Chief of the Herero
Samuel Maherero became chief of the HERERO people of NAMIBIA after the death of his father in 1890. Baptized and schooled by German missionaries, Maherero cooperated with German colonists who arrived in Namibia about this time. By selling land to the Germans, he obtained their support in overthrowing and conquering rival Herero chiefs.
In 1904, misunderstandings and tensions led to war between the Herero and white settlers. The Germans defeated Maherero and his followers and drove them into the KALAHARI DESERT. Many died before reaching Bechuanaland (modern BOTSWANA) and receiving sanctuary. Prohibited from returning to Namibia, Maherero led his followers into SOUTH AFRICA. There they worked in the gold mines in exchange for the right to settle in the country. In 1921 he returned to Bechuanaland and died soon afterward. His body was taken back to Namibia where he was buried next to his father and grandfather.