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1570

The mouth of the Zambezi River (Mozambique) is reached by Portuguese Commander Francisco Barreto. He leads 700 men with the instructions, “To find the great mine that is Ophir, from which the most wise King Solomon drew 420 talents of gold for the building of the Temple of Jerusalem." They will advance to the small trading town of Sofala, but do not find gold. However, a belief that King Solomon’s mines are located in this area will remain.

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1570

1873

One of the grandest structures in Antananarivo, Madagascar, the Andafiavaratra Palace, is under construction, commissioned by powerful Prime Minister Rainilaiarivony. The building will be a museum in 2023, containing priceless cultural treasures.

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1873

1876

Sekhukhune (pic), leader of South Africa’s Bapedi, successfully defends his kingdom against an invasion of white colonialists from the South African Republic (Transvaal). Wanting their land, Boer settlers under President Thomas Burgers have declared war on the Pedi kingdom. However, its aggression proves a mistake. After its defeat, the Transvaal will nearly meet its end when British colonials attempt to take advantage of the weakened Boers.

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1876

1920

Following the Chilembwe Uprising in Nyasaland (Malawi), the territory’s first Italian resident, Alberto Sabbatini, builds a “castle” design to protect himself and his family from future disturbances. Construction continues into the 1920s of what will become a landmark and tourist attraction.

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1920

1926

The Palace Hotel in Mombasa (pic) is known as the finest in Kenya’s port city, with a telephone and servant’s buzzer in every room, lifts (elevators) and a dance floor – although the Manor Hotel up the street advertises its dining room is “the finest in East Africa.”

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1926

1938

Whimsical American-style “vernacular architecture” comes to Africa with the opening of The Spotted Dog drive-in restaurant on Main Road in Retreat, South Africa. Customers are served in their cars from a giant dog housing a kitchen that cooks “American style sandwiches” – hamburgers and hot dogs – as well as “the best coffee in South Africa.”

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1938

1956

Egypt establishes diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China, angering China’s Cold War rival the U.S. and prompting the U.S. to withold promised financial aid for the Aswan Dam. In retaliation, Egyptian President Gamal Nassar (pic: centre, with China's Premier Zhou Enlai on left and China's Chairman Mao Zedong on right) will nationalise the Suez Canal in July, starting the Suez Crisis (Second Arab-Israeli War).

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1956

1964

Encouraged to make a pilgrimage to Africa by U.S. activist Malcolm X, world boxing heavyweight champion Mohamed Ali arrives in Accra, Ghana for a two-week “return to my fatherland.” Dressed in kente cloth, he meets with President Kwame Nkrumah.

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1964

1994

As the scope of violence against Tutsi people in Rwanda becomes clear to a horrified world, the U.N. votes to expand its forces in Rwanda.

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1994

2018

A statue of the last African leader to defy colonial France’s conquest of West Africa, Babemba Traoré, is unveiled in Bamako, Mali. The Kénédougou Empire that he ruled covered what would become Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali. The Prime Ministers from those three nations attend the statue's unveiling. Traoré famously ordered his guards to kill him rather than be taken captive by the French army.

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2018

Births

1924
Dawda Jawara

first President of The Gambia (1970-1994), in Barajally Tenda, British Gambia. He was the country’s Prime Minister from 1962, overseeing national independence achieved in 1965. He had his position changed to the presidency when The Gambia became a republic, resulting in a combined length of leadership over the country of 32 years before he was ousted in a coup d’état in 1994.

1960
Dele Momodu

Nigerian journalist and publisher, in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. After launching publishing brands and doing award-winning TV and film work, he became one of Nigeria’s top motivational speakers. Launched in 2008 and with earnings going to charities, his annual Christmas concert/fashion show/awards event The Red Carol, which is attended by international celebrities, has become one of West Africa's most popular seasonal traditions.

1973
Ruth Kutol

Kenyan long-distance runner, in Eldoret, Kenya. Among her accomplishments, she won the 2000 Venice Marathon, the 2003 Madrid, Venice and Dublin Marathons, the 2007 Luxembourg Marathon and the 2010 Tallinn Marathon.

1983
Loyiso Gola

South African comedian, in Gugulethu, Cape Town, South Africa. Specialising in stand-up comedy, beginning as a teenager, he appeared first on South African TV and then internationally. In 2010, he began the South African current events satire show Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola.