Tippu Tip:Black History Month Bio

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Tippu Tip,Tib or Hamed bin Mohammed bin Juma bin Rajab el Murjebi (Raheem Ullah), is a 19th century Powerful Muslim Merchant whose occupation gave  him the ability to have influence in certain regions in Africa. Hamed bin Mohammed el Murjebi was born into a Zanzibar merchant dynasty at a time when trading routes from that East African metropolis were beginning to reach into the area which today forms the Republic of Zaïre. The trader was active in Swahili- Zanzibar and various of position in southeast Africa. He was a governor ivory trader, plantations owner.

The local used to call him Tippu Tib after the sounds that his many guns made. It was the third expedition where befriended the British missionary and Explorer David Livingstone. He is believed to be the key to open up the central  Africa trade for ivory and other commodities.

The first expedition he was involved in was the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika into northern Katanga  which took place in 1859-1860 and was followed by two more campaigns along the same route in 1865 and 1867-1869. He usually bought the ivory for a cheap price and made profit out of it. Tippu Tip was at one point involved in slavery, however calling him a slave trader would be incorrect as the Europeans had done. He was labelled as “Slave trader” because he represented strength and inlfuence which of course could ruin the colonization intrest in Central Africa. In 1870, he succeded building empire in Maniema region between Lualaba and Lomami rivers. He managed to 4.000-man caravan who were on the way to Gongo. This also marks the time British explorer  V.L Cameron visited him in 1874.  Tippu Tip had god relation with the locals and the chiefs who agreed to serve as  his auxillaries. Around the same period considerable number of Zanyibari traders who had been there before set up an entrepot at Nyangwe.

Although most of the European disliked him he maintained good relation with the Europeans. Henry Morton Stanley was one of the people who worked with him and explored the deepest jungles in the Congo. Between 1887 and 1887, Tippu Tib claimed the Eastern Congo for Himself for the Bargash bin Said el Busaidi Sultan of Zanzibar. Tippu Tip Raheem ullah despite of his influence was losing control over the situation.

In 1886 broke out between the Swahili and the Belgians Representative of King Leopold. Tippu had to consult with the belgians and returned to Zanzibar. Stanley seized the opportunity during the absence of Tippu Tip (Raheem Ullah) to secure the post at the upper river ( Stanley falls). Whilst being in Zanzibar Tippu Tip clarifiy his intentons and his role in central Africa. In June 1884 a modus vivendi was reached between Tippu Tip’s lieutenants and King Leopold’s representatives regarding each group’s respective sphere of influence, but Tippu Tip rejected this settlement and established himself at Stanley Falls to personally supervise the situation in November 1884.

.During 1883-1884 Tippu Tip seems to have been playing both ends of the field or to have been divided between his loyalty to the Sultan and his realization that European influence would probably prevail in the Congo.

After The Berlin Conference, the relations between Arab traders and agents of the Congo Free State rapidly worsen. This continued to deterioate because of various European activities which undermined the Arabs’ commercial position.Tippu Tip traveled back to Zanzibar in 1886 across what had now officially become German East Africa, and in his absence his men burned down the Congo Frees State post at Stanley Falls. In Zanzibar, Tippu Tip realized (as did the Sultan himself) that the days of Zanzibari power had passed, and in February 1887 he accepted from Stanley a commission from the Congo Free State as governor of the Stanley Falls district. At the same time, he also agreed to man the expedition which Stanley had been commissioned to organize for the purpose of rescuing Emin Pasha (E. Schnitzer), a German condottiere in the service of Egypt who had been stranded in the Bahr el Ghazal area as a result of the Mahdist uprising in Sudan.

Tippu Tip traveled back to the Upper Congo in the company of Stanley but this time by way of the Atlantic coast and up the Congo River. Aside from its doubtful usefulness, the relief expedition was marred by the near annihilation of its rearguard, a disaster for which Stanley attempted to place the blame on Tippu Tip. The old trader returned to Zanzibar in 1890 to defend himself in the lawsuit brought against him by Stanley. Although Tippu Tip’s good faith was vindicated, he never returned to the Congo.

Tippu Tip’s son, Sefu, attempted to reassert control over one of his father’s African auxiliaries, Ngongo Lutete. The latter, however, went over to the side of the Congo Free State, and in the ensuing conflict (1892-1894) the commercial and political control of the Arab traders over the eastern Congo was shattered and Sefu himself was killed. Tippu Tip, who had vainly tried to dissuade his son from opening hostilities against the Europeans, spent his last years in retirement disrupted by litigation.

Famous Qoute

” If you whit men are desirous of throwing away your lives ( exploring large parts of Africa) , it is no reason we Arabs should. We travel little by little to get ivory and slaves and years about it. But you white men look only for rivers and lakes and mountains and you spend your lives for no reason and purpose

This was response to Henry Morton Stanley who offered him and his men 5, 000 to escort him on his African exploration in 1875

If you white men are desirous of throwing away your lives [exploring large parts of Africa], it is no reasons we Arabs should. We travel little by little to get ivory and slaves and are years about it. But you white men look only for rivers and lakes and mountains, and you spend your lives for no reason and no purpose.

– See more at: http://politicalquotes.org/node/41020#sthash.yag6HA9B.dpuf

If you white men are desirous of throwing away your lives [exploring large parts of Africa], it is no reasons we Arabs should. We travel little by little to get ivory and slaves and are years about it. But you white men look only for rivers and lakes and mountains, and you spend your lives for no reason and no purpose.

– See more at: http://politicalquotes.org/node/41020#sthash.yag6HA9B.dpuf

If you white men are desirous of throwing away your lives [exploring large parts of Africa], it is no reasons we Arabs should. We travel little by little to get ivory and slaves and are years about it. But you white men look only for rivers and lakes and mountains, and you spend your lives for no reason and no purpose.

– See more at: http://politicalquotes.org/node/41020#sthash.yag6HA9B.dpuf

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