ABSTRACT

The Southern African region is a dynamic region with a very complex history. Chapter 4 traces the footprints of migrations in the region by going back into the history of Southern Africa. Its point of entry into migration is at the peak of state building of the African Kingdoms which broke away from the Zulu king – Shaka. These developments marked the beginning of major movements in the region. They were closely followed by the Boer Trekkers whose search for empty land resulted in clashes with some African kingdoms. The equation was complicated by the onset of colonialism as the colonial hegemonic powers spread and changed the region. This further caused mutation in the region as old African kingdoms were reconfigured into modern states under new institutional frameworks. The search for economic and political power led to the making and remaking of states as seen through the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The new order, dictated by political and economic power, also became the platform for regional and international migration as seen through contract labourers from within and beyond the region. The history of Southern Africa is, indeed, a history of displacement as people moved or were forced to move by political and economic dictates. The same narrative is replayed in post-colonial times as the search for political and economic freedom continues resulting in the displacement of people.