Chief Mkwawa

Who was Mkwawa

Mkwawa was the chief of Uhehe who won fame by defeating Germans at Lugalo on the 17th of August 1891. He then maintained their resistance for seven years until he shot himself to death in June 1898. Mkwawa is derived from Mukwava, the short form of Mukwavinyika, meaning the conqueror of many lands. He was born in 1855 at Luhota in Iringa.

Uhehe occupies the Iringa region of southern Tanzania in East Africa, its citizens (Hehe) are Bantu speaking people.


After the Germans conquered the coastal area of Tanganyika, they started to move further inland towards the south west.

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After the fall of Kalenga, Chief Mkwawa opted for a guerilla war. His guerilla activities inflicted constant losses on Germans.

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His official residence and military base were inside a stone fort called Lipuli. Mkwawa’s fortress was 12 feet high and eight miles long.

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