Bagamoyo

Bagamoyo:

The town of Bagamoyo was one of the most important trading ports on the East African coast and the penultimate stop of slave and ivory caravans travelling on foot from Lake Tanganyika on their way to Zanzibar. Missionaries active in abolishing the slave trade made Bagamoyo, whose name ‘bwagamoyo’ means ‘bury my heart’ in KiSwahili, a centre of their activities.

The First Stone Building:

Old fort, old provision house is the oldest surviving building in Bagamoyo, built in 1860. The Arabs and the German till 1870 used this and of late until 1992 it was used as a police post. Initially its functions were to hold slaves before being shipped to Zanzibar. It has an underground passage through which the slaves were herded to dhows on the shore.

The German Cemetery:

There are 20 graves dating from 1889 and most of them were Germans who were killed by the uprising (Arab and local) led by Bushiri. A Germany deed of freedom for a slave is reproduced on a tree.

The Carevan Serai:

A court yard which has a single building in front and square two-storey building. It was here that preparations were made for the fitting out of the caravans to the interiors. Similarly it was also the resting place for the caravan porters from interiors who nick named the town BWAGAMOYO- the place where one’s heart came to rest and relax after a long and tiring journey.

Livingstone Memorial Church:

This is a simple construction with a tin roof, curved arch windows and wooden benches (formerly named Anglican church of the Cross), referring to the fact that it was built in memory of famous British explore and missionary Dr. David Living stone, a century after his death.

The First Church:

This was built in 1872 and it was here on 24th February, 1874 where the Missionaries’ African followers SISI AND CHUMA carried their Master 1,500kms from Ujiji and brought the body of Doctor Livingstone. Speke, Burton, Grant, Stanley, Peter, Emir Pasha and Wissamn all visited this church at one time or another. There is a Cemetery where the early Missionaries were buried and small shrine build by freed slaves in 1876, with the sign “Skumnus” Maria picked out in flower.

The Mission Museum:

Housed in the sisters building, the display present history of Bagamoyo and there are relics and photographs from the slave period. One intriguing exhibit is the uniform presented by HA Schmitt 1965. One of the main activities of the Holy Ghost Mission was to purchase slaves and present them with their freedom. These freed slaves were originally from the main land (thousands of kms away) and the FREEDOM VILLAGE.

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