10 Forgotten Heroes of Tanganyika: #1 – Kleist Abdullah Sykes

The last decades of 1800 found Tanganyika in the midst of nationalist movements and wars against German invasion and occupation. One man behind the onset of these wars was Abushiri (Bashir bin Salim Al-Harthi from Zanzibar), who was based at Pangani, Tanga.

For Germans to win the war, they needed African mercenaries, who were brave and strong enough to face the sharp swords and targeted guns of the nationalists. There were no better people to do the job than the Zulus of Mosambique.

It is here when two stories met. Kleist Mbhuwane from Inhumbane was among 400 Zulu mercinaries to be shipped by General Hermann von Wismann to Pangani, Tanga. There he married to a Nyaturu lady and together, they had a son – Kleist Abdullah Sykes. Unfortunately, on their trip back to Pangani from Iringa, they passed through Ruaha River and Mbhuwane was taken by the flooded river and died.

Historian Mohamed Said is giving account of the well-lived life of Kleist Abdullah Sykes.

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