Mlozi of Central Africa: Trader, Slaver and self-styled Sultan By David Stuart-Mogg
For more than a century, historians and writers on Africa have almost invariably associated the name Mlozi with all the cruellest excesses of the central and east African slave trade during the nineteenth century. That Mlozi bin Kazbadema was a significant slaver who conducted his trade according to all the brutal conventions of this period is beyond dispute. His subsequent botched hanging at the end of a British-sponsored rope, following a drum-head trial of questionable legality, has been generally regarded as well-deserved and fitting, if muscular, exemplar of Pax Britannica in action.
In The End of the Slaver, a title taken from the recollections of Mlozi’s hanging by the medical missionary Dr. Kerr Cross, author David Stuart-Mogg examines Mlozi’s life amd milieu and carefully weighs the often conflicting evidence apparent between official military and governments reports and the largely unpublished private letters and diaries written at the time by those who participated in Mlozi’s downfall and elimination. Stuart-Mogg’s carefully evaluated findings call into serious question the altruism and philanthropy that the ultimate, and inevitable victors of the struggle accorded their actions and their undoubtedly laudable ultimate objective – the eradication of slavery in British Central Africa.
Referring to this book as ‘an unusually stimulating study’, Professor Shepperson recommends that The End of the Slaver ‘deserves to be widely read, not only by those whose primary interest is in the history of Malawi but also by students of slavery and the anti-slavery movements of the nineteenth century – and, indeed by all who are concerned by man’s inhumanity to man.’
About the author…
David Stuart-Mogg was born in Bath, Somerset and was educated at Clifton College. A keen amateur historian he has spent a major part of his career in the hotel, travel and tourism industries, living and working in the UK, Middle East and Africa. For four years he was the Chief Executive of the Malawi Hotels Group, re-named Sunbird, when he was based in Blantyre. He is the author of the best selling Guide to Malawi and of numerous other publications, many concerned with Malawi’s rich history and cultural heritage. Since 2000 he has, with Emeritus Professor Colin Baker, been co-editor of the Journal of the Society of Malawi (Historical and Scientific).
What African historians say about this book…
In the story of slavery and empire building in Centra Africa, Mlozi’s life is by no means insignificant. One must be grateful to David Stuart-Mogg for producing this substantial and not unsympathetic study of a complex figure Professor Emeritus George Shepperson, C.B.E. University of Edinburgh.
Well-researched, David Stuart-Mogg’s study of the 19th century slave-trader Mlozi bin Kazbadema is an important contribution to our understanding of the early history of the Nyasaland Protectorate Professor Emeritus Brian Morris, University of London.
Drawing skilfully on a wide range of resource material, the author has crafted for us a fascinating, highly readable account of an intriguing and important character in the early history of Malawi Professor Emeritus Colin Baker, M.B.E. University of Glamorgan, Wales.
This is a genuinely pioneering work, one from which all students of Malawi’s tangled history can learn Professor John McCracken, formerly Professor of History, University of Malawi; Past President, African Studies Association, UK.
The biography of “Mlozi” must be the first book in more than 100 years on the “Arab War” and its aftermath. Drawing on oral, archival and published sources it is clearly written, well illustrated, abd sheds new light on an intriguing story Professor Hugh Macmillan, formerly Professor of History, University of Transkei, South Africa.
David Stuart-Mogg’s book is a challenging, fascinating, multi-layered work examining a dark period in Malawi’s history using the story of the ivory and slave trader Mlozi Dr John Lwanda, MB, Ch.B, FRCP, Ph.D. Writer and Social Historian.