COVID-19 and continue working hard to build the economy while practicing the safety measures as advised by medical experts.

The president further urged Christians not to fear the disease and encouraged them to come to church (at their own time) to worship God for it is in the church where God stays. He said that he cannot fear a satanic virus like the COVID-19 and that is why he could not fear to receive Holy Communion as the virus cannot stay in the body of Christ as it will be consumed by it.

Given that the World Health Organization (WHO) has already issued strict guidelines to contain further spread of COVID-19, among them maintaining a social distance of at least one meter and with revelations that many nations are banning religious meetings of whatever nature, one wonders if President Magufuli is Kijeketile Ngwale reincarnate in the dark times of COVID-19 pandemic.

 


Content created and supplied by: AfroMedia (via Opera News )

Kijeketile Ngwale Kinjeketile Ngwale Maji Maji Southeastern Africa Tanzania

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