North of the Zambesi
The Postmarks and Postal History of Northern Rhodesia and Zambia
Author: Hal Hoyte
- 1980 – 1st Edition
- 1983 – 2nd Edition
Price: SOLD OUT.
The Postmarks and Postal History of Northern Rhodesia and Zambia
Author: Hal Hoyte
Price: SOLD OUT.
The History of Moto Moto Museum dates back to the 1950s when a French Canadian Catholic Priest Jean Jacques Corbeil of the White Fathers began collecting cultural artifacts in the Northern part of Northern Rhodesia (Now Zambia).
Father Corbeil came to Zambia as a missionary under the White Fathers in 1943. Other than missionary work, Father Corbeil was interested in African Culture and Environment. Over the years he collected cultural and Natural Artifacts among the villages of Northern Zambia and later figurines along the Zambia Congo Boarder on the Copperbelt. He was particularly interested in items of music, medicine, initiation and witchcraft. He also made a reasonable collection of snakes. The artifacts, collected for study and posterity by Father Cornbeil, were stored in the Mulilansolo Mission until 1964, when they were moved to Serenje, Zambia until 1969, then to Isoka.
The Moto Moto Museum was officially opened to the Public in 1974 and is housed on a former carpentry and bricklaying workshop, donated by the Diocese of Mbala in 1972.
The name “Moto Moto ” was derived from Bishop Joseph Dupont who smoked a pipe and called for “Moto” – fire in swahilili which earned him the name Moto Moto. Bishop Adolf Furstenderg Bishop of Mbala Diocese donated the present day main gallery which houses the Ethnography gallery which was previously a carpenter workshop.
The museum is currently part of the National Museums Board.
The Roman Catholic Church has a history of mission work in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) running back more than four hundred and fifty years. The first attempt to evangelize Zimbabwe was made in the sixteenth century by Jesuit Father Goncalo da Silveira of Portugal. His mission was short lived as he was killed in 1560. Portugal continued to send Jesuit and Dominican Fathers into the area. But after political events in Europe caused all missionaries to leave in 1775, there was little to show for their efforts.
The second Catholic missionary effort in Zimbabwe followed along with the Protestant evangelism in Africa beginning in the nineteenth centenary. Based on the earlier work of Fr. Silveira and is successors, in February 1879 the original “Zambezi Mission” (Catholic administrative area), which included part of Zambia, was entrusted by the Vatican to the Jesuit Fathers. A team of Jesuits set out for Zimbabwe from South Africa that same year. After many trials and tribulations, Empandeni Mission was established, the first “permanent” Catholic mission in Zimbabwe.
Over the years, other Catholic religious orders joined the Jesuits in Zimbabwe. Trappist Monks from Mariannhill (Mariannhill-Fathers) in Natal came up to Ingyanga District in 1896. Their attempt to start mission was brought short by the Shona rebellion, but they returned and were ultimately successful in 1908. As part of reorganization, in 1929 the Mariannhill-Fathers exchanged their missions in Mashonaland with the Jesuits for missions in Matabeleland (in and around Bulawayo).
More help was needed so the Bethlehem Fathers (SMB) from Switzerland were invited in – arriving in 1938. The Bethlehem Fathers assumed responsibility for the area of present day Gwelo Diocese where they still play a supporting role. Carmelite Fathers of the Irish Province arrived in 1953 and were active in what is presently the Diocese of Mutare. The majority of mission stations were also staffed with Sisters of various Religious Orders.
Beginning in the late 1970’s, churches and missions passed to the control of local Catholic dioceses. There are presently approximately 1,145,000 Catholics in Zimbabwe (representing about 9% of the population).
Charles Stewart Day Old Chicks is a family business established in 1958 by Charles Stewart. Initially producing one day old chicks, after a few years the business began exporting day old chicks and breeding stock to Malawi(1971), Mozambique, and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia).
Today, the company employs over 500 staff and stocks broiler chicks, layer chicks, stock feeds, Hy-Line breeding stock vaccines and medication. The business’ headquarters is in Blantyre, Malawi.
United Bible Societies
In 1946, the British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS) met with 13 Bible Societies and agreed that Bible Societies all around the world would be stronger if they worked together. The BFBS became a founding member of the United Bible Societies.
The BFBS ran the society from an office in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia. Mr. T. Percival Bevan was the first Secretary (1939-1955) for Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. He was followed by Rev. Maynard W. Booth as the second Secretary and Consultant (1955-1965) for Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Although details during this period are sketchy, it appears that during the early years of the Federation of Rhodesia & Nyasaland, the BFBS intended to send workers from Salisbury into the neighbouring countries of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
However, with the break-up of the Federation in 1964 and independence of Northern Rhodesia (becoming Zambia), Nyasaland (becoming Malawi), and Southern Rhodesia declaring Unilateral Independence, the activities of the BFBS seem to have stopped and were taken up locally.
The BFBS is now referred to as the Bible Society.
As early as 1932, the British and Foreign Bible Society and the American Bible Society began to co-ordinate their efforts to reach more people across the globe. By 1946, just after the end of World War II, 13 Bible Societies (including the British and Foreign Bible Society) met together and agreed that Bible Societies all around the world would be stronger if they worked together. They agreed to create the fellowship of Bible Societies known as the United Bible Societies with the original headquarters based in London and Geneva.
The British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS) was founded in 1804 by Williams Wilberforce and others for the purpose of making the bible available in any language for which there was a readership.
The earliest beginnings of the BFBS in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) began when the Matabele King, Mizilikazi, heard of the new faith and sent an emissary to the London Missionary Society’s Kuruman Mission in South Africa in 1829. An emissary was sent accompanied by missionary Robert Moffat. After several visits to Matabeleland, Moffat, accompanied by the Rev. William Sykes and the Rev. T. Morgan Thomas, went to a proposed mission-field in Matebeleland. After many unpleasant experiences, they were eventually assigned the valley and fountain of Inyati, where they eventually settled.
Rev Thomas, for twenty years before his death in 1884 at Shiloh, had been working on the Matabele translation of the New Testament. Completed the day before his death, his wife promised that she would published his works. Spending the savings of many years, she arranged 500 copies of the publication. Unfortunately, only three were sold, fifteen given away, and the rest stored in a strong box at Shiloh.
Meanwhile in South Africa, the South African Auxiliary advanced the work of BFBS. In 1891, the Auxiliary made an attempt to head towards the Zambesi. The first shipment of Scriptures for the Chartered Company’s gold-fields was lost off Beira, but others followed. Bishop Knight-Bruce took out a supply to Mashonaland and in 1895, after the Matabele Kingdom was merged in Rhodesia, depots were opened at Bulawayo, Fort Victoria and Salisbury.
The London Missionary Society missionaries and the Dutch ministers readily took part in the work, and the concession on the carriage of the books on the Mafeking railway outweighed the advantage of the shorter line by the Beira route. Soon the South Africa Auxiliary was raised to the status of an agency of the Society and was placed under the charge of Mr Nuttall.
The new operations in Rhodesia were soon brought to a stand still by the rising of the Matabele and Mashona after the capture of the ‘Jameson raiders’ in 1895. Those stored by Rev Thomas’ wife in the strong box at Shiloh, were carried off and used for martial headgear by the Matabele braves in the revolt of 1896. The Rev. J. Laing of Durban heard of the matter, and sent what was perhaps the only surviving copy to the Bible House. The copyright was purchased by the agency, and the Gospel of Luke was printed and sent out to Bulawayo for revision, but the miscarriage of many of the proofs greatly delayed its publication.
In the meantime it appeared that Mr Sykes (who died at Inyati in 1887), had left translations of Matthew and Mark. The former had been printed during a visit to Cape Town in 1884. By 1897 the Committee took up the Mashona version. In 1898, St Mark was translated by the Rev. John White of the Wesleyan Mission and the whole 500 copies were sold out in two days.
The continuing work was interrupted by the outbreak of the Boer War on 11th October, 1899. In 1901 the Auxiliary published 1000 copies of the Mashona version of St Matthew. This was distributed among the Wesleyan, Anglican, and American Methodist Missions and the Salvation Army as “for every month an increasing number of Mashona were learning to read.”
By 1902 at the end of the war, nearly half of the Auxiliary’s depots across Southern Africa were closed. However, to the great satisfaction of all denominations, a new agency, with a strong consultative committee and the Rev. George Lowe, a well-known Wesleyan minister as secretary, was founded at Johannesburg for Central South Africa. The new division comprised the Orange River Colony and the Transvaal, the Bechuana Protectorate, Swaziland and Rhodesia. By 1903, 3030 copies of the Mashona versions of the Gospel of St John, Matthew, Mark were revised and published.
In 1939, Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, Nyasaland and Portuguese East Africa were separated from the Central South Agency. The four regions, together with Madagascar, Belgian Congo and Tanganyika, formed to create an independent agency.
In 1946, the BFBS joined the newly created United Bible Societies organisation.
Zambezi Union Mission
The Zambezi Union Mission (currently Zimbabwe Union Conference) was responsible for Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) churches and missions within Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and, at times, adjacent countries. Within the SDA organizational structure, Union Conferences (such as Zimbabwe) report up through a “Division” which, in turn, reports to the “General Conference” – SDA’s highest level of governance.
Initially, the mission fields of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), Zimbabwe and Nyasaland (Malawi) were administered from the head office in Cape Town, South Africa. In response to the growth in missions, however, the Zambezi Union Mission was established in 1917 to administer this territory based in Bulawayo. “It was found easier to call the workers together in Bulawayo than it had been to get them down to the Cape.” W. E. Straw was appointed as the Mission Superintendent.
The Conference has undergone a number of reorganizations. At one time, in addition to the Rhodesias and Nyasaland, the headquarters in Bulawayo provided oversight to the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique) and Bechuanaland (Botswana).
In 1921, Zambezi Union Mission was divided into the Southern Rhodesia and the Northern Rhodesia Mission fields. Northern Rhodesia was administered from the Zambezi Union Mission Headquarters in Bulawayo with a Field office at Rusangu Mission.
The name was changed to “Zimbabwe Union Conference” in 1997-98. The headquarters is still based in Bulawayo and is currently responsible for SDA churches/activities within the country of Zimbabwe itself. The Conference reports to the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division.
Missionaries serving with the Zambezi Union Mission include W. E. Straw; Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Hurlow (as of 1921); Elder and Mrs. F. G. Reid (1957-63); and Elder and Mrs. Parkinson (as of 1987).
The Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) is a Protestant Christian denomination with a number of distinguishing beliefs, including the observance of Saturday as the Sabbath (“Biblical Sabbath”) and emphasis on the imminent “Second Coming” (advent) of Jesus. The church is rooted in the Millerite movement of the 1830s – 1840’s. Based on their interpretation of the Bible, the Millerites believed Christ would return to earth in October 1844. The SDA church was formerly established in 1863.
The Seventh Day Adventist missionaries came to Africa in July 1887. The “Cape Conference” was organized in 1892 with headquarters at Cape Town. There was an early interest in “carrying the gospel” north to the “Matabeles” in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) “but owing to the hostility of the native rulers, little progress was made until in 1893 Lobengula was overthrown, and the British government took possession of the country.” The following year, a missionary party arrived in Bulawayo and established the Solusi mission on a grant of 12,000 acres secured from Cecil Rhodes. From Solusi, many other missions were later established in Southern and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi).
As of 2016, the Zimbabwe Union Conference (providing administrative oversight for Zimbabwe), had membership of 885,000; the Malawi Union Conference had membership of 516,000 and the Southern and Northern Zambia Union Conferences had a combined membership of 893,000. Globally, as of 2007, there were over 20 million members in 215 countries and territories (the twelfth largest religious body in the world).
The Brethren in Christ Church (BIC) is an offshoot of the Mennonite Church that began around 1780 in Pennsylvania. The church traces it beliefs to “a rich blend of theological traditions” including Anabaptism (belief in baptism by those confessing their faith – “believer’s baptism”), “Pietism” and “Wesleyanism holiness.” The earliest church members called themselves the “Brethren.” Around the time of the United States’ Civil War, the Brethren decided to refer to themselves under the present name, “Brethren in Christ.”
BIC missionary activity did not begin until the late 1890’s. The missionary venture nearly did not take place. At the church’s General Conference in May 1894 “when it appeared the subject would be postponed, one of the delegates, a Rev. J. E. Stauffer, arose and, dramatically placing a five-dollar note on the secretary’s table, stated it was for foreign mission work.” That challenge spurred donations, which eventually led to a party of five sailing for Southern Africa in November 1897 under the leadership of Bishop Jesse Engle. They sailed to Cape Town, South Africa with no specific destination in mind. By providence, they were introduced to Cecil Rhodes with the British South Africa Company who granted them 3000 acres for a mission site in the Matopo Hills.
The church in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) was granted independence and autonomy by BIC Board of Missions Chairman in May 1964 at a meeting at Wanezi Mission. The church is now known as Ibandla Labazalwane Kukristu e-Zimbabwe (Brethren in Christ Church in Zimbabwe). The first African Bishop, Philemon Khumalo, was elected 1970. As of 2009, there were 317 congregations and 33,500 members.