Africa Today/Yesterday Logo

BC 10,000

Skilled painters continue to depict the local animal herds in an unending gallery of cave drawings in the Tsodilo Hills (Botswana), perhaps the most continuously occupied area in human history, from BC 17,000 to AD 1650.

#
BC 10,000

1892

A railway line opens between Nelspruit, a growing agricultural centre in the Transvaal Republic (South Africa) and Komatipoort, at the border with Lourenço Marques (Mozambique). The railroad expands trade between the countries, and enables South African agricultural production to reach export markets.

#
1892

1907

The first automobile in German East Africa (Tanzania) arrives at Dar es Salaam’s port. With its large wheels, the motorcar is elevated high to drive over rocks and obstacles in a country with no paved roads outside of towns. Passengers require a step ladder to climb in.

#
1907

1910

Malawians are being trained in medical skills at Blantyre Hospital in Nyasaland (Malawi). Two orderlies known as Benard and Kalima are photographed making bandages to dress patients’ wounds.

#
1910

1921

Spanish colonial forces ignore a warning by Moroccan political and military leader Abd el-Krim not to enter the Rif Valley. When Spain invades, he proves a pioneer and master of guerilla warfare. His army of 30,000 against 60,000 Spanish and French troops kill 13,000 invading soldiers and sends their armies retreating in disastrous defeat. El-Krim becomes president of the new Republic of Rif. Spain’s humiliation is a factor in the coup d’état that establishes a dictatorship in Madrid in 1923.

#
1921

1960

The Mali Federation, joining Mali and Senegal, gains Independence from France. Dakar is the capital.  When tensions arise between Mali and Senegal, the federation will be dissolved in August. (pic: Mali President Modibo Keïta and Senegal President Léopold Sédar Senghor)

#
1960

1964

It’s Father’s Day, and the Father of his Country, President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, relaxes with his daughter Samia along his wife Fathia Ritzk Nkrumah, the Egyptian banker he married on New Year’s Eve 1957.

#
1964

1973

Hollywood’s Blaxploitation films turn to Africa with the release today of Shaft in Africa. The newest story about the African-American detective Shaft, who goes to Africa to end human trafficking to France, was filmed in Ethiopia, where star Richard Roundtree was presented to Emperor Haile Selassie.

#
1973

1975

A song condemning the brutal assassination of Kenyan populist politician Josiah Keriuki, allegedly on orders of President Jomo Kenyatta, by popular Kenyan musician Joseph Kamaru, is banned by government. Kamaru has had a good relationship with Kenyatta and is not arrested, but he is reportedly brought to the Presidential mansion, where Kenyatta personally whips him and other “errant musicians” while ordering the confiscation of their offending recordings. Kamaru will record 2,000 songs, many challenging government and championing political reform.

#
1975

1991

After a visit from South Africa’s president F.W. De Klerk, Kenya ends its ban on sports links with South Africa, signaling the growing conviction of African countries of that apartheid is ending. (pic: De Klerk and Kenya President Daniel arap Moi)

#
1991

2010

As the biggest TV audience in the world watches the games of the FIFA World Cup played in South Africa, global fascination grows over a new instrument that is a fixture among the fans at the stadiums: the Vuvuzela. The 65 centimetre (2 foot) long plastic horn is so loud, the noise disturbs players on the soccer field.

#
2010

2017

Nigerian musician Victor Uwaifo is named a Human Living Treasure by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

#
2017

2020

The 7 October Movement is founded in South Sudan by Kerbino Wol Agok, a businessman and philanthropist. The movement is opposed to the country’s corrupt, war-mongering leadership that they believe has kept the country in poverty and conflict since its independence in 2011. Agok will be murdered in two weeks. The crime will not be solved, but the movement he establishes will continue.

#
2020

Births

1920
Amos Tutuola

Nigerian writer, in Wasinmi, British Nigeria. As a boy servant, instead of wages he was given an education with the Salvation Army, which he happily accepted. He developed his writing skills over the years until his first full-length book, The Palm Wine Drinkard was published in 1952, as the first novel by an African published in English outside of Africa. This milestone in African literature, like Tutola’s other writings, was based on Yoruba folklore.

1920
Eduardo Mondlane

Diplomat, freedom fighter and first president of Mozambique’s liberation party Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (FRELIMO), in the Nwajahani district, Mandlakazi Province, Portuguese Mozambique. The fourth of 16 of a chief’s children, he was expelled from South Africa’s University of Witwatersrand for being black the year the apartheid government took power and instituted segregated education. He was radicalised by this injustice, and refused offers to work for colonial Portugal. Instead, he led the independence movement that would overcome Portuguese rule. In 1969, he was assassinated by a bomb hidden in a book.