Although there is uncertainty about his year of birth, we know that he was born in Ngarambe, Matumbi in Tanganyika, now part of Tanzania. He was hanged for treason in August by German colonial officials. What is Kinjeketile famous for? He is said to have been possessed by a spirit known as Hongo. According to the legend, Hongo appeared in the form of a snake which dragged Kinjeketile under water.
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Chausika, the daughter of Kitunda, Bibi Kitunda, her mother and wife to Kitunda and Bibi Kinjeketile, who happens to be the wife of Kinjeketile are seen walking a path leading to a river.
On their way, they hold several discussions, one of which is the plantation owned by Bwana Kainoo. Many of the Tanganyikan burghers have taken to this plantation, in order to earn a living. However, there appears to be a famine all over the land; a kind of pestilence that has affected all the populace. Non-the-less, the only option left for these people is to rely- symbiotically- on the plantation, owned by Bwana Kainoo.
In the play, we are able to understand that, though the plantation is the only line of life for the people, those who work therein are treated with contempt. They are made to work indefatigably. And very quickly, Chausiku is sent to see if it is really the cooking of food that is causing the smoke or something else.
From this, we are able to sense their present plight, as they poor-mouth for want of food, within the stringency-stricken Tanganyika. Soon, the play shifts to the plantation. Therein, Kitunda- a member of the Wamatumbi-has just been whipped by the overseer, who was initially ordered by the head man. Thereafter, there is a covert slate proposed amidst the workers to have a meeting in the night. In the following scene i. It is in this scene that we come to know who Kainoo represents and what, palpably, is the fountain head of the general vassalage or the ruinous famine which has been infused to siege the people.
Here, Kainoo is depicted as a German as well as the owner of the plantation. Having established a despotically Teutonic authority over the people, he together with the rest of his Germanic colleges, further, set up some instruments of coercion such as the Askari the police force which will compel and also belabour the people to work subserviently for them.
Doubt soon hits this caucus of Tanganyikan coup plotters, when Kitunda is questioned about his visit to Kilwa, although he denies to have visited him. The white man pays well to get valuable information.
Kitunda: Are you trying to say that I am selling you and my people to the white man? Mkichi: There are people doing that. There are people who are paid to stop us uniting. Afterwords, we discover that he is being whipped seriously to a point of his falling unconsciously. His daughter Chausika is taken away to slave-in lieu of her parents. And later, it is revealed that, she is forcibly raped and molested, by the Askaris. Kinjeketile suddenly emerges from his thaumaturgic comb.
He dances forward and backward and ambles towards a particular river inside of which he drowns himself, very quickly. At his metamorphosis, he comes out of the river, like one who has already been inebriated with some wild spirits. He becomes a mythic portraiture of respite for the people, just like some legendary immortals, as Odysseus and many other Grecian heroes that we know of. He has gone to dine with his ancestors, to get help from them and has been conjoined with them. And this is the whisk of power.
He who partakes of this water no harm will befall him No bullet will penetrate his body. These are the gifts given us by our ancestors and our spirits Hear from me who comes from Bokolo, the land of our ancestors The message from our ancestors.
And these are the instruments. They will remain immortal, that is, they will have a deathless cultural heritage, regardless of how cataclysmic the Germans may appear to be. So the maji is a figurative entity which, albeit derives its attribute from the so-called supernatural, yet does not appear to work for the purpose of building an immortal army for some physical battles.
Therefore, the cognitive manifestation of the maji-maji is in the oneness of the people. You are depending on the water. Kinjeketile soon declares war on the Germans. But later- as regards the critique of the power of the maji maji- he becomes cynical and disconcerted about whether the war should be fought or not. His idiopathic cynicism opens the door to another textual complexity as he attempts to dissuade Kitunda from believing in the power of the maji-maji. Use your own strength.
You must not depend on the water! Promise me that. At the end, there is war, but victory is not attained. At Mahenge- the strong-hold of the Germans- many of the warriors, are extremely defeated. Kitunda and some of the leaders of the tribes are both arrested and incarcerated. At the end, he is persecuted to the point of his death. Symbolism in Kinjeketile In the play, the playwright employs some symbols to punctuate some extrinsic facts which, on the flip side, are not diaphanously stated in the text, but embedded within such textual elements as human characters, places and objects.
And like a large looking-glass, it transpicuously reveals the nefarious trails of a Teutonic westernism upon the Africans. Bwana plantation happens to be a bolt-hole or a Xanadu of succour wherein these people get sustenance for their daily living. It is in this society-as mirrored through the happenings in the plantation- that we find men and women, father, mother, daughter, belaboured to labor, like elephants.
All they work for is only for the copious increase of the plantation which is at the glabrous lucre of the white owner. Worse still, they are barred from working for themselves, enslaved and blotted out of a free, independent living.
Anyway, famine is inevitable. Bibi Kinjeketile: What you say is true. All men are spending all their time cultivating for Bwana Kainoo, and not for themselves. Kinjeketile 2. We are forced to pay tax. We die of hunger. As described in the play, he represents the reactionary sages of a society like the social activists and critics, reformist etc. He is a reincarnation of traditionalism as well as the chain of concordance binding the very nature of its system.
It deems itself, a supernaturally aqueous substance which when supped would ordinarily, transmute the body into a formidable and impenetrable wall. From this sense, though figurative, the surface structure interpretation of the Maji is to render the warriors indestructible, from the guns of the Germans. However- in contrast- the water serves as a restoration of tradition. It symbolizes unity among every traditional group; a merger agglutination one tribe to the other. More so, the water not only represents the recovery of their primitive puissance but also, it serves as a redeeming fortification of cultural energy.
It tends to refurbish the frightful fissures of religious divergence in order to enliven unity. We can only follow his guidance. But the more we hear of your spirit Hongo, the more we are convinced that he his Kolele. Kolele lives in water. Your spirit does the same…But the Mywiywila said that, he is Kongo. We come to ask you whether this is Kolelo or Hongo…If it is so, then we are ready to join you. If not, then, we cannot fight together. People of the Wazaramo: Are Hongo and Kolelo one and the same?
Summarily, the maji is meant for culture-immortality rather than the immortality of the Tanganyikan mortals.
What you mean is, you are not ready to fight! What you mean is you are confirmed in the belief that war for you. Remove the water, and you will have a war-amongst yourselves i. Kinjeketile It is portrayed, poetically, in the 34 lines free verse perused orally by Kinjeketile. He who partakes of this water no harm will befall him No bullet will penetrate his body Note: It is from the poetic nature of this disquisition that we are able to understand that, nothing is to be taken literal.
The bullet, as to what it should mean, symbolizes the violent regime of the Germans which-through the established policy of brutish individualism- is meant to extirpate all forms of cultures and belief systems and also render every vociferation of the African tradition and religion in the community bootless. So, the bullet must kill their culture and the owners, in order for them to resuscitate into an unprecedented Germanic system.
Such people are the Askaris as well as the notorious kilwa a parrot or a modern-day hooded agent, serving the white. He represents the aliens, in all the coasts of Africa. He symbolizes all those who have decided to be initiated and circumcised into the culture of the whites and now becomes as harsh and inhumane as the whites. They will go as far as betraying their fellow Africans, torturing them, cheating them, stealing from them and even persecuting them.
The people, due to their illiteracy would prefer naming things that are runic to their knowledge by means of comparison. For example, stick referring to a gun and even the Red Earth referring to the Germans. Themes Through various themes, the play addresses many prominent issues which splashed across the whole of Africa during the colonial period.
We just stare at him. Is it for him to demand taxes from us? He should be paying us tax, but no! We like women, just meekly sit, watching him do what he wants with us, with our land. How long are we going to remain meek and silent? Are we going to allow ourselves to be persecuted in our country?
From his words, we are confronted with the asparagus of imperialistic intolerance, having witnessed what transpires between the black settlers of the Sounthern Tanganyika and the german-white overlords. Also from the play, we are affiliated with the scope of a no-Marxian society; a society where the exploiter reaps more and the exploited, less.
It is even in this capitalistic taradiddle that we find the labouring peasants working as ants and eating as ants, whereas, those for whom the work is being done eat the largest share of the through-put.
Kinjeketile Ngwale, the prophet who led Tanganyika against German colonialists
They also rebelled when the Arabs and native Africans chosen as administrators subjected them to slavery as well as fraud and extortion. It was at this time — around and — that the prophet, Kinjekitile Ngwale emerged. According to legend, he was possessed by a spirit known as Hongo, which appears in the form of a snake. Hongo, in its snake form, dragged Kinjeketile into the water for 24 hours.
Kinjeketile Ngwale: Líder espiritual da Rebelião Maji Maji