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THIRTY YEARS 
IN NYASALAND 

BY AUGUSTINE AMBALI 








Moulton Library 

Bftni®r Th©#i#il#ai Seminary ^ 



Presented 



"by 



The Rev. Robert Howard 




THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 



KEY. E. N. THOiUfl 




CANON AUGUSTINE AMBALI AND HIS WIFE, MABEL. 



THIRTY YEARS 
ik NYASALAND 

BY AUGUSTINE AMBALI 

Canon of Likoma, Priest-in-Charge 
of Ngoo Bay (•^ <«^ ^♦^ 




UNIVERSITIES' MISSION TO CENTRAL AFRICA 
9 DARTMOUTH STREET, WESTMINSTER, S.W.i 



SECOND EDITION 



INTRODUCTION 

THE following notice, which was originally writ- 
ten for the Nyasaland Handbook,^ is prefixed 
here because it has been felt that this book may 
come into the hands of various readers who do not 
know our history and who may be glad of such a 
summary as an introduction to the book itself. It 
should be noted that it is simply and solely a record 
of the work of the Mission in Nyasaland, and does 
not deal at all with the great work done in and near 
Zanzibar before the division or with any other past or 
present work in the diocese of Zanzibar or Northern 
Rhodesia. Further, it is, and was only intended to 
be, a summary. Details can be found in the lives 
of Bishop Mackenzie, Bishop Smythies, Bishop 
Maples, and, most important of all, in My African 
Reminiscences i8ys-i8g5, by Dr. Johnson. 

" The Universities' Mission was founded in 
answer to an appeal made by Dr. Livingstone to 
the University of Cambridge on December 4, 1857. 
Cambridge accepted the appeal and other Univer- 
sities joined. Oxford, London, and Durham have 
steadily supported and shared the work ; Dublin 
took part for a time, but more recently has developed 
missionary work on its own account elsewhere. It 
is hoped that as years go on the newer Universities 

^ An official publication about this Protectorate generally, 5s. 
Crown Agents, London. 

5 



6 INTRODUCTION 

will also take it up, and a first meeting with such an 
end in view was held at Sheffield in 1920. 

" The first missionary chosen to begin the work 
was C. F. Mackenzie, of Caius College, Cambridge, 
who was consecrated as ' Missionary Bishop to the 
tribes round Lake Nyasa and along the Shire River ' 
on the 1st of January, 1861. The Bishop with a 
party of three priests and three laymen attempted 
at once to reach the diocese by the Zambezi route ; 
they got to Magomero and some work of much 
promise was begun, but before the end of the year 
slave-raiding, and tribal war generally, made any 
settled work impossible. Early in the next year, 
1862, the Bishop went to Chiromo to meet some new 
workers ; various accidents happened, including a 
canoe upset and the loss of all medicines. Shortly 
after the Bishop got fever and died on January 31. 
The work of that year (the first organized missionary 
work in the country) is represented by the graves 
at Magomero and Chiromo, and the first native 
Christians of Nyasaland date from it. One child 
who died was certainly baptized, and another (Anne 
Daoma) who was first taught by Bishop Mackenzie 
is still alive and is working as a Christian teacher 
in Cape Town. A memorial church dedicated to 
St. Paul was built at Chiromo in 1907, and in 1921 
it was re-erected at Blantyre, since the township of 
Chiromo has ceased to exist. The grave of Bishop 
Mackenzie near the junction of the Ruo and Shire 
rivers is well kept and cared for. 

*' The next Bishop was Dr. Tozer, and he came 
to the conclusion, after trying the Zambezi entrance 
again and spending some time at Morambala, that 
his best chance of getting through to the main 
diocese and the Lake was by the caravan route from 
Zanzibar. He moved to Zanzibar accordingly, as a 
temporary measure in order to do this. It did not. 



INTRODUCTION 7 

however, work out as soon as was expected, and this 
stage of the work took some years, during which 
much missionary work grew up, at Zanzibar itself, 
chiefly among released slaves, and more generally 
on the coast opposite. In 1875, Bishop Steere, who 
had succeeded Bishop Tozer, got to Mwembe, 
Mataka's village, a place then and since in direct 
connection with Lake Nyasa ; in 1876, Chauncy 
Maples, afterwards Bishop, and the Rev. W. P. 
Johnson, afterwards, and still. Archdeacon, joined 
the Mission for this work. Mr. Johnson was at 
Mwembe for some time between 1876 and 1880, and 
in 1881 at last reached the lake with Charles Janson, 
who, however, died almost immediately at Chia. 
It is interesting to note that Maendaenda, the Chia 
chief of those days, was still chief there in 1921.^ 
Since then, work on the lake has gone steadily 
forward and practically the whole east coast is 
occupied. In 1885, the steamer Charles Janson, in 
memory of the above priest, was built on the Shire 
and began work on the lake. During this period 
Likoma Island was occupied, and became, as it 
remains, the headquarters of the diocese. Work was 
also begun at Kota Kota. Bishop Smythies, who 
succeeded Bishop Steere, visited the Lake, and the 
Mission stations, five times, but the work was 
practically under the direction of Maples, who had 
become Archdeacon. In 1890 the Bishop came to 
the conclusion that it was impossible for the same 
man to be responsible both for the original work in 
Nyasaland, now in order again, and for the new 
work, now of much importance, that had grown up 
in and near Zanzibar. The diocese was therefore 
divided. Bishop Smythies remaining at Zanzibar, 
which now became a separate diocese, and Dr. 
Hornby being consecrated for Nyasaland. In 1893, 
1 He has died since this note was first written. 



8 INTRODUCTION 

Fr. A. G. B. Glossop, now Archdeacon, joined the 
staff. 

" The next stage began with great difficulties. 
Dr. Hornby broke down in health almost at once 
and had to resign. Archdeacon Maples, who was 
consecrated to succeed him, was drowned on his 
way from the Bar to Kota Kota before he had really 
taken up his work as Bishop. Several other members 
of the staff died about the same time. Dr. Hine 
was consecrated as the new Bishop, and at last the 
work went forward steadily, the principal extension 
being in the Yao hills between Mwembe and the 
lake. In 1901 he was translated to Zanzibar, and 
Dr. Trower was consecrated to succeed him in Nyasa- 
land on January 25, 1902. He remained till 1909, 
and developed the diocese into practically its 
present condition. His first work was to consecrate 
a new and much larger steamer given in memory 
of Bishop Maples and called after him. He also 
built the great cathedral at Likoma. Besides this, 
he initiated much extension both at the north of the 
lake, along the shore (then in German East Africa, 
now the Tanganyika Territory), and in the south 
round Fort Johnston and along the Shire river, 
thus completing at last the original objective of the 
Mission. In 1910, Bishop Trower was translated to 
North- West Australia and the present Bishop was 
appointed. The work of the last ten years has 
been much interrupted by the War, but has never- 
theless steadily increased. The cathedral at Likoma 
was consecrated on November 14, 1911, and a 
large college for training teachers has been built 
on the island. 

" The Mission has never undertaken industrial 
work in a commercial sense, but a good deal of 
training is given to Africans in building, carpentry, 
and printing. Several African printers trained at 



INTRODUCTION 9 

Likoma are now in Government service both at 
Zomba and at Livingstone. Medical and hospital 
work has always been a chief feature, and the Mission 
has been singularly fortunate in its workers. At the 
present time, in addition to the Medical Officer, 
there are eleven trained nurses on the staff, many of 
whom have given up important appointments in 
large English hospitals to undertake such work. A 
large staff of trained teachers also carry on educa- 
tional work among women and girls. 

" It is a definite part of the Mission ideal to train 
African clergy to carry on the work, but it is recog- 
nized that a very full training is needed (fifteen years 
is the minimum), and that for the present it is only 
exceptional men that are likely to be fit for it. Such 
men have been found and there are at present eight 
in full orders. Two of the priests, Fr. Augustine 
Ambali and Fr. Yohana Abdallah,^ are becoming 
well known to many residents outside the Mission. 

" The staff of the diocese number sixty-six, includ- 
ing twenty-four priests, fourteen laymen, and 
twenty-six women. There are thirteen principal 
stations, and from these as a base 229 out-stations are 
worked and supervised, being in charge of resident 
African teachers. 

" The adherents number about 34,000, of whom 
22,000 are baptized, and there are over 13,000 chil- 
dren being taught in the schools. The attendances 
of out-patients in the Mission's hospitals exceed 
130,000 in a year and the in-patients over 1,300.'' 

It wiU be seen from the above notice that from the 
beginning the Mission has aimed at training Africans 
to be priests, and that it looks forward eventually 
to leaving Africa a self-contained, self-supporting 
Church with African bishops and priests in full 

^ Fr. Yohana Abdallah died 1 1 Feb., 1924. 



10 INTRODUCTION 

communion with the Church of England, but in no 
way more dependent on it than are the provinces 
of the AngHcan Communion in South Africa, 
America, or Austraha. 

In working towards this ideal there are always 
two dangers to be faced. One is to realize its inevit- 
able distance so clearly as practically to forget it, 
and to organize in various ways on the basis of 
permanent English direction ; the other is to press 
the ideal too hard and rush Africans into positions 
for which, through no fault of their own, they are 
not yet fitted. Within these two dangers there 
are many complicated problems. One is language. 
We have, thanks to the British and Foreign Bible 
Society, the Old and New Testaments translated 
into Chi-Nyanja, and the Old into Chi-Yao. We 
have also a few other books. The Imitation of Christ 
is published, and we hope to publish St. Cyril's 
Catechetical Lectures in a year or two. But it is 
obvious that the opportunities for theological study 
by priests who can only read their own tongue are, 
and apparently must be for many years, very limited 
indeed. 

Our native clergy in Nyasaland can fairly be 
called educated ; but they are not, and have little 
chance of being, in any ordinary sense, learned. To 
some extent similar problems arise in matters of 
administration. These difficulties can only be solved 
as the years pass, and I do not think we can yet tell 
at all on what lines the solution will be. (e.g. To 
take the first instance, whether the theological 
difficulties will be solved by a bi-lingual clergy who 
can read and study in English, or by a large output 
in theological literature in the African dialects.) 



INTRODUCTION ii 

It will be seen from this that we are still at an 
early stage in the development at which we are 
aiming. Despite this fact, however, in regard to 
education, we have already passed into a second 
stage of growth. It will be seen in the above note, 
and more fully in the book which follows, that the 
work of the Mission was organized in educational 
and administrative ways much earlier in and around 
Zanzibar than in what is now Nyasaland. After 
the division this continued for some years, and 
all the present Nyasaland clergy were trained as 
teachers in the college at Kiungani. The elder 
ones, of whom Canon Augustine is one, were also 
trained there for the diaconate. By the time they 
were ready for the priesthood we had our own College 
at Likoma. Younger clergy have had their whole 
training for Holy Orders in Nyasaland, and a genera- 
tion of teachers has now grown up to which the same 
applies. We owe a great debt of gratitude, however, 
to the work at Kiungani, and those who were trained 
there have memories of their life there with the late 
Archdeacon Jones Bateman, to which they are very 
loyal and which they will never forget. Such a man 
is Augustine Ambali. 

I need not add details of his life, since the whole 
purpose of what follows is to do so : it would be 
unsuitable for me to express here my own estimate 
of his personal character and his work as a parish 
priest. It is legitimate to add, however, that, with, 
I think, universal approbation in the diocese, we 
were able, when we formed a Cathedral Chapter in 
1922, to ask him to be a member of it and our first 
Africian Canon within the diocese. For the rest, 
the book speaks for itself. The responsibility for 



12 INTRODUCTION 

its publication originally in Central Africa, and now 
in book-form, is entirely mine. Canon Augustine 
wrote it in 1916 because I asked him to write it : 
he would not have thought of doing it himself, but 
I believe the book should be published, because it 
shows very simply, but very vividly, how the stages 
through which our work has passed have appeared 
to an African, and also, indirectly, the stage at 
which we are in the progress of an African Ministry. 

With this explanation I gladly commend this 
book to English readers. I hope I may do so for 
their enjoyment of it as a delightfully told bit of 
Mission history. I hope also, in some cases at least, 
for their more careful study as revealing stages and 
problems not yet solved. I hope most of all for 
their prayers that all those who are or may be called 
to take part in the solution of such problems may 
be guided by the Spirit of wisdom and understanding. 

I think also few of those who read this book will 
put it down without feeling that there is even now 
much opportunity for true thanksgiving. 

^ C. N. 
[Seville, 

Dec. 8, 1923.] 



CONTENTS 

CHAP. PAGE 

I Early Days 15 

II Zanibar to Matope 19 

III My Journey from Matope to Likoma . 30 

IV Life at Likoma ...... 39 

V A Journey to Zanzibar . . . .44 

VI Early Days at Msumba . . . .48 

VII The Portuguese Occupation . . .54 

VIII Life as Priest-in-Charge of Msumba. . 60 



13 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Canon Augustine Ambali and his wife 

Mabel ...... Frontispiece 

The Mission Steamer " Charles Janson " 

at Mtengula ..... facing p. 2S 

Msumba Mission Station . . . . „ p. ^8 

Canon Augustine Ambali and some of 
his parishioners at Ngoo Bay, his 
present station . . , , . ,, p. 60 



14 



THIRTY YEARS IN 

NYASALAND 

CHAPTER I 
Early Days 

THE Lord Bishop he has asked me to write 
details about antiquity time news, to describe 
all matters about my life since my first journey since 
I start to come here to Nyasaland country. It is 
very difficult to remember all the news because I 
have forgotten matters and I cannot remember very 
well, but I will try to give details little by little as I 
can. My English it is broken English, it is not good 
English, but I will try to do it if I can. The cir- 
cumstances and matters I will mention here, they 
are not invented at all, they are not lies ; it is all 
absolutely true not invented matters at all. 

What is my age ? It is old age now for I am 
fifty-nine years old this year 1916. It is a fact, a 
very good guessing indeed. 

It is thus. When I was on Zanzibar coast, my 
country was Zaramo, a little small tribe, and my 
father he told me that I was born the year 1856, the 
year in which Sultan Seyyid Said died, and that the 
next year, 1857, Sultan Seyyid Majid ascended the 
throne ; and I was a child that could walk about, 
a young boy, a lad then [i.e. when he was told this]. 

15 



i6 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

In the year 1872 I went to Pangani, a town near 
the coast, and the reason was that some man stole 
me and brought me there, for as you know in those 
days all over Africa there was terrible trouble for all 
black men ; war everywhere and raiding, and no peace 
at all. This man who stole me he met me in the fields 
at Chidugalo and sent me very far off to Pangani, 
but there one of my relations saw me and he rescued 
me and took me back to my father and my uncle. 
And my uncle he lived at Congo, near to Sadani, 
and his name was Akida Mkomwa, and they were 
very glad when they saw me back again. And I 
lived with my uncle in the house of his brother 
Kamwaya, and they fed me and looked after me 
and I did not go again to my father's house at 
Chidugalo because it was too far for me, but my 
father and mother they came to see me at Congo 
to my uncle's, but my uncle he did not let me go 
back with my father but he refused to let me go, for 
he said, " I want you to be Islam, and I will circum- 
cise you and you shall be a holy man, and you will be 
with Cod in heaven." 

And he tried to cheat me to be Islam and I beheved 
his words, and I refused to go back with my father 
to Zaramo, my born country, but I wished rather 
to live with my uncle because I believed his words 
about Islam, and I stayed there ; and one day he 
caught me and circumcised me by force and I was 
Islam then, and I went to say my prayers with my 
uncle to the mosque, but they called it the house of 
Cod, and I did not understand it at all, that religion. 

And after that I left Congo and went to live in a 
village Ndumi, another of my uncle Akida Mkomwa 's 
villages, for he was a chief under a Jumbe, and the 



EARLY DAYS 17 

Jumbe he lived at Sadani. And I used to go there 
to Sadani to buy cloth and salt and soap ; it is 
twenty-eight miles from Nduni to Sadani, and if 
you walk very fast you can reach Sadani by 2 or 3 
o'clock. And one day a friend of my uncle's he 
cheated me, and he said, " Let us go to Sadani to sell 
our india-rubber to the stores there." And I con- 
sented, and I went with him to Sadani. But this 
man he liked money and he sold me secretly, and 
two men they came and caught me and took me 
and made me slave. In those days there were 
slave-traders ever3rwhere, and they sold men like 
fowls. 

And thus I lost my home and my country Zaramo. 
And these slave-traders they take me again to the 
same place, Pangani, and hide me in a room, and 
after two weeks they sold me again to another man, 
and the other man sold me to the Arabs, and the 
Arab men went to take me to Pemba Island on a 
dhow ; but God had called me, and the English 
had sent a gunboat to catch the slave-traders on the 
Indian Ocean. It was good work indeed to rescue 
the slaves, to rescue them to be free, free from m.en 
and free from Satan. And now I am free and 
English subject under English flag, and Christian 
under Christ's flag, the Cross. The Englishmen 
Government rescue me from slavery and I am grate- 
ful for all my life, and the English Mission they 
taught me Christianity ; and now I am free man 
more than at my home and country Zaramo, and 
all my children are free and are Christians, and 
there is no more trouble now about slavery. 

And when we arrived to Zanzibar to the Resi- 
dent's house, the Consul he was Sir John Kirk and 

B 



i8 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

he was very good man, and he asked me if I Hke to 
go to the Mission Station to be taught there, and 
I answer him, " Yes, Sir, we hke to try," and he 
sent us to Mkunazini and we stayed there two days, 
and then the Lord Bishop Steere he sent us to 
Kiungani, where the big boys hved, for only the 
Httle boys were at Mkunazini. And we lived there, 
and the Mission members they fed us and nourished 
us for everything and taught us without any pay- 
ment at all. And I am grateful indeed. 



CHAPTER II 
Zanzibar to Matope 

IN 1883 the Rev. W. P. Johnson visited to Zanzibar 
and he came to Kiungani, where St. Andrew's 
College was and he preached there to all teachers, 
and he told us details about his journey and about 
the country and that it is very darkness indeed, no 
light at all there at Nyasaland. And he asked if 
they (the teachers) would like to go to be teachers 
there and to help him to preach the word of God. 
And he ask the Lord Bishop to let him have twelve 
teachers if they will consent to go. And he will 
come back again when he comes from England and 
he will take them with him to Nyasaland to help 
him to preach the Gospel and to teach the boys in 
school. Really (he says) the people are living in 
darkness, they have no light at all. 

And the Rev. W. P. Johnson he said to us, I 
want you to go with me to Lake Nyasa and if you 
arrive there to teach your brothers and sisters the 
good news of the Gospel ; this was his sermon 
when he was at Kiungani in the year 1883. And 
some teachers they did refuse to come, but six of 
us teachers we consent to come with him. Then 
Mr. Johnson he went ahead to England, for he had 
come from Nyasaland to Zanzibar and from Zanzi- 
bar to England his home, and he arrived to England 

19 



20 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

in November and he lived in England till 1884. 
And in England his appeal was so successful that 
in October 1884 the steamer Charles Janson was 
sent out in 380 packages ; and they put them on 
big mail-ship by the Cape, but Mr. Johnson he came 
by Aden to visit us and to ask us again if we were 
wiUing to come with him to Nyasaland ; and he 
arrived to Zanzibar and he came to Kiungani to 
St. Andrew's College to call us, and he said I am 
ready now to go to Nyasaland ; are you ready to 
follow me ? And if you like to come with me I 
will be very glad indeed to have you, because I am 
alone there and I desire very much indeed to have 
some teachers to help me do the work. And he 
asked us : are you willing to come with me to help 
your brothers and sisters ? 

And then we answered him, we are ready. Sir, 
to go with you if you please ; and we are six 
teachers, we who want to go with you, and our 
names are thus : So Songolo (and his tribe Nyasa), 
Augustine Ambali (and his tribe Zaramu), Bartlet 
Kalika (and his tribe Nyasa), Basil Kamna (and his 
tribe Abiza), Nicolas Faraji (his tribe Nyamwezi), 
Paul Mambo (his tribe Akami). These are the six 
teachers which came with the Rev. Archdeacon 
Johnson on the first journey, and it was Decem- 
ber 31, 1884, when we left Zanzibar. 

This was my first voyage when I came to this 
country Nyasaland ; we arrived to Mozambique 
on the third day from Zanzibar and then we change 
to the mail-ship, and the first ship we entered in was 
the Mecca, and when we arrived to Mozambique we 
enter in ss. Dunkely, and she was carrying us until 
QuiHmane and we voyage for seven days and we 



ZANZIBAR TO MATOPE 21 

arrived on shore with our things, mats, and food. 
And beside of these Archdeacon Johnson took with 
him forty Mbweni people to be bearers to be carry- 
ing the iron plates of the Charles Janson when they 
will arrive to Katunga's Village, and we were big 
party with him. 

The first party arrived to Quilimane on December 7 
with Mr. W. Bellingham and other white men and 
we second parties we arrived in January 1885 and 
we were staying there six or seven days for the 
Archdeacon for he did start to be ill with bad eyes ; 
we could not get out to start for our journey, we 
were wait, wait, wait, saying perhaps he will be 
better and well again, but no, still bad indeed. [It 
was] an attack of ophthalmia spread so rapidly that 
in twenty-four hours he was totally blind. Hard 
really it seemed for him to be arrested and sent home 
again just as he was beginning to reap the fruits of 
his years of patient preparation. 

He had to return at once to England to be placed 
under the care of the best oculists as the only chance 
of saving his eyes and to spend months in a darkened 
room instead of with his fellow-workers on the Shire 
and the Lake. When the news of Mr. Johnson's 
illness reached Zanzibar the Bishop (Smjrthies) 
started at once to conduct the expedition in his 
place taking with him Mr. and Mrs. Swinny but it 
was long before they could catch up the party on 
the river and as we shall see the steamer was nearly 
finished before the Bishop arrived. 

The leadership of the party therefore virtually 
fell upon William Bellingham and it will be seen 
from his diary how onerous it was ; we were with 
Rev. L. Frere ; he was deacon then and he was our 



22 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

overlooker to us, and the English consul was there 
at Quilimane and he was very good to Mr. Johnson, 
and he gave us a boat to voyage up the River 
Kwakwa up to Vicente (but the natives call it 
Malulu) and he divided us in two parts, three teachers 
to be staying with Archdeacon Johnson, and three 
teachers with Mr. Frere to go further forward. And 
we enter into a boat and the bearers they enter into 
canoes, about six canoes, Achikunda's canoes ; and 
they were rowing very well on the River Kwakwa 
and from Quilimane to Vicente it was seven days 
and if you row very hard you arrive by five days 
and when we arrive there at Malulu on the bank of 
the Zambezi there was a Mandala Store. 

We wait there about a month and a half to get the 
Archdeacon's news to say to us you can go on or to 
say wait there do not go any further. But in March 
we heard that Mr. Johnson he had gone back to 
England for the reason his bad eyes increase more 
and more to be bad indeed, and we were very grief 
about him to hear sad news like this. So Mr. Frere 
was our in-charge on our journey to look after us 
and he was very sorry to be left alone without any 
white man. 

And we wait at Malulu till the steamer came from 
Durban for she was to bring up the Bedford boat 
and we had to wait several days for the arrival of 
the steamer the ss. Somptseu to carry up the iron 
plates and then she was to come round and take us 
and to take a load of the Charles Janson and so 
make her first trip up the Zambezi River. And she 
came along to take us with loaded packages and 
we went forward to the Zambezi River and Shire 
River until Msanje or Mpassa's Village, what we 



ZANZIBAR TO MATOPE 23 

now call Port Herald, but antiquity time we called 
it Msanje or Mpassa's. 

. And so we arrived Msanje where our big party 
was resident and all our cargoes were there and the 
iron plates, we met them at Msanje. And there 
were six white men working ; Mr. Bellingham was 
engineer, Mr. Alley was carpenter, Mr. Creighton 
was carpenter, Mr. Robinson engineer, Mr. Read 
Chief Engineer, Mr. Callaghan was Captain ; and 
Mr. Bellingham, Zanzibar people called him Mate- 
loka, and mateloka means cook and he was to cook 
the boiler of the Train [traction engine ?] when 
he was at Mbweni Mission Station. And Captain 
Callaghan he was head-man in our journey for white 
men, and our head-man to the natives he is Mr. 
Bellingham and he was our head-man to look 
after we. 

And then we stayed at Msanje one month and a 
half from March 15 to April 30, 1885, and we did 
not go anywhere because there was war between 
a white man and a black man ; the chief himself 
started war with this white man and this chief was 
called Achiputula a chief of the Makololo and he was 
cruel chief indeed he was no good chief at all. And 
the white man he was Captain Fenwick by name 
but the natives called him Mzungu Finike. And 
this man killed the chief Achiputula and Achiputula 's 
people killed him ; and there was war between white 
men and Achiputula 's people and they invaded the 
Lady Nyasa the Mandala Lakes Company's ship. 

And in those times the people are very cruel and 
fierce and wild all over the country, and all countries 
[i.e. parts of the country] were at war everywhere 
and it was very confusing. In early time the black 



24 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

men scorned the white men ; they said the white 
men they were no strong at all, they cannot make 
war because they have very white hands, and are 
feeble too, and are very white and they cannot do 
anything to the black people. But now in these 
days they know very well that white men, they are 
very very strong people and are intelligent and this 
is the meaning why they are called Wazungu, intel- 
ligent wise men for everything they make with 
wisdom. 

And the man who made peace between the 
Makololo and the Englishmen, he is Mr. John Moir, 
but the native people call him Mandala, because he 
wore spectacles and after April there was no war 
between Englishmen and Makololo because Mr. 
John Moir he was discussing the case and he decided 
the case that they ought to pay something to Achi- 
putula's brother and he decided the case and it was 
finished and there was very peace in those days, and 
there was no war, no trouble again. 

And then we start to voyage ahead and we get 
ahead to Katunga's village that is the Makololo 
chief of the Upper Shire and we stopped there and 
all cargo and all the iron plates and all our things 
were put on shore there. And we had great work 
to carry the iron bars and the iron plates from 
Katunga's to Blantyre to Mandala station there 
and the forty bearers they were not quite enough 
but Mr. Bellingham he sought to find other people 
Yaos and Manyanja people and Ngoni to help to 
carry all to Blantyre and from Blantyre to Matope 
and he was head-man to all the work. And he 
divided us, some teachers to stay behind with Harry 
Hamisi, and other teachers to go on ahead to Blan- 



ZANZIBAR TO MATOPE 25 

tyre to see the work and to say prayers with the 
people on the road. 

I walked from Katunga's and I started in early 
morning with the men who carry the iron plates and 
the boiler and it was very hard work to climb the 
hill between Katunga's and Blantyre, it was hard 
job to do it ; and I arrived to Blantyre and it was 
my first time to come there and Mr. Frere he was 
with me for a time and I lived with him, and my 
friend So Songolo and I lived in Blantyre for five 
months and a half and I was superintendent for the 
bearers and for the Mbweni people to carry the 
plates and to say prayers with the Christians ; and 
when the goods came I paid the bearers and Mr. 
Moir he helped me to make accounts and he was 
very good man and he was fond of the native 
people. 

On June 6 it was, that all the plates were in their 
places and some riveted and Mr. Read was the head- 
man of the riveting ; and on June 19 the riveting 
was finished and the coal bunkers were put in their 
place and we started putting on the deck boards 
and the ship she begins to look very much like a 
steamer now. And one of our bearers got a nice 
young buffalo so we had lots of good fresh meat and 
Mr. Frere he brought in a good-sized water-buck ; 
and then the mast arrived with fifteen men carrying 
it. 

We kept having our turns of illness but the work 
still went on and they were riveting the Charles 
Janson at Matope from June 6 and we worked 
very hard ; we were starting very early in the morn- 
ing and we have food about eight and we work till 
twelve and we have our meal and we work again at 



26 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

halfpast one and we could not stop work till halfpast 
five. 

I left Blantyre, I myself, to come down to Matope 
on July 2, and I worked there until August, and 
I went again to Blantyre to bring down the boat, 
Mary by name but I did not stay long and I come 
back again to Matope to do the work of riveting, 
and we were big party at Matope building the 
steamer. 

And on August 5 Mr. Swinny arrived in his boat 
at Katunga's and sent off men to carry up the boat 
and they were painting the steamer when the Bishop 
and his party arrived at Blantyre ; and Mr. Frere 
and we went up to meet them and Mr. Swinny and 
Mr. Callaghan they got down to Matope on August 8 
and on August 9 Mr. Swinny celebrated the Holy 
Communion for us, the first we have had since we 
left Quilimane, and on August 10 the first rivet 
was put into the boiler. And I remember it was 
August 17 that Bishop Smythies, Mr. Swinny and 
Mr. Callaghan they went on the ss. I lata to go up to 
the Lake. 

On August 28 there was a great fire at Matope ; 
Mr. Robinson and a boy were working inside the 
boiler finishing off the riveting and they were working 
in a rough shed of poles and grass as a protection 
from the sun, and it appears that a piece of red-hot 
rivet flew up into the grass roof and lodged there 
and that the breeze soon set it in a blaze. No one 
outside noticed it at first but Mr. Robinson looking 
out to get a little fresh air saw it and called to Mr. 
Read to put it out, but all at once it caught the whole 
building. I was sitting in my little hut to rest a 
little when I heard Mr. Read call out *' fire ! fire ! " 



ZANZIBAR TO MATOPE 27 

and I rushed out with my friend So Songolo and we 
left our food in the hut. 

We saw at once it would be a big fire and we called 
all hands ; Mr. Robinson and the boy could not get 
out of the boiler, for the manhole was up on the 
top ; they were calling out and the boy nearly went 
out of his mind : Mr. Robinson had to hold him 
down and we could do nothing but throw water over 
the boiler to keep it cool. The wind was high and 
the fire soon spread from house to house and in short 
time everything was in flames. The large house 
with all stores provisions beds cloth and all things, 
Mr. Alley's bed and a lot of things belonging to the 
Bishop and above all the late Bishop Steere's pastoral 
staff, several guns and gunpowder and cartridges 
that kept on going off and making it dangerous to 
go near, all was on fire. And alongside this Mr. Alley 
had his Carpenter's Shop and tools and there was a 
heap of boards from the packing cases and it made 
the boiler so hot (Mr. Robinson was out now) that 
you could hardly bear your hand on it. And the 
boat which was in the shade near the house and 
a tent and all Captain Callaghan's things were 
burnt ; and then the fire went about a dozen 
yards to the church and set the roof of that 
alight and a store with sails ropes and cabin 
furniture and in a few minutes all was burnt to 
the ground. 

And the Bishop and Mr. Swinny and Captain 
Callaghan they got back from the Lake just as 
we had finished throwing water over it, and I had 
nothing except only a shirt and the cloth I was 
wearing and we were very sorry indeed ; but the 
Bishop was very good and he said how sorry he 



28 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

was but that he would sooner see that, than hear 
of one of the boys having committed a great sin. 
And we were thirty miles from any stores and Mr. 
Morrison the Captain of the Ilala was very kind 
to us and took some of us into his place for meals ; 
and Mr. Swinny he went up at once to Mandala to 
get more stores and we got a few things out of the 
fire. And we set to work all of us and we cleaned 
out the dock with every pick and shovel pail and 
hoe we could get together and by September 2 all 
was ready. 

And on September 6 we had the dedication of the 
steamer Charles Janson ; at 6 a.m. we had Swahili 
Holy Communion and then we had breakfast and 
then the dedication service partly Swahili partly 
English. The Bishop and all men met at the houses 
and came in procession singing the Litany in 
English ; it was grand sight to see the Bishop robed 
and the natives in clean white cloths winding their 
way through the black and dirty remains of the fire. 
We had several hymns and Mr. Bellingham played 
the little baby organ ; altogether it was a very nice 
and impressive service. 

And on September 10 the Bishop and Mr. Foster 
who was also with us (he had been elephant hunting) 
with all the Mbweni men as porters started back on 
their way across country to go to Newala and Lindi 
and they had Susi, Livingstone's old servant for 
head-man and they started early and went off in 
good style. And Mr. Swinny and Mr. Bellingham 
are to go up in the sailing boat to Likoma with us 
and we were So Songolo, Paul Mambo, Nicolas 
Faraji and myself Augustine Ambali and we were 
four teachers, and Mr. Swinny will return again to 




THE MISSION STEAMER " CHARLES JAXSOX " AT MTEXGULA, 



ZANZIBAR TO MATOPE 29 

bring up the others in the Steamer when it is quite 
finished. 

Now while we were at Matope we had good suppHes 
of fresh meat for we went out on Saturday after- 
noons to hunt and get us buffalo and twice we 
brought in young calves which we had captured by 
running them down. I went once to try my hand 
at that but I did not kill anything ; I took a Zanzi- 
bar man Sizamani with me and I always felt very 
safe with him for he was very brave and daring and 
would not run off at the first sight of an animal. 
And while we were at Matope the white men members 
they were often with fevers, sometimes they were 
well and sometimes they were with fevers, and there 
was no good health at all for white men there, but 
the natives they can have good health. 



CHAPTER III 
My Journey from Matope to Likoma 

IT was on September 17, 1885, that we started 
from Matope in an open boat for Lake Nyasa. 
She was a very good boat, about thirty -two feet by 
six feet, and a splendid saiHng boat, but rather heavy 
to pull, and we had native paddles as well as oars, 
for we had stiff current to work against and hippo- 
potamus to contend with. We had everything 
ready by 9 a.m. and we had not much luggage, but 
we had several loads of provisions and native food 
called ufa and English food for white men ; and we 
were the Rev. G. Swinny and Mr. Bellingham white 
men, and we four teachers, and a cook, and another 
man to help in the building, and a crew of four, and 
there were twelve of us in all. And we had cloth 
and salt and beads for money to buy food and to 
build houses at Likoma. 

And the first day we got on very well, but the 
river was winding a good deal, and we got to Mpimbi, 
and the sun was extremely hot, and we were fearfully 
cramped, and we were very tired, and we had a 
good night sleeping in the open air. And the next 
day we had some wind to help us, and the river was 
with wide long reaches, and there were villages and 
cultivated land on each side ; but the hippopotamus 
were very troublesome and would not go away, but 

30 



JOURNEY FROM MATOPE TO LIKOMA 31 

kept up a fearful noise, jumping about all night ; 
and when we were comfortably settled down to eat 
our food three lions set up a great roaring about a 
stone 's-throw off us, and we made up our fires and 
got a dead tree and set it alight in three places to 
keep up all night. And Mr. Swinny and Mr. 
Bellingham they slept in the boat, but in fact 
they did not get much sleep, for the hippos in 
the river and the lions on the land kept us awake 
all night. 

And the third day we got off early and had good 
wind, and the next day was Sunday, and we had 
service. Holy Communion in Swahili, in Mr. Swinny 's 
tent ; and we went short trip in the afternoon and 
got as far as the entrance of Lake Malombe ; and 
while we slept two elephants came down just near 
us and crossed the river, and some of my friends 
saw them and we all saw their marks in the morning. 
And then we started early and got out into the 
Malombe Lake, which is muddy and had a number 
of little floating islands on it, and many fish eagles, 
cormorants and pelicans were busy fishing and the 
trees were covered with them, and many hundreds 
were to be seen flying about, often in long curved 
lines, all in such order as if they were drilled to fly 
like it. This lake is about eleven miles by eight or 
ten, with beautiful hilly country on the west side 
and a marsh on the east side and high mountains 
behind it, where is said to live a woman chief by 
name Kabuta. The mouth of the river was diflicult 
to find for reeds and grass ; it is on the north-east 
side, several miles from the exact north. And we 
were glad to rest a little, and we had our meal there ; 
and then we pushed on and passed Mponda's village 



32 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

and Mr. Swinny promised to call on them on his way 
back, and we arrived at the mouth of the Great Lake 
at about 6 p.m. 

And there we met an Arab who was very kind to 
us and gave us wood for fires, as it was very scarce 
there, and a goat and lots of fish that his men had 
just brought in by a large drag-net, some like grey 
mullet, which were very good, and some others 
that were nice but so full of small bones. And this 
was our first night on the shores of the Great 
Lake, and it made one's heart beat faster to think 
of it. 

And on September 22 we started, and we cooked 
plenty food and Mr. Swinny was not over well, for it 
was very hot for white men, and both he and Mr. 
Bellingham had their faces brown from the sun, as 
brown as a crusty loaf. And the wind dropped, 
and we had a long pull to an island near Ulande, 
and we had our food and a rest, and Livingstonia 
Mountains were in sight and we hoped to reach there 
by sundown ; and the wind got up again a little 
and we made good way, passing some beautiful 
little bays, and we got to Livingstonia at half-past 
eight, and we were all tired and Mr. Bellingham had 
fever. It was sad to see the large houses all going 
into ruins because the Scots people find it too un- 
healthy to stop there, and we slept in one of the old 
houses and one of Livingstone's old men came and 
gave us what we wanted in the way of food. There 
is a native teacher there who still kept the school 
going, and Mr. Morrison of the Ilala, is often there 
on Sundays and preaches. 

We left the next day about half-past eight for 
Makanjila's on the East coast, and we shall work our 



JOURNEY FROM MATOPE TO LIKOMA 33 

way up from there to Likoma. Just as we got out 
of the Bay and past the island on came a wind from 
the south and we went at a fearful rate, too much 
to be pleasant or safe, for we were so heavy the boat 
could not rise to the waves. And we were all sea- 
sick except two of the crew who had been to Eng- 
land ; they had been to England with Archdeacon 
Johnson and they enjoyed it, but we were very 
frightened that day. So we crossed safely to 
Makanjila's village with everything getting wet, but 
we did fly and we were over by i p.m. and we stopped 
to look after the boat, but the people managed to 
take off our anchor. Hamisi was sharp enough to 
get it back again ; Makanjila's people are all thieves 
and a rough lot, slave dealers and slave owners. But 
the Chief Makanjila himself he was hospitality to us 
and very good indeed ; he gave us a goat and clean 
rice and eggs, lots eggs, and was not cruel to us at all, 
and we sailed along the coast and stopped about six 
at a nice little bay, and the people came down 
and some of them were Newala men and knew 
Swahili and knew our Mission at Masasi. And Mr. 
Bellingham he had strong attack of fever and ill- 
ness. 

The next day we went on with a good breeze 
and we passed some mountainous country and we 
could just see the mountains on the west side, and 
this was all Makanjila's country ; and we were a 
long time finding a good place to sleep, and at last 
we got into a small river by moonlight near to Msinje, 
and here we killed the goat that Makanjila had 
given us and we had fried liver by moonlight. There 
were no people about, only a few gardens, and there 
was a deserted village and ground that had been 

c 



34 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

cultivated. And the next day we passed Losefa 
with a good south wind blowing, and we nearly 
capsized just off Mkalawile's village, for the breakers 
were heavy and we had gone too close in ; and we 
were a long time finding a sleeping place, but we 
got one bet ween Chingomanje 'sand Losefa and i \ as 
twelve o'clock before we got to bed. 

It was strange to see how all the people tried to 
hide their corn stores away from enemies that might 
attack them by land because in those times there was 
wars everywhere and raiding. And the Wa-Yaos 
they had chosen some very rocky places which could 
only be approached by water, and they had built up 
little houses for their stores of grain. And at the 
back of Losefa there are beautiful mountains, very 
high and covered with wood ; it looks as if it would 
be a splendid healthy place, about a day and a half 
from the Lake, as you know now. 

And the next day we had bad wind and had to stop 
at the Yao village called Chikole, the chief village 
of Chingomanje 's villages, and the people seemed 
friendly to us and most of them knew Swahili, and 
we were delighted to be able to talk with them and 
to have a swim with them in the Lake and to play 
" piga mkambi," that is a Zanzibar game of ducking 
in the water and sending your leg over on to the 
head of one of the others. The village had quite 
recently been raided and destroyed by fire ; Chingo- 
manje 's village was cleaned and they were rebuilding 
some nice houses. The Wa-Yaos are clever house- 
builders and spend more time over it than the 
Makololo or the Wa-Nyasa. The old Chingomanje 
died the year of the comet (1882), the same year 
that Bishop Steere died and many others, and so 



JOURNEY FROM MATOPE TO LIKOMA 35 

they had a superstition about it. There was a 
strong fencing round the village and a ditch outside ; 
it was built on a low piece of ground with reeds and 
rocks and little bays which made it look rather 
pretty. We had our tent up and our services as usual, 
only very early, and after that Mr. Swinny he got the 
Chief to call the people together and he preached 
to them in Swahili ; they knew Archdeacon Johnson 
and said he had once talked of building there because 
limestone is found not very far off, and they were 
very anxious for us to come again and build there, 
and Chingomanje's people they knew all about our 
Mission at Masasi. 

And on the 28th we started again, and we sailed 
past Mtengula and we rested a little on the bank of 
the Lichemanje river, and then we went on past 
Chiwanga and Msumba, but we did not call there 
but passed on by Maendaenda's village, where 
Father Janson's grave is. We could not land, for 
the breakers on the shore were so heavy and it is 
open to the south wind. And we put up for the 
night in a little rocky bay, and we had bad night with 
bad wind, and Mr. Swinny and Mr. Bellingham 
they had bad fever and they had to sleep in the 
boat. 

Next day we sighted Likoma when we were past 
Chisanga, and we came to Ngoo, but we did not stop 
much there though it is good harbour, for we said 
we shall all be glad to get out of the boat, all so very 
tired of travelling like that. And we got to Likoma 
about 3.30 p.m. and we had had no cooked food that 
day, and the sun was hot and the sea heavy, and 
we were all very very tired indeed. And we landed 
in what we called " St. Michael's Bay " because we 



36 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

landed there that day, but the natives call it Ngani 
and it is a good harbour. 

And we pitched our tent, that is Mr. Swinny 's tent, 
under a very large baobab tree, and crowds of people 
flocked down to see us and to see the two white men ; 
and we soon bought firewood and eggs and chickens 
and rice, with a little salt and some beads, and we 
were buying very cheap in those days. 

We were all very glad to have arrived at this 
island, where there is no danger or war, and that our 
most trying journey was over, but we now found that 
we had fresh difficulties to contend with. About 
four o'clock a heavy wind came on and so upset 
things that we had to take the boat round to another 
bay. We unloaded at last and then went round 
the island to look out for a site for a Mission Station ; 
after this Mr. Swinny went over to the mainland to 
tell the Chief Chitesi, and off he went. And Mr. 
Bellingham was to be left to build the houses and 
Mr. Swinny to return to Mat ope at once. We had 
found a very good place and fixed upon it, but 
Likoma is a white ants' island, as you know, and is 
very sandy and dry. 

And when Mr. Swinny went over to the mainland 
to see the Chief Chitesi he spended two hours with 
him and found him very disagreeable, for he said 
that the Bishop had not given him a good present 
and that we must go and build near him on the main- 
land and not live on the island like a lot of women ; 
but at last he said he had left it all in the hands of his 
head-men on the island. And the next day we went 
round with his head-men to the place he wanted us 
to build at ; and they took us to about the worst 
place they could find, to the top of a hill with nothing 



JOURNEY FROM MATOPE TO LIKOMA 37 

but rocks all round to build on, and Likoma was 
hot, hot like an oven. And then we refused and 
said that if we could not have the place that we had 
chosen we should go elsewhere, and it was Mr. Swinny 
and Mr. Bellingham who said this. 

So the next day Mr. Swinny sent off a messenger 
to the Chief with some cloth and said that we wished 
to leave as friends, but we could not accept the place 
he had chosen. And after two days the Chief made 
agreeable with Mr. Swinny to build anywhere he 
likes, and Mr. Bellingham and we went up to the 
place we had chosen and with two men from Chitesi 
and the owner of the land ; and Mr. Bellingham 
marked out a piece of land and got them to put their 
marks to a short agreement ; it was a very long 
business, foi they were asking all sorts of prices for 
the land, and some of their words were rubbish 
indeed. And then Mr. Swinny got ready to start 
back, and Mr. Bellingham he got ready to shift his 
tent and goods to the piece of land they had fixed 
upon ; and we said good-bye to Mr. Swinny and his 
crew overnight so that he could get off at once. 

The Likoma people they seemed a funny lot, and 
they were drinking moa and having little fights 
among themselves ; and they were all heathens, and 
they had no clothes at all, but were very naked 
with a little bark cloth, and they were miserable and 
dirty people. And on the Sunday (October 4) 
Mr. Swinny he preached to them ; first we had Holy 
Communion in Swahili and then he preached to the 
people, and he told them what we had come for and 
about the Gospel of our Lord, and H. Hamisi he was 
the interpreter of the sermon. And they had quite a 
row afterwards, for some said he had spoken well 



38 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

and others said he might preach till his throat was 
sore and his mouth was dry, for they had always been 
used to drink, fighting, and war, and should keep on. 
But now look at what they are like 1 



CHAPTER IV 
Life at Likoma 

WE were at Likoma without a priest-in-charge 
till January, 1886. Mr. Bellingham started 
at once to build houses and first of all we had one 
house for all of us, and Mr. Bellingham he told us, 
first of all you must work at manual work and after 
that you must teach the boys ; and we answered 
him, yes, we will do as you say. And we set to 
work to cut poles and timber and there were many 
at Likoma at that time ; and we wanted women to 
cut grass for us and some refused because they had 
no cloth and their custom was not to wear anything 
at that time all was nakedness when we first came 
to Likoma. It was very hard job in those days and 
the white ants were fearful ; if you left a cloth on the 
ground the next morning the ants had eaten it into 
great holes and fastened it to the ground with 
earth. 

I remember the head-man Chiwisi, the man who 
was to be a sort of middleman between us and the 
Chief Chitesi ; he was a very crafty and cheating man 
and he wanted to have only his own village to work 
for us, and he said he did not get enough, and he 
ought to be able to dress like a white man. And 
he asked for medicine against the Magwangwara as 
he said the men who went to cut poles in the forest 

39 



40 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

were in danger of being killed ; but Mr. Bellingham 
was not to be caught by him, and employed other 
people who were not afraid to go. 

And I remember another man Chiwoko and he 
said he was the first man to come and live on the 
island, and that the whole island was his, and that 
he would not allow his people to work for us, and 
that we must not get water from the Lake but must 
dig wells ; and people were afraid of him and said 
he was a wizard ; and he had neither chick nor 
child, not even a goat or anything, but lived with his 
sister in a small dirty little hut and even the 
heathen natives say that he is a wicked evil old 
man. 

We had all kinds of things asked us, but one night 
a man beat them all, because he asked us if the 
moon had a wife and if the stars were its children, 
and also, if it was a new sun every morning, for they 
had a story that the white people lived on the edge 
of the earth and had long ladders and their work 
was to push the sun up every morning. And they 
asked us about cloth, if it was true that four- 
eyed people make it and we said, no, there was 
no such thing as four-eyed people ; not true, rub- 
bish that. But this man who asked, he was in- 
telligent man for he asked simply to know, and he 
said to us a good proverb, " If you ask the way 
you will reach the village," and that was the case 
with him. 

And the Chief Chitesi himself he was beggarman 
too ; every month he sent messengers to Mr. Belling- 
ham to beg, beg, beg, salt, or cloth, or hoes, or red 
calico, or powder or guns, and sometimes Mr. Belling- 
ham did send him something and sometimes he did 



LIFE AT LIKOMA 41 

not . And Chit esi he said he had got so many brothers 
and they all wanted cloth ; the present the Bishop 
gave him was very nice, but he could not cut it up 
and give a piece to each of his brothers ! The 
Bishop had given him a red cap and a joho, an Arab 
cloak. 

And on Sundays we preached and a few people 
came up to hear the preaching, and we were often 
talking to them about drinking and witchcraft ; and 
we refused to drink moa, but two of the Blantyre 
boys who were with us went to drink moa once. 
And we began telling them the story of the Creation 
and the parable of the Sower, and they liked that 
because they were just planting their corn, and on 
December 20 about fifty people came and some of 
them had come four miles. And on St. Stephen's 
Day, Chiwisi came and about thirty men and women. 
And all this time we had no Holy Communion because 
Mr. Swinny was down the Shire River at Matope, 
and we were very sorry to have no Holy Communion 
on Christmas Day. And Mr. Bellingham he was 
our " in charge," our overlooker, and he was layman 
and he preached to the people. 

When we started school we had not anything to 
teach the boys with, no A B C cards, no book of any 
kind, and we took to writing A B C on the skin of a 
goat, and we cut out letters in old paper and pasted 
them on pieces of a box which we had pulled to 
pieces, and we had some numerals too ; and we had 
no house to make school in and we taught the boys 
under the trees. And the first boys who came to our 
school they are Anchanamila and he is now Deacon 
Yohana Tawe, and Achidumayi now Yakobo 
Kachanda, and Kangati now Deacon Leonard, and 



42 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

they were very quick boys. And at first when we 
start school the boys they were coming very well 
and they numbered seventy, and the girls forty- 
nine ; but they soon dropped off when they saw 
that they were not going to be paid for coming, and 
they laughed at those who kept on ; but we were not 
very sorry they went for we had the best and those 
who really wish to learn they were stopping still, 
and doing very well. And later on more came and 
some grown-ups too and two hundred used to come 
to the preaching. 

And the next year 1886 I remember it began 
about 5 a.m. with a very heavy storm, thunder and 
lightning terrific, and rain ; and they had wanted 
rain, and the Chief had forbidden anyone to wear a 
cap, because it would stop the rain, and they say 
that he is coming to make war on the island because 
there was no rain ; and when the rain came the 
people they said " Ha, the man who was stopping it, 
is afraid. ' ' And we laughed at them for it was foolish 
and rubbish matters. And many sick people came 
up to us covered with bad sores and Mr. Bellingham 
made a syringe out of a piece of bamboo to wash 
their sores. 

And on January 22 the Charles Janson arrived 
late at night with Mr. Swinny and Mr. Frere and we 
were in bed, but we were so delighted we could not 
sleep that night, and the next day there was a 
tremendous cargo and a crowd of men, whites and 
blacks. And I remember Mr. Robinson he was sick 
and all the rest well, as well as could be expected, 
for they had had fearful time at Matope, rains and 
floods in their houses and sickness, and at that 
time I handed over the school to Mr. Frere ; and 



LIFE AT LIKOMA 43 

Mr. Bellingham he took the steamer, for Mr. Swinny 
told him to, as Mr. Robinson was ill and the Charles 
Janson was going very slow those days for she had 
an injector out of order. 



CHAPTER V 
A Journey to Zanzibar 

IN February we went to Unangu to see the site 
where afterwards to send Mission, and we went 
there and we stayed five days and Mr. Swinny we 
were with, he was good man, yes, good priest, and 
on Sunday he preached at Unangu and the people 
came and the Chief Kalanje and they said to us we 
are Islam and they refused to listen and to hear. 
And we return to Lake Nyasa and Mr. Swinny was 
very ill and could not eat anything, and we came 
down to Chikole and met the Charles Janson and 
went on board and came to Likoma. 

And in June Archdeacon Maples and Mr. Johnson 
they asked, who will go to Chia to start work there ; 
and we were four teachers and we all refused to go 
for we were afraid of the Ngoni, fierce men in those 
times. Nearly all Africa were afraid of the Ngoni 
and it is very terrible war the Ngoni 's war, to kill all 
the people. So we were feared and were coward, 
and for a week we refused to go with Mr. Johnson 
to mainland and we wanted to run away but we 
could not. But afterwards I considered myself and 
I went to Archdeacon Maples and told him that I 
am willing to go to Chia and that I consent to go, 
and he was very glad and Mr. Johnson he took me 
on board with my cook Petro and I lived at Chia till 

44 



A JOURNEY TO ZANZIBAR 45 

September. And then I left to come to Likoma to 
go with Bishop Smythies to the coast ; and I tried 
very very hard to preach and to teach the schoolboys, 
but many boys came to school and I could not teach 
them all alone by myself and I was very tired with 
work. And after eight months Archdeacon Johnson 
made some catechumens of the hearers, for in those 
times the catechumens and hearers they did not 
stay like now we do, twelve months hearers and 
twenty-four months catechumens ; and I asked 
Archdeacon Maples to send me monitors and he sent 
me Anchanamila and Achibwana to help me in 
school. 

And I left Chia and went to Likoma to consider 
about my journey and to talk with Archdeacon 
Maples and Mr. Johnson ; and the teachers who took 
my place were Eustace Malisawa and Paul Mambo. 
And Archdeacon Maples told me I ought to marry 
and that here at Likoma was a girl, her name Neema ; 
but myself I did not want to marry at Likoma and 
I refuse and I say that I want to go with the Lord 
Bishop Smythies and marry at Mbweni in Zanzibar. 
So Archdeacon Maples and Mr. Johnson they did 
not force me to marry here, but they consent to my 
words to go with the Bishop and the Bishop agreed 
to take me. And we started on September 10 and we 
had forty-two bearers and one cook. 

The Lord Bishop Smythies he was very very strong 
man for walking, he walk very fast indeed, and left 
early morning about half-past five and walked till 
eleven ; then we stopped a little for to cook food, his 
food and our food, and then we walked on. So we 
went for thirty days until Masasi, and in our journey 
we killed lots of animals and the Lord Bishop he 



46 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

shooted one antelope and one swine and I shooted 
little antelopes and guinea-fowl and we were very 
glad in our journey. And the Bishop he was very 
gentle and meek man and he was devotion man too ; 
and he likes the native people and they say of him, 
he is native bishop because he loves us very much 
and has spended his life travelling, travelling walking 
walking everjrwhere, Nyasaland, Masasi, Newala, 
Magila, Misozwe, Umba, every country travelling 
always. And I went with him and I saw him and he 
is really saint and devotion man, the Lord Bishop 
Smythies. 

And we stayed at Masasi two weeks, and Newala 
twenty-one days and Newala is Matola his village, 
and he is good chief and we came to Lindi and by 
mail-ship to Zanzibar, and I was very glad to see all 
my friends and relations ; and I went to Kiungani 
and I stayed there to be educationed for Reader and 
I was to prepare for marriage, and I am very grati- 
tude to the missionaries that were helpful to me 
there more than my father and mother and they' 
were helpful to me in everything. 

And on August 8, 1888, I marry Mabel and lots of 
people they come to my wedding and all my friends 
to see me and welcome me, and Archdeacon Good- 
year was there and Archdeacon Jones-Bateman was 
very helpful indeed and Miss Thackeray too and we 
call her our mother in God for she is like our mother 
in law, and they did me very favourable indeed for 
my wedding. We were two to be married that day, 
Aruffo Tangani he marry Harriet the same day I 
marry Mabel and he was my beloved friend. 

And when I had finished to be married I stayed a 
few days, and the Lord Bishop Smythies he made 



A JOURNEY TO ZANZIBAR 47 

me Reader and he told me I ought to go back now to 
Nyasaland to do the work, and I consent to go, and 
the Bishop gave me three men, two teachers and one 
cook ; Aru^o my friend and William Wasiwasi and 
Denys Seyiti he was Deacon afterwards, and I myself 
was head-teacher for the journey for there was no 
white man to be our head, and so we were six the 
four men and the two women (Mabel and Harriet) 
and we voyage to Quihmane. 

And from Quilimane the white head-man gave us 
canoes and we go to Vincente and from there by the 
Lady Nyasa to Katunga's village and so to Blantyre 
to Mandala store ; and after five days we started 
again to Matope to be waiting the Mission Boat, and 
we hear that the Charles Janson she is stuck down 
the river and cannot go up or down but is at Nsala 
near Liwonde ; and we stayed there six months, 
until the rains came and the river filled up and in 
February it was full as a flood, full of water, and 
Archdeacon Johnson the priest-in-charge asked the 
Captain to try to go head up the river to the Lake 
and we passed through the down rocks safely and 
we were very glad to escape and we came to Likoma. 

After two weeks Archdeacon Maples and Mr. 
Johnson made advice to send me to Msumba and 
in that year I began to work at Msumba 1889, and I 
stay there still and I went to Msumba with Mr. 
Johnson and he was my priest-in-charge and I work 
with him for many many years, and he is to me like 
my father helpful in the work both by deeds and 
faith. 



CHAPTER VI 

Early Days at Msumba 

I WILL now try to detail as I can how I have 
lived here in this \illage since 1890. The Ngoni 
tribes were at war with the Xyanja tribes for long 
long time and there was raiding almost every month 
to all \'illage5 round the Lake Xyasa ; in those years 
it was terrible and troubled, war never rested and 
every man was feared and there was no peace no 
peace at aU. And the Ngoni they were capturing 
the men of the Xyanja tribes to send them down to 
the coast and to make them slaves ; some they kiUed 
and some they sold to the Swahih people and to the 
Arabs for calico or cargo or salt or sheets or other 
things. It was ver}' dangerous times in those days, 
for all Africa was at war and there were robbers, 
killing and robbing, and they took the people and 
sold them like fowls to get cloth. But now they 
cannot do this. 

And at first the Mission work was very hard, very 
very hardness indeed, and the people they did not 
recognise the words of God but thought only of 
dancing for their children and such things, and it 
was very hard to preach because every place was at 
war. But the words of God increased and extended 
and spreaded all along the Lake Xyasa and we are 

48 



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EARLY DAYS AT MSUMBA 49 

now thankful to see churches and stations in all the 
villages. 

And in 1889 my first child was born and the Lord 
Bishop Smythies baptized her on August 15 and she 
was Emma Florence Flower Ambali and Archdeacon 
Johnson was there and the Bishop himself was there 
to baptize my daughter and some others, the first- 
fruits of our work. And I have lived here in charge 
here since I was Reader until Deacon and until I was 
Priest ; and when I was Reader and Deacon I was 
working under Archdeacon Johnson as a boy under 
his master and he was my superintendent to look 
after me and to guide me. But now I live alone here 
and I feel very gratitude to Archdeacon Johnson for 
helping me to educate me. Many thanks. And I 
have five sons, William Joseph, Arthur, John Nelson, 
and George Herbert and he is the ending son ; and 
one died in 1893 Augustine So Gilbert ; and I have 
one daughter and one my adopted daughter Mary 
Maude Mtende, her father and mother died long 
time ago and I took her to be my daughter. This 
is my jolly news about my family ; I and Mabel we 
are old people now, and we are very grateful. 

And I go back to the year 1892 when we built the 
church at Msumba. I cannot detail all the news 
because I am stupid and forget ; I did not write it 
in a book, but only write down now what I remember 
in my head and so I have lost lot of news. But I 
will try to remember as I can. 

First of all Archdeacon Johnson told me to call the 
people in the village to pick up the stones for building 
the church and I call them the women and boys and 
girls and they pick up the stones for nothing without 
payment except their posho one yard a week ; and 



50 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

the heathen women they we paid one fathom a week. 
And the Mission helped us to pay for building church 
at Msumba because in those days there were not 
many Christians and we are very grateful and thanks 
to the Mission for helping us to build walls. And 
the walls are strong walls and have sat still until 
now. And we picked up stones and got mud and 
cut bamboos and ropes and timber and beams 
and then we were ready to build. And Archdeacon 
Johnson he was our superintendent for building, to 
build the church and to make the arches but we 
were none of us architects. 

And we start to build on July 8, 1892, and we finish 
the building on October 31 and we made the roof 
and thatch it altogether, and on Christmas Eve we 
enter in to our Church. Our Church here it is very 
narrow not wide at all and our vestry was very small 
only little room, but Mr. Victor ^ he built us a vestry 
and was our architect for it. He is very keen man 
Mr. Victor, keen on manual work and we feel 
gratitude to him. 

In 1894, it was the year my second son WilHam 
Joseph was born I remember, I went hunting and I 
saw the big snake. One day we went hunting game 
and there were thirteen of us and we left here about 
half-past six in the morning and we went about 
eight miles and we saw a large big serpent the greatest 
in all the world that I ever saw in my life and its 
name they call it Songo. The Nyanja men call it 
Songo but the Mpoto men and the Yao men they 
call it Nakaungo. There are four kinds of big 
snakes here, these : Mbobo, Sanga, MpiH and Songo 
or Nakaungo. 

1 Many years later. 



EARLY DAYS AT MSUMBA 51 

And this snake he was very near me that day and 
nearly bit me and killed me all at once, but we escape 
safely ; and this serpent her form is this : she has 
a golden colour on her body and her head it is like 
a big cock and she had a cock's comb and a cock's 
wattles and she crow like a cock. It is not very 
occasional to be seen, this serpent, not very often 
can you see her ; she can kill ten men in a minute 
and she bites as quickly as she can ; she is very cruel 
and bad serpent indeed. Perhaps many white men 
they never believe there is this serpent called Songo, 
but she was very close to me that day but she did 
not bite me and both I and all my companions we 
escape from harm. 

And in 1895 I remember that Mr. Glossop was 
working on the Lake with Archdeacon Johnson and 
he Mr. Glossop made good plan to make effort for 
me to be educated and to read often and he asked 
Archdeacon Johnson to consent to send me to 
Zanzibar to Kiungani College to read there and to 
be learned there. And I went with the Rev. 
Eustace Malisawa and we went to Zanzibar with 
our wives and children, only we left our daughters 
here ; we left them at Likoma. And we left Msumba 
and we went down to the South to Delagoa Bay and 
to Natal and we waited seven days for a ship and 
we went on a Germany ship and we arrived Zanzibar 
September 16 and we were very glad to see Zanzibar 
again. And we stayed there one year and three 
months and a half ; and in 1898 we left Zanzibar and 
we came back to Lake Nyasa and that year we spent 
Easter at Mponda's, but we did not stay much there 
for the Charles Janson she was waiting to take us to 
Likoma. And when we arrived to Likoma the Lord 



52 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

Bishop Hine was there and he asked the Rev. J. 
Wimbush to be our examiner to examine us and he 
agreed. And in those days Archdeacon Johnson 
was in England with Mr. Smith. And when we done 
our examination, Bishop Hine told us to be ready 
for Ordination [as Deacons] on June 12 at Msumba 
and we said '' all right my Lord." And we were in 
retreat for two days and a half ; and on June 12 
we were all gathered together and we were ordained 
by the Lord Bishop Hine in St. Augustine's Church 
at Msumba. And when we had finished to be 
ordained Eustace he went to Chia and I to Msumba 
and I stay there until now and it is like my own born 
village to me. 

And I will detail my news about Msumba. But 
there is lots of news I have forgotten and also my 
English is bad English, broken English, but never 
mind that for the Lord Bishop he will correct the 
mistakes and arrange. ^ Msumba it is a very big and 
large village. Nearly all the villages on the Lake 
shore used to belong to Msumba long long ago, 
Mbamba and Chia and Chisanga and Ngoo and 
Chiwanga on the one side and Mtengula and Chilole 
and Chingomanje's villages on the other. And 
many people came to gather together at Msumba in 
retreat from the Ngoni raids. And there are about 
7,000 people altogether. And they are now a 
mixture of tribes at Msumba, lots of people inside the 
village and all belong to the great and big chief 
Amansanche. There are many little chiefs but he 
is a great one. So Msumba was a perfect and strong 

1 Augustine's English is far too characteristic to be 
interfered with, and except for a little rearrangement in 
order, these notes are as they are written by him. 



EARLY DAYS AT MSUMBA 53 

village to fight with the Ngoni and the chief Man- 
sanche refused to surrender, and the Msumba men 
they were very good fighters and they fought with 
arrows and bows and spears. But now the Ngoni 
are subsided indeed, since the English and Germany 
subdued them and now we no longer fear wars but 
only lions. 

The first chief Amansanche that I met he was of 
very good heart for strangers and he was very kindly 
to the missionaries more than the other chiefs, and 
he used to come and hear the outside preaching 
under the tree for our custom it was to preach under 
the tree. He was quite old old man and short man 
too ; and now Justus Amansanche is our chief and 
he is Christian and we have Christian chief now. 



CHAPTER VII 
The Portuguese Occupation 

ICAXXOT remember for explanation much that 
happened up to 1900 but that the work increased 
in all the villages ; but in November 1900 it was that 
the Portuguese began to come to this country. And 
on the 28th one young man ^ came here mth five 
soldiers and his bearers and then he went away to 
ask for to give him more soldiers, and he came back 
with seven more soldiers to make war, with fierce 
and terrible trouble to vex the Nyanja people here, 
and it was horrible indeed. But the people of 
Msumba, they didn't want war. 

Long long ago when there were no European bomas 
on Lake Nyasa there were native bomas or bwalos ; 
and they settled cases and made arrangements for 
all matters and if a man made an offence, he had to 
pay one or two cows or oxen or goats ; but this year 
1900 the Portuguese came and made their boma. 

And this man who came, he was very young man, 
he had no sense, he went and chose bad place and he 
vexed the people to move their houses for him to build 
his fort and the people of Msumba were very angry. 

^ It is fair to notice throughout this account that the 
bad treatment was that of a young and irresponsible official, 
which was rectified as soon as the real Chief Official came 
upon the scene. 

54 



THE PORTUGUESE OCCUPATION 55 

And then he tried to drive the Mission from our site. 
But the Portuguese head-man, called Commandante 
or Chefe da Concello, he was at Dwangwa near to 
Lipuchi, and when he heard that the young Portu- 
guese was vexing the people at Msumba and wanted 
to drive out the Mission he came at once to Msumba 
to arrange the case. And when he saw the place 
he was very angry, and he rebuked him and said : 
" Why did you choose this place ? For it is very 
bad place not good place at all." And he rebuke 
him very much. And he transported the boma to 
Mtengula and it is there. 

And it happened like this. The young man he 
began to disturb Msumba on December 25 ; it was 
Christmas Day and he was very high-handed, and 
he treated the people like animals in the forest and he 
said : " You will see if you can stay in this country." 
And he began to hanker very much after our Mission 
site. And the Chief Amasanche, he was old man 
but he was hardihood and he did not fear, but tried 
to do his best ; but the young man he did not care 
at all but only to disturb the Chief and the people 
and the Mission too. 

And about five o'clock it was Evensong and we were 
in church and something happen outside ; and the 
young Portuguese thought, perhaps the Christians 
and teachers are doing this matter, and he came with 
his soldiers and with fierce faces they pointed their 
guns ready to fire on the church windows, to desire 
to kill the people and the teachers and myself ; but 
they did not fire, for he told them not to fire but to 
wait till the people come out and then you can beat 
them your hardest. And that day we did not say 
our prayers properly, because all the people were 



56 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

afraid of the soldiers with their guns ; but Reader 
William and myself we went to the vestry and took 
off our surplices and went outside, and then the 
people come outside too and the young Portuguese 
started to beat the teachers and the Christians. 
And it was very trouble and terrible, for he was 
beating the Christians without any reason at all and 
it was bad case ; and he tried to set fire to the 
church. 

But Abdallah Mkwamba, a young Islam, he was 
here and he told them : " You can set fire to the 
church and you can beat them ; but don't beat the 
priest Augustine Ambali because he is an English 
subject ; but you can drive him and his wife away 
and send them to Likoma." And then the young 
Portuguese he told me and said : " You ought to go 
away to Likoma at once ; who told you to live 
here ? " And I answered him that my Lord Bishop 
Hine had told me to live here, and he said to me : 
" Go away, go away ; if I see you here to-morrow I 
will kill you." And I said : " Yes, you can kill 
me if you like, but I cannot go away ; I wait for 
the Bishop's permission." And I think this young 
Portuguese in his mind he wanted to test me and 
to terrify me ; he thought I am very coward but 
I tried very hard to be hero, but I did not know 
anything what would happen, only God He knew 
everything and arranged it. And the young man 
he went off to the village to burn the houses ; but 
he only burnt two houses and he had imperfect 
sense altogether, no sense at all, like a child. 

And Mr. Barnes he was at Chia ; he was here 
Msumba in the morning of Christmas Day and after 
12 o'clock he left here to go to Chia, and so imme- 



THE PORTUGUESE OCCUPATION 57 

diately I write him a little note to call him that he 
ought to come at once, because the young Portu- 
guese he is making quarrel with the Mission in place 
of peace ; and immediately when he receive my letter 
he read it and at once he ran back to Msumba to 
hear the case, and to see for himself as eye-witness ; 
and it was night and darkness ; but Mr. Barnes he 
is hero-man, he does not fear at all, and he came to 
help us here at Msumba and he arrive about one 
o'clock in the morning and he come to my house to 
have talk and I try to explain all the matters ; and 
when we finished to talk, we went to sleep for a 
little. 

And the next day the young Portuguese he began 
another quarrel about the Mission boat, that it 
should not arrive to the Mission harbour, and he told 
Mr. Barnes : " You are guilty, I will tie you up and 
send you to the Commandante at Dwangwa." And 
Mr. Barnes said : " Why have you not told us this 
before ? You should make proclamation ; we have 
not heard anything of such a law." And the young 
Portuguese said : " You ought to give me the kapi- 
tao of your boat for me to beat him and tie him up 
because he is guilty and ought to get punishment.'' 
But the kapitao George Nyangulu was inside Mr. 
Barnes's tent. 

And this young Portuguese was very bad man, 
mischief man, no good at all ; and we had hard 
argument and we stand up for nearly three hours 
and indeed he nearly shot us and killed us that day, 
but God saved us. And at last he make up his mind 
to come to agreement with us, and Mr. Barnes he 
agree too and we sit down, but he had very imperfect 
sense, 



58 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

And Father Barnes he was very brave man, he did 
not fear at all, and he asked many questions and he 
did not sit still but he wrote a letter to the Lord 
Bishop Hine and explained all the matters what the 
young Portuguese had done to the people and about 
the Mission site here. And the Lord Bishop he left 
Likoma and he came in a boat to Msumba here to 
hear the case, and he arrived here December 29, 
and he slept here that night and he talked lots of 
words with us ; and he left here again on December 30, 
and he went first to Dwangwa where was the Chefe 
da Concello and he explain to him all the matters 
and what the young Portuguese had done at Msumba. 

And then the Chefe da Concello he left Dwangwa 
and came here at once to arrange the case and all 
the people were very glad when they saw him ; and 
he rebuke the young Portuguese and he chose the 
place at Mtengula to be the big and great Fort and 
Boma. And the Chefe da Concello it did not please 
him at all to vex the people and the Mission and so 
he transported the fort, and the people of Msumba 
were very glad indeed and were congratulate. And 
after this there was tranquillity in all the villages on 
this side. And Father Barnes he was very busy on 
the mainland and the Lake shore. 

And in 1902 I remember that the Lord Bishop 
Trower arrived here to be our Bishop in this country 
and we welcome him with interested hearts ; and 
he lived with us for eight years and he ordained 
me priest. He was useful father ; if you asked his 
advice, he will answer at once with comforting 
words. And in his days there was peace every- 
where, no war in the world and no confusion ; and 
lots of Christians he confirmed and he used often 



THE PORTUGUESE OCCUPATION 59 

to sleep on the stations like Msumba and other 
stations. And the Portuguese had penetrated this 
country and ruled it, and we were in peace. 

And for eight years I was deacon under Arch- 
deacon Johnson working under him and I never saw 
in all my life a man like him ; he is wonderful man 
and very keen on his work. And after eight years 
Archdeacon asked me to educate on board the 
" CM." for one year to read there. But we could 
not educate there well, and the reason it is this that 
we are not seamen ; the Lake it is very rough and 
there are motions every day. And there is no 
private place on the " CM." for our meditations 
and prayers, but too much noise of people and too 
much waves and rolling, rolling always ; and we were 
ill very often because it is rough Lake. And we 
could not do anything on board but we spend time 
for nothing, roused and routed with the waves. 

And then the Lord Bishop of Nyasaland, Bishop 
Gerard Trower he make good advice to forbid there 
to be College on the " CM.", for it no good at all ; 
and that is the reason why we left the " CM." 
And Bishop Gerard Trower he chose the site Nkwazi 
to be the St. Andrew's College. And our teacher was 
the Rev. G. H. Wilson, my helper for always, and 
so in 1905 we start at St. Andrew's College. And we 
were three candidates, Augustine Ambali, Eustace 
Malisawa, and Leonard Kangati was Reader. And 
the Rev. G. H. Wilson he was very nice to us and 
he was very keen on his work and he was never tired 
to teach us, for he is friend of Native education and 
he likes us ; and we are very thankful to him for 
helping us. And on December 21, 1906, Bishop 
Trower he ordained me priest. 



CHAPTER VIII 
Life as Priest-in-Charge of Msumba 

THE day that I was ordained priest I left Likoma 
and came to Msumba, and the Lord Bishop 
Trower sent me here again to be in charge of Msumba 
and Chia villages, and I have stayed here until now. 
And on Christmas Day 1906 I celebrated my first 
Holy Communion, and the native people they did 
not mock me and slight me that I was black man, no. 
And since 1907 I have worked here alone with my 
teachers, no Europeans with me, but only myself 
and my teachers. And the work has progressed here 
by the grace of God, and some they have believed 
and some they have not. And since I have lived 
here as priest the Bishop has come every year to 
confirm the Christians. 

In these years I remember I went to Likoma for 
the Conference and Retreat, and the Lord Bishop 
he did give us good addresses and they were on 
Responsibility and Sonship, and on Revelation and 
Life, and on Vocation and Self- discipline, and other 
subjects, and they were very nice addresses, and of 
some of them I remember the words and some of 
them I have forgotten. 

And the Mission work it has progressed here at 
Lake Nyasa, and year by year lots of people believe 
the word of God ; at first it was very hard and very 

60 



PRIEST-IN-CHARGE OF MSUMBA 6i 

difficult to get the people to come and be hearers, 
but little by little they increase from every village, 
and so they came to be catechumens, and after these 
years the Church stands all over the Lake ; but there 
are many people yet who do not believe still now, 
and this is our great work, to bring the people to 
our Lord Jesus to believe in Him. We cannot force 
them by power, but bring them by our preaching 
and our examples. Since 1907 many people have 
believed and been baptized, and there are lots of 
communicants now at Msumba, and the little villages 
are full of Christians, and there are many churches. 
And I have built schools and put teachers and 
monitors in the villages to teach the people, and the 
Mission helps them. 

And many of the boys in my school here and at 
Chia have become teachers, and some people have 
called Msumba the '' mother of teachers " because 
there have been so many, and some of them have 
been very good teachers indeed, but some have not 
been good at all. And every month I make my 
ulendo to see my teachers and the schools and to 
preach to the people. 

And on February 3, 1911, our new Lord Bishop he 
arrived here at Msumba and went on to Likoma, and 
he has been here until now. And in 191 1 also there 
was the great calamity of Mr. Douglas's death on 
November 10, and he had been our examiner, our 
excellent Mr. Douglas, and he was helpful indeed to 
us ; and I need not detail all the news about his 
death because it is all in his life and you can read 
in it all these matters. And the native people they 
called him ngoma yahwino [good drum], and they did 
it because he was a good preacher. 



62 THIRTY YEARS IN NYASALAND 

And now these are all my reminiscences, my news, 
for I cannot write any more about my work here, and 
there is much that I have forgotten, but it is enough ; 
and now I desire to denominate [describe] here some 
of the members of the Mission that I remember. 
There was Mr. Wimbush ; I remember him very 
much, and I worked with him on mainland and he 
was very keen on work, and he was devotion man 
also, and he was very gentle and liked us, the black 
men ; and there was Mr. Barnes too, and he was 
devotion man and watched in prayer, and I liked 
them both to be with me, and I cannot see them 
now by eyes, but I can see them in faith and in 
prayer, and they work the work in other parts of the 
world now. 

And I denominate the Rev. John George Philipps, 
and he was my familiar friend when he was in this 
world, and he died when I was at St. Andrew's 
College ; and he was a pleasant companion to me, 
and we talked together in my house, and when I was 
in College and he was in hospital I went to see him, 
but he was very ill indeed. And he was very gentle 
and meek, and he was fond of black men. And I 
remember him particularly that one day he told me 
always to " do your best and leave the other things," 
and I have always remembered that all over my life. 

Mr. G. Sherriff, was captain of the Charles Janson, 
and he gave up all things, money and wife and 
daughters, to help us here in Africa, and then he died 
here for the Gospel's sake. He was very gentle too 
and he loved us, and I remember one day when one 
of the white men who was with us was saying foolish 
words, that black men were like monkeys, Mr. 
Sherriff rebuked him and said : "Do not say that ; 



PRIEST-IN-CHARGE OF MSUMBA 63 

black men and white men have different skins, but 
we are the same spirits and one blood ; do not say 
like that " ; and Mr. Sherriff he stayed in Africa with 
us until he died, and I knew him very well indeed. 

And, as I have said, I have been here now thirty 
years to work the work of God, here in the middle of 
a heathen people, and sometimes it has seemed very 
hard work, and sometimes it intermingles the work 
with danger both to soul and body ; and I am sorry 
I cannot write any more circumstances about my 
work here, but I hope somebody afterward will write 
again about all the news. And I think the work of 
the Government to rescue the slaves it was not vain 
work, for there was in it something done to send 
teachers to spread the work of God and to preach 
the Gospel to the heathen countries. 

And I am one of them ; God called me from my 
birth to be Christian and has sent me here to Nyasa- 
land, though it is not my country but strange 
country ; and I am old man now, but I do my portion 
and leave the rest to others ; but not yet is finished 
my duty, not till death come to me and so I cannot 
boast at all, for my work it is not done yet. And 
this is the ending of all my news, and my conclusion 
news to all my life that the things we disdain they 
will be turned good things. 



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Ambali, Augustine 






AUTHOR 

Thirty years in Nyasaland 


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