Letter Journals of Hendrik Witbooi
Documentary heritage submitted by Namibia and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2005.
Hendrik Witbooi (traditional name !Nanseb /Gabemab, born ca.1835; died 1905) is a key figure in Namibian history. Between 1884 and 1894, he resisted German advances at gaining colonial control over Namibia by attempting to forge a united front against the conclusion of "protection treaties". Witbooi's insights into the nature of colonialism, about the fundamental difference between conflict with African competitors and with European invaders, his attempts at formulating African legal concepts, and the visionary and poetic power of some of his texts are the qualities that set his letters apart and above the bulk of contemporary and earlier African texts of the same genre. The texts include the probably first written formulation of the concept of Pan-Africanism.Back to top