Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Slavery: Not just a thing of the past

By Pierre Lafollie M.Afr

When the White Fathers arrived in the north of Zambia in 1891 they discovered that the slave trade was still thriving in spite of having been abolished by many countries. Their reports, together with other witnesses coming from different parts of Africa, prompted their founder, Cardinal Charles Lavigerie, to launch an antislavery campaign whose 125th anniversary is being celebrated this year. But the fight is far from over since slavery is still with us.

The White Fathers in Northern Zambia

When Brazil abolished slavery in 1888, it was the last Western country to do so. Thus, when the first Missionaries of Africa (popularly known as the White Fathers) settled in July 1891 at Mambwe Mwela, along today’s Tanzania – Zambia border, the Western slave trade had ended since its market, essentially across the Atlantic, had disappeared and the slaves had already been freed. In this corner of Africa though, the missionaries arrived in a country devastated by a still active campaign of slave raiding. READ MORE