a Greek

Name ID 1361

See also

Boyes, John (ed. Mike Resnick) Company of Adventurers
Page Number: 119
Extract Date: 1903


The country through which we passed on resuming our journey was full of game, and having got a Thomson's gazelle, I lit some grass to guide my men to the spoil was waiting for my camera to take a snapshot of the gazelle, when the animal, which had appeared to be dead, staggered to its feet and dropped in the burning grass, thus spoiling my chance of a photograph. The fire was scattered about by its fall and quickly spread into a large veld fire. This was the first chance I had had of getting any game since leaving Tanga, and there was great rejoicing in camp that night, the boys spending half the night in feasting. Some of the meat was exchanged for flour from the Natives.

The next day I went ahead of the caravan as before but found little game, and that seemed rather wild. I had been warned before leaving Arusha that water was very scarce on the road to Mbugwe, and at this camp the water was already bad. Mbugwe is situated at the foot of the mountain of that name. The Chief, whose name was Takayiko, brought in a fat sheep and food for the men. The Natives in looks, speech and manner very much resemble the Masai, and I am of opinion that they are half-bred Masai. Their huts are very peculiar structures, square, and about three feet in height; but you descend another foot on entering, so that they are really four feet high inside. They have a flat roof made of plaited matama (millet) stalks, covered with a kind of natural cement found in the neighborhood. The walls are built of small tree trunks, put closely together and coated inside with cow dung. One half of the hut is divided off for a cattle pen. These Natives are great cattle breeders. The huts are made with flat roofs to avoid damage by the strong winds which sweep across the plains.

The water was again very bad. a Greek, of course, was trading here, One meets this race almost everywhere in Africa. I had dinner with him that night and got a great deal of useful information about the country and the Natives on the road ahead. a rather startling incident happened during dinner. I was sitting in front of the Greek when I saw a fairly large snake just beneath his chair. I quietly told him of it, and asked him not to move. He immediately jumped up, but fortunately the snake did not bite him, and we killed it with sticks. Later on another one appeared, evidently looking for its mate, and this met with a like fate.

Extract ID: 3592

See also

Boyes, John (ed. Mike Resnick) Company of Adventurers
Page Number: 124
Extract Date: 1903

Many Chiefs

a young Chief named Kankula brought in a cow and an ox, which I bought. He was delighted with the presents I gave him and said he had other cattle to sell and would come again. Subetu, another Chief, also came in the same day with about fifty of his men. When I saw this big caravan coming in the distance I thought something was wrong. There was no cause for alarm, however, as he came in a friendly spirit, bringing me presents of sheep and matama flour. At his request I sent men to his place with trade goods to buy some cows and oxen. They returned early in the day and said the Natives had taken the cloth and given them nothing in return. I went myself and made vigorous protest, as the result of which two cows were given me.

The Natives were a most lazy set, doing nothing all day but smoke bubble-bubble pipes. They lay on the grass while the women ground flour by rubbing two stones together, and the children herded the cattle. I sent a Swahili headman to Kunguru, one of the fighting chiefs who had refused to pay the Government hut tax, and he returned to say the people were not very friendly. However, two Natives from Kunguru's place came in bringing a young bull as a present. There were no more cattle for sale here.

I had been down to inspect the main herd of my cattle when a headman came along to tell me that a Greek trader with askaris had been to one of the villages, and, after firing his guns in the air, had gone into the Native cattle boma and taken what cattle he wanted, leaving three or four hands of cloth per head as payment. Illicit trading, by arousing distrust in the Native mind, prevents honest men from doing good and fair business, and I was very angry at the news. Shortly afterwards a Chief, called Miama, told me that the Greek had sent men to his village the day before. They were armed, and took a cow and calf, leaving two hands of cloth as payment. He also said they had given an adjacent Chief twenty five lashes with a kiboko, a whip made out of rhino hide.

Extract ID: 3596

See also

Read, David Beating about the Bush
Page Number: 045
Extract Date: 1939

Greek hoteliers

It was not uncommon to see Greek hoteliers in those days, the success of their hotels founded on their position at the hub of local Greek social life. The Greeks had been farming in Tanganyika for some time but after the First World War, when the existing farms and estates were taken off the Germans, many Greeks and Cypriots bought them at an extremely good price. Once settled, their families came over and a substantial Greek community grew up, with their own churches and schools. In modern Tanzania, most large towns have an Orthodox Greek Church and Hellenic schools and there is one town in Central Tanzania, Kinamba, that has such a Greek influence that it is known as "Ulaya Ugiriki" (Greek Europe) by the Tanzanians.

Extract ID: 4191