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Most of the African societies which decided to oppose colonial rule were defeated by the European powers. There were various factors that contribute to the defeat of African resistances;-

1. Military weakness of the Africans; The African societies had inferior weapons compared to the Europeans; Most of Africans were using spears and arrows and yet the Europeans were using machine guns. The possession of this powerful weapon contributed to the defeat of resistances such as that of the Hehe against the Germans in Tanganyika and the Nandi resistance against the British in Kenya.

2. Lack of national consciousness and unity; Lack of national consciousness and unity partly contributed to the defeat of Africans resistances for examples; the Germans easily defeated the Hehe in Tanganyika because the Sangu and Bena collaborated with the Germans. The British also defeated Lobengula in Zimbabwe because chief Lewanyika of the Lozi Kingdom collaboration with the British.

3. Natural hazards; Some African societies were defeated because of their material conditions which made them unable to put up a stiff resistance. These conditions were natural hazards such as diseases. The Maasai of East Africa could not put a stiff resistance because they were suffering from cholera and their cattle had been killed by render pest.

4. Influence of the Missionaries; The Missionaries had a role to play in the defeat of African resistances. The Missionaries brain washed the minds of the Africans by preaching obedience which reduced African resistance to colonial rule. For example; the Buganda in Uganda and the Fante in Nigeria never resisted colonial rule because of the teaching of the Missionaries.

5. Succession disputes; Succession disputes also contributed to the defeat of African resistances. Succession disputes brought about divisions which made it possible for the colonial powers to side with one group against the other in Buganda, for example, Semei Kakungulu sided with the British to defeat Mwanga.

6. Lack of good fighting techniques; Lack of good fighting techniques went hand in hand with the absence of strong leadership which was needed to stage a strong resistance. A case in point was the Majimaji resistance which lacked adequate leadership and proper fighting techniques, hence contributing to its defeat by the Germans.

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