Find Content

Assess the view that ‘Africans who resisted Europeans were bound to fail; those who collaborated were certain to gain’. Answer with reference to the history of Central and East Africa.

Good candidates should be expected to challenge the truth of this view as well as offering evidence to support it. They might also point out that few Africans were consistently one or the other, seizing short term benefits and concessions whenever possible. In the long-term, all except Menelik II of Ethiopia lost out to colonial rule.

Challenge view:

• Resisters not always losers, for example, after the Maji Maji rising the Germans modified significantly their oppressive rule in German East Africa;
• Collaborators not always gainers, for example, Lewanika in Central Africa and Lenana in British East Africa lost much land and ultimately fell under European control.

Support view:

• As resisters who failed, the examples of the Hehe, Nandi and Bunyoro might well be used, and the eventual resistance of the Ndebele led by Lobengula after many years of trying to make concessions in keeping with his sovereignty;
• For collaborators who gained, Lewanika of the Bulozi is the usual example – his short-term gains were that he nominally retained his kingship and his kingdom.

Candidates offering a persuasive argument in line with the above and reaching a conclusion consistent with their evidence should be given a mark in Band 1 or Band 2. If the view is not challenged to some extent do not award a mark above Band 5.