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Monuments: Askari Monument

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In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the Askari Monument stands proudly at the centre of the roundabout between Maktaba Street and Samora Avenue, a spot that also defines the particular centre of downtown Dar.

Askari Monument copy

The remarkable monument, which is a remembrance of the askari soldiers who fought in the British Carrier Corps in World War I, was unveiled in 1927 with its main characteristic as “The Askari” which is the bronze statue of a soldier. The soldier, which holds a rifle with a bayonet pointed towards the Dar es Salaam harbour, stands on a pedestal. There are 2 pictorial plaques showing fighting African soldiers and the carrier Corps on the wide sides of the pedestal and plaques with a dedication in Swahili (Arabic and Latin script) and English are on the narrow sides of the pedestal. It was actualized in the United Kingdom by James Alexander Stevenson,a British sculptor who worked for Westminster’s Morris Bronze Founders. He signed the statue with pseudonym “Myrander”.

askari2

The location of the Askari Monument used to harbour another statue which was that of German explorer and army Major Hermann Von Wissmann, governor of German East Africa in the late 19th century. The statue represented Wissmann standing with one hand on his hip and the other on his sword, looking towards the harbour and at his feet was an African soldier covering a dead lion with a German flag and it was unveiled in 1911. The British removed the statue when they entered Dar es Salaam in 1916.

asakri-monument

The monument in Dar es Salaam belongs to a group of three Askari Monuments that were all unveiled the same year in different parts of what was then British East Africa: the other two are at Mombasa and Nairobi.

For tourists visiting the city of Dar es Salaam, one of the most popular of the numerous must-visit places and attractions is the historically important site which is the Askari Monument.

 

 


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