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Jeremy Rich

political, military, and religious leader and first Caliph of the Sokoto Caliphate, was born in the town of Morona, now located in Niger, in 1780 or 1781. His father was the revolutionary Islamic cleric and leader Uthman Dan Fodio (1754–1817), and his mother was Hawwa bint Adam ibn Muhammad Agh. Bello received an advanced education in Islamic theology and law thanks to his father, and supported his father’s call for a strict adherence to orthodox Sunni interpretations of Islamic practices. Bello praised his father as a loving parent: “His face was relaxed and his manner gentle. He never tired of explaining and never became impatient if anyone failed to understand” (Boyd, 1989).

When Uthman Dan Fodio launched a series of holy wars against the nominally Islamic sultans of Hausa cities such as Kano in northern Nigeria and southern Niger Bello became an active lieutenant of his father ...

Article

Elizabeth Heath

Muhammad Bello was born in Gobir, in what is now Niger. He helped his father, Usuman dan Fodio, overthrow the Hausa states and build the powerful Sokoto Caliphate, which ruled over the northern half of present-day Nigeria. In the early nineteenth century Bello’s father, a Fulani Muslim religious leader, called on the rulers of the Hausa states to abandon their corrupt ways. He organized a popular movement among the Fulani and among Hausa peasants and merchants, advocating a purer form of Islam and the application of the Shari’a, or Islamic law. Usuman first tried peaceful means, but his peaceful movement only provoked repression from the Hausa rulers. In 1804 Usuman and his followers called for a jihad, or holy war, to overthrow resistant rulers. Among those who led the military campaign was Usuman’s 23-year-old son, Muhammad Bello A capable military leader and administrator Bello was crucial ...

Article

Adrian Fraser

who was killed in battle on 15 March 1795, has the honor of being the first national hero of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a status conferred on him posthumously on 14 March 2002. This recognition reflects the shift from villain to hero that came with a reassessment of colonial symbols following the country’s attainment of independence in 1979.

The Caribs left no written records, so tales of their lives and struggles with the European colonizers came from their enemies. In developing a profile of Chatoyer one must depend on the records and writings of those who saw him as spearheading the efforts to thwart their colonization ambitions. The two main sources of information on Chatoyer have been Sir William Young’s An Account of the Black Charaibs in the Island of St. Vincent’s (1795) and Charles Shephard’s An Historical Account of the Island of St ...

Article

In 1795, Joseph Chatoyer instigated a revolt of the Garinagu against the British on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent the original home of the Garinagu Chief Chatoyer was killed during combat against British forces and the Garinagu were deported to Roatán Island off the coast of Honduras ...

Article

David Owusu-Ansah

was Ankaasehene (chief of the Asante village of Ankaase) and Kyidomhene of the Kumasi (in what is now Ghana). There is no information available about Yamoa (Yaw Amoah) Ponko’s mother, but the biographical information refers to two siblings in the persons of Yamoa Asuman and Nti Kusi. Gyesi Kuo, their father, was said to have migrated in the early eighteenth century from Denkyira after it was displaced as the dominant Akan state. In the service of the Golden Stool (believed by the Asante to hold the soul of the nation), Gyesi Kuo was rewarded with the minor Ankaase Kra Amponsem stool (stools being symbols of rule), which also belonged to the Kyidom division of Kumasi. It was by his association with his father’s stool and by enriching it as the stool’s occupant that Yamoa Ponko would begin his ascent to prominence in the history of Asante.

Historian T C McCaskie ...