The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72
The King of the Matabele
The King of the Matabele.
The King is not only master of everything and everyone throughout his territories, but a terror to all his neighbours. Like other absolute monarchs, his power is maintained by the military, and only with their approval, and he has to be very cautious, as stated elsewhere, how he deals with them. Present and past history, both in the East and West, furnish numerous parallels to the case of the Matabele King, such as many of the Amirs of Afghanistan and the Roman Emperors. There are many analogies between the rulers of page 56 Afghanistan and Lo Bengula, though it must be acknowledged that the African potentate is an utterly uncivilised edition of the Afghan monarch. The Amir has to control and conciliate his various chiefs at the head of fighting clans, for whose energies there is at present no other outlet than war. Lo Bengula, as elsewhere shown, has to repress the war cravings of his "matjaka." The Amir has to reckon with the fanatical Mullah or Ghazi; Lo Bengula with his wizards and medicine-men. The turn which events have taken is unfortunate for Lo Bengula, who was beginning to appreciate the advantages of a settled life; but the "matjaka" have got the upper hand and forced upon him a war which has proved disastrous for him Men in his position have not infrequently to pay heavy penalties for their exalted rank.