VISIT TO ZANZIBAR SLAVE MARKET
- Katsina City News
- 04 Oct, 2023
One of the historic places I explored, during my visit to Zanzibar island ,is the former Zanzibar slave market. On getting there,we were first screened by a security guard. Then we were directed to a man ,and bought a ticket. As a foreigner,it cost me Tzsh 11,500 to enter the place. That is how Zanzibar sells it past horrendous history of slave trade.
But with all sincerity,I can't say I wasted my time and money .
If you want to know deeper about the Indian Ocean slave trade; slavery and the slave economy ,the slavers , the inhumanity and sheer hell cruelty that characterized such devilish enterprises;you have come to the right place.
What caught my eyes first were statues of slaves in a pit . Three of them are chained in the neck.This is a sharp reminder to the darkest period when Zanzibar was the centre of slave trade in the whole East African region. Sayyid Sa'id, the ruler of the Omani Empire and first Sultan of Zanzibar had encouraged clove cultivation in Zanzibar . Clove became the mainstay of Zanzibar economy,but it required massive labour. This led to slave raiding, including warfare to procure them.
Another driver of that evil trade, was Ivory or Elephant's tusk ,which Europeans needed to make items like piano keys and billiard balls. Slaves were used to carry those tusks to the coast.
The East Africa Slave Trade Exhibition which is located in the same place with the slave market ,is well-equipped with documents on the whole sordid episode.
The history that is well -documented in East Africa Slave Trade Exhibition reminds me of what Shakespeare said in Julius Caesar:"The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones."
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