Reasons why African resistance come to an end .By 1914

A number  of factors  are responsible  for this predicament  but military  weakness,  political, Economic  weaknesses,  social problems  and Natural  calamities  are important  to consider  in analysing   the  factors  that made  African  societies   lose  the wars  except  for  Ethiopia   and Liberia.

1.      Military weakness:

This handicapped  the African resistance  wars in various ways e.g.

i.    Most African  resisting  communities  had small unprofessional  armies compared  to the enemy force'S, for instance,  the time Mkwawa  died, he had only two soldiers.

ii.    African  ~ eapons  were  so rudimentary   compared  to those  of their  enemies.  The Africans were using  bows and arrows,  stones, spears,  insults,  witchcraft  and yet the colonialists  had sophisticated   weapons  such  as maxim  guns.  Africans  had  poor  and  old rifles.  Perhaps  if they had a local arms industry  like that of Samoure  Toure,  they would  have put up a better show.

iii.    African  tactics  were  inferior  because  of poor  training  and traditionalism.   But even if they had good tactics without proper arms and ammunitions,  they were bound to lose the war.

iv.    The Africans  lacked proper coordination  and a concentrated  spirit of togetherness.  This was shown by fighting on different fronts and yet they had  a common   cause,   for example,  in the Chimurenga  rebellion,  the Shona joined  late and fought on different  frontlines.  In the  1893-

94 British-Ndebele   war, some soldiers refused  to fight while others went on with war.

v.    Other  African  resisting  societies  lacked  strong  leadership.  Perhaps  if they were  all strong hearted  like that of Sa moure Toure  and Kabalega  of Bunyoro  their defeat would  not have been quick and total as it happened  to some societies.

2.       Political weakness:

This  manifested  in military  weakness.  A poorly  organised  community  could not definitely wage  formidable   resistance.   Political   weakness   was  two-fold   i.e.  internal  and  external weakness.  The Africans  were disunited  which  was so because  of continous  interstate  wars that  the  colonialists   exploited,   for  example,   Bunyoro   against  Buganda,   Nandi  against Masai,  Mandika  against  Turkolor  empire,  Asante  against  Fante, perhaps  if these  African were united, they would have put up a better show.

i.    In some cases,  especially  those secondary  resistance,  some African  leaders were  incapable of leading  their  states  to successful  resistance  against  the imposition  of colonial  rule. For example,  it was argued that in his last days Lobengula  was disorganised  because  of old age.

ii.    There  were  succession   disputes   that  was  a source  of  disunity,   for  example,   in  case  of Masai,  it was Laibon Lenana  who collaborated  with the British colonialists  against  his rival brother    Sendeyo.   In  Ankole,   it  was  prince   Rwakatogoro    against   Igumira,    thus  such

                          divisions  created lack of African  solidarity.

iii.    Individualism   in pre-colonial  African  societies  was another  factor to consider,  for instance, there was no recognition  of fellow  African  societies  in face of colonial  torture.  It's  against this background  that A frican societies  helped  the colonialists  to crash their fellow  Africans. For  example,  in 1894 ShoI).8.advised  the British  how  to conquer  the Ndebele  the same  to Buganda  advising  and assisting  British how to colonise  Bunyoro.

iv.         In  some  societies,   African   struggle   was  betrayed   by  their  own  men,  for  example,   in

Chimurenga   rebellion   of  1896,  the  Ndebele   were  betrayed   by  their  own  members   who refused  to continue  with  war.  They  were  divided  up  in opinion  over  the strategy  to use, some wished  to use military  force while others wanted a peaceful  solution.

To overcome  African  resistance,  the colonialists  applied  different  methods  in the process  of imposition  of colonial  rule.  Some of the methods  were  so tricky  that the  Africans  did  not know  that they would  lose their  independence   in the process.  The  other  methods  were  so peaceful  that the Africans  could not resist.

3.       Economically   Africans  lacked  a sound  economy  to sustain  prolonged   wars  of resistance.

Worse  still,  most Afncans   lacked  mixed  economies.  For this matter  in case of destruction of  this  sector  of the economy,   for example,  crops  or livestock,  the war would  end.  It's  a testimony  therefore  why  Samoure  Toure  was  able to challenge  French  colonialism   for all that long period because  of a mixed  economy  coupled  With the trade. The Nandi  challenged imposition  of British colonial  rule for eleven  years partly because  of their mixed economy.

4.    There  were  religious   differences:   At  the  time  of  imposition   of  colonial   rule,  European Christian  Missionaries  had divided  the Africans  along  religious  lines.  E.g. in Buganda  the British  colonialists   supported  the Protestants   against  the  Catholics.  Such  differences   only served  to cultivate  colonialism.

5.    There  was  also the weakness  of natural  calamities   that included  plant,  human  and animal catastrophes,    for example,  the Ndebele  had been  hit by small  pox and rinderpest  even the Masai.  The Banyankole  had been  hit by jigger  epidemic  under  such circumstances.   It was impossible  to risk a resistance  war.

By way of conclusion  it's  important  to recall  the words  of Professor  Mohamood   Mamdan in his book  imperialism  and fascism   in Uganda.  He convincingly   argued that the most vital factor  to  explain   the  failure   of  African   resistance   was  the  military   superiority   of  the coloniser.    This    hand-over     does    not    undermine     the    other    factors     considered.