“A Letter from Robert Mashaba”

BIPOC Voices in the Victorian Periodical Press

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READERS of the NOTICES who have followed our missionary history, will not have forgotten the story of the Rev. Robert Mashaba, who, long years ago, was deported by the Portuguese Government from Delagoa Bay for supposed complicity in political intrigues, and until last year was a prisoner in the Cape Verde Islands. Many were the prayers offered for his release, many the messages of cheer sent to him in his exile; and last year, through the good offices of Ambassadors in London and Lisbon, he was at length released and permitted to return to South Africa, though not to Delagoa Bay. He is now stationed at Johannesburg, whence he writes a letter which we print in all the simplicity of his own touching language.

DEAR SIR,—Now that I am somewhat settled, I beg to offer, through the medium of your valuable and far-read periodical, my hearty thanks to all the Christendom. It may seem strange that I have not done this before then; it happened so not through unmindfulness and ungratefulness, but having done a part of this necessary obligation, I thought it better to delay this until I was more settled.

During all the time I was in exile in the Isle of Fogo, in the Cape Verde Archipelago, I have experienced how strong are the bonds of brotherhood in Christ, for there are brethren who not only did pray, but worked almost to self-sacrifice for my release, approaching the authorities, providing for my needs and for all my general comfort.

It would be useless for me to attempt to give a list of sympathisers and those who took special interest in my case, in a brief letter like this. Let it suffice to say, besides my Methodist fathers and brethren, I had a host of outside friends and sympathisers.

May I, now, in conclusion, beg these brethren not to discontinue their prayers—not now for my release, although it is quite true that I am still in exile, for I am not allowed to go back to my country—but for those who are still in the bonds of sin.

The Transvaal is not an easy field to work in; surrounded by difficulties and temptations, it wants a man supported by Christian prayer. In Johannesburg one of the greatest difficulties is that of the languages. Fancy a preacher using three languages every time that he is in the pulpit! All preaching, singing, and praying, must be done in three languages through interpreters, and it is not so easy to get good interpreters in all these languages. You don't have such polyglot yonder! have you? In anticipation, I thank you for inserting the above.

Your obedient servant,


Digital Publication Details

Title: “A Letter from Robert Mashaba”

Creator(s): Anonymous; Robert N. Mashaba

Publication date: (1904) 2022

Digital publishers: One More Voice, COVE

Critical encoding: Trevor Bleick, Kenneth C. Crowell, Kasey Peters, Adrian S. Wisnicki

One More Voice identifier: liv_025280

Cite (Chicago Author-Date): Anonymous, and Robert N. Mashaba. (1904) 2022. “A Letter from Robert Mashaba.” Edited by Trevor Bleick, Kenneth C. Crowell, and Kasey Peters. In “BIPOC Voices,” One More Voice, solidarity edition; Collaborative Organization for Virtual Education (COVE). https://onemorevoice.org/html/bipoc-voices/digital-editions-soas/liv_025280_HTML.html.

Rights: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

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