This is the SS Mendi. It was involved in a collision with another ship the SS Darro on this day in 1917 causing it to sink. About 646 Black soldiers of the South African Native Labour Corps drowned. There's a monument eGcuwa in honor of those who drowned on this day.
The captain navigating Darro never warned other ships, didn't have any lights as is usually the protocol as it sailed toward the Mendi. It didn't even stop to assist those on board. So it's very possible more people would've survived the accident.
The 3rd Nigerian Battalion had also once boarded the Mendi. This was taken in 1916. The ship was heading toward Cape Town from Calabar, Nigeria.
Writer, activists, teacher, debater and politician Reverend Isaac Dyobha (another last name I've seen is Wauchope, and sometimes misspelled as Wanchope) was among the victims.
Darro's captain, Harry Stump, had his license suspended for one year.

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More from @valavoosh

21 Feb
21 February is jampacked with history. It's WB Rubusana's birthday today. His work Zemk' Inkomo Magwalandini & A History of South Africa from a Native Standpoint were published 115 years ago in 1906. This year will mark the 85th anniversary of his death. Image
I saw there's a book on the APO's Abdullah Abdurahman, Cape Town's first Black councilor. WB was the first Black politician elected to the Cape Provincial Council which is like a provincial legislature of sorts. This was a huge upset for the liberals. I would read a book on this.
He also founded Izwi Labantu that was sponsored by Cecil John Rhodes.
His story is important for illuminating the power of the vote. He was the first and last Black person elected to the Council.
Read 5 tweets
16 Jan
It's Sade's 62nd birthday. One of the beauty brands should've had a red lipstick named after her by now.
One of my favorite stories of Sade's influence has to do with my favorite album from Janet. Apparently Janet and her producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis were in the studio deciding on a lead single. Up until 93 Janet had always led with an uptempo single (your Rhythm Nations etc)
So If off of this latest upcoming album (at the time) was definitely in the running for lead. Chuck D (one of her featured artists) apparently suggested That's The Way Love Goes using Sade's cool and understated classics as a point. And the rest is history.
Read 4 tweets
16 Jan
Aaliyah would've turned 42 today. This year One In A Million celebrates its 25th anniversary and her self-titled album it's 20th. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of her untimely death.
She was so young and just getting started 💔
Not sure when One In A Million was taken off Apple but I bought a digital copy five years ago. The album was written for the future even as it's grounded in its time. Missy and Timbaland were truly ahead of their time. Weird how Missy's genius is less appreciated.
Read 4 tweets
15 Jan
One of the beneficiaries of colonial looting, the British Museum, was opened on this day in 1759. The museum holds the largest collection of stolen artifacts & treasures from around the world- mainly the former British colonies. For example the sculptures of the Benin Kingdom.
Not sure what plans are considering this pandemic but Nigeria had planned to open a museum in which artifacts from this ancient kingdom will be exhibited. The upsetting part is that these will be shown on loan. Nigeria must loan treasurers stolen from them???
The museum is founded and thrives on theft. Though it opened in 1759 it was actually founded in 1753 after a physician, Hans Sloan, died. He worked in Jamaica and "collected" various animal and plant specimen from the island.
Read 7 tweets
7 Jan
Should we go into the details of these 125 years?
SA is built on the exploitation of labour. That labour has functioned on alcohol unfortunately. Very few people consume liquor purely for enjoyment unfortunately. When SAB opened its doors 1895 workers were paid in alcohol- the dop/tot system. 2 years into SAB's establishment
The Prohibition Act is introduced. This means black people are barred from buying your wines, beer etc. So SAB's products are exclusively for white people. But during this period beer brewing by Black women is the norm. Ayinxilisi ncam ke this type of beer. Apparently it had some
Read 17 tweets
6 Jan
Poet and educator Dr Benedict Wallet Vilakazi on the day of his graduation in 1946, making history as the first Black person in South Africa to obtain a PhD. He was born on this day in 1906. Vilakazi Street in Soweto is named after him.
His birth name is Bambatha. He would be baptized Benedict Wallet during his years at a Catholic school in Groutville.
Utata was appointed teaching assistant in 1934 at Wits making history as the first Black person to teach there. He also made history as the first to publish an anthology of poems in isiZulu. He passed away a year after obtaining his PhD.
Read 11 tweets

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