Tippu Tip


Tippu Tip

Tippu Tip or Tib (1837 - June 14, 1905), real name Hamed bin Mohammed bin Juma bin Rajab bin Mohammed bin Said el Murgebi, was a Swahili-Zanzibari trader, notorious slaver, plantation owner and governor. Working for a succession of sultans of Zanzibar, he led many trading expeditions into east-central Africa, sometimes involving slave trade and ivory. He constructed profitable trading posts that reached deep into Central Africa.

He built himself a trading empire that he then translated into clove plantations on Zanzibar. Abdul Sheriff reports that when he left for his twelve years of "empire building" on the mainland, he had no plantiations of his own. However, by 1895 he had acquired "seven "shambas" [plantations] and 10,000 slaves." (Sheriff, 108)

His mother, Bint Habib bin Bushir, was a Muscat Arab of the ruling class. His father and paternal grandfather were coastal Swahili who had taken part in the earliest trading expeditions to the interior. His paternal great-grandmother, wife of Rajab bin Mohammed bin Said el Murgebi was the daughter of Juma bin Mohammed el Nebhani, a member of a respected Muscat (Oman) family, and an African woman from the village of Mbwa Maji, a small village south of the then German capital of Dar es Salaam. (Brode, 7-8)

He met and helped several famous western explorers of the African continent, including Henry Morton Stanley. Between 1884 and 1887, el Murgebi claimed the Eastern Congo for himself and for the Sultan of Zanzibar, Bargash bin Said el Busaidi. In spite of his position as protector of Zanzibar's interests in Congo, he managed to maintain good relations with the Europeans. When, in August 1886, fighting broke out between Arabs (Swahili) and the representatives of King Leopold of Belgium at Stanley Falls, el Murgebi went to the Belgian consul at Zanzibar to assure him of his "good intentions." Although he was still a force in central African politics, he could see by 1886 that power in the region was shifting. In early 1887, Stanley arrived in Zanzibar and proposed that Tippu Tip be made governor of the Stanley Falls District in the Congo Free State. Both Leopold and Sultan Barghash bin Said agreed and on Feb. 24, 1887, Hamed bin Mohammed el Murgebi accepted. [Bennett and Brode]

Around 1890/91 he returned to Zanzibar where he retired. He wrote his autobiography which is the first example of this literary genre in Swahili. El Murgebi wrote his autobiography in Swahili in Arabic script. Dr. Heinrich Brode, who knew him in Zanzibar, transcribed the manuscript into Roman script and translated it into German. It was subsequently translated into English and published in Britain in 1907.

He died June 13, 1905 of malaria (according to Brode) in his home in Stone Town, the main town on the island of Zanzibar.

Notes

References

*Maisha ya Hamed bin Mohammed el Murjebi yaani Tippu Tip kwa maneno yake mwenyewe, kimefasiriwa na W.H. Whitely (toleo la Kiswahili - Kiingereza), East Africa Literature Bureau 1974
* cite book
title=Africa since 1800
author=Roland Oliver, Roland Anthony Oliver, Anthony Atmore
year=2004
publisher=Cambridge University Press
isbn=0521836158
url=http://books.google.com/books?id=tCrtyqyyp8wC&pg=PA85&ots=mMpmD6apeG&dq=tippu+tip+mother&sig=Hwb8qWFXM27SysjmgBZt7Psj3gM#PPA86,M1

* Brode, Heinrich. "Tippoo Tib: The Story of His Career in Zanzibar & Central Africa." Translated by H. Havelock with preface by Sir Charles Elliot. London: Arnold, 1907.
* Bennett, Norman Robert. "Arab vs. European: Diplomacy and war in Nineteenth-Century Est Central Africa." New York: Africana Publishing Company, 1986.
* Sheriff, Abdul. "Slaves, Spices & Ivory in Zanzibar: Integration of an East African Commercial Empire into the World Economy, 1770-1873." London, Nairobi, Tanzania, Athens,OH: James Currey, Heinemann Kenya, Tanzania Publishing House, Ohio University Press, 1987.


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  • Tippu-Tip — (auch Tippo Tip, westlich vom Kongo Mutschi Pula oder Tupa Tupa genannt; * 1837 oder 1838; † 13. Juni 1905 in Stone Town, Sansibar), mit richtigem Namen Hamed bin Juma bin Rajab bin Mohammed bin Said el Murjebi, war ein ostafrikanischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Tippu-Tipp — (Tippo Tip, auch Mutschi Pula oder Tupa Tupa genannt, eigentlich Schech Hamed bin Mohammed el Murjebi), arab. Großkaufmann und Sklavenhändler, geb. 1837 oder 1838, gest. 14. Juni 1905 in Sansibar, geleitete 1874 Cameron bei seiner Durchquerung… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Tippu Tipp — Tippo Tip Tippo Tip Tippo Tip ou Tippu Tipou selon les langues locales Tippo Tipo[1] (1837 1905), de son vrai nom Hamed bin Mohammed el Marjebi, était un marchand d’esclaves originaire de …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tippo Tip — Tippu Tip (auch Tippo Tip, westlich vom Kongo Mutschi Pula oder Tupa Tupa genannt; * 1837 oder 1838; † 13. Juni 1905 in Stone Town, Sansibar), mit richtigem Namen Hamed bin Juma bin Rajab bin Mohammed bin Said el Murjebi, war ein ostafrikanischer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tippo Tip — ou Tippu Tip ou selon les langues locales Tippo Tipo[1] (1837 1905), de son vrai nom Hamed bin Mohammed el Marjebi, était un marchand d’esclaves originaire de Zanzibar. Il fut également propri …   Wikipédia en Français


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