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(Press) It would be a pity to allow the deaths of two such renowned potentates as Ja-Ja aid Oko Jumbo to pass by unnoticed, as most of our contemporaries seem disposed to do, m a manner that appears to us to be exceedingly ramisß. 'lhey were very mighty warriors m thfir own part of tho world, they gave a good deal of trouble to the British, and thero was a time when they occupied a considerable amiunt of spvein tho newspapers that now treat them co lightly. They waged torriflo combats againßtoaoh other when they were rival ohiefs on tho west coast of Africa, and they havo ' ju»t passed into the land of shadows almost at the same time. Oko Jumbo was the c'-iief of tho Bonny, State, and Ja-Ja, from tho condition op a slave, gradually worked himself up into a po.'iiion of independent sovereign of a neighbouring territory. Europeans wishing to purchase palm oil, g >ld j dust, and other products of tho cosst from tbo natives hnd to conduct their negotiations through Ja-Ja, whose ideas on the subject of comtoifsion for himself were on the most lordly scale. It is not called commission on tho Guinea coast, however, but " dash " and used to partake very mnoh of the nature of bUckmail. For instance, before allowing a white trader to open his mouth to a Native on the subject of business, Ja-Ja used to insist on a "shako-hand dash" to hims.'lf of as much as £70. Whon he had done a good stroke of business m this way he used to indulge m a little mild recreation by buying up ull the arms and ammunition ha could get and making a doscont on liis ancient enemy Oko Jumbo, his favourite form of amusement boing to blow that gentleman's followers into the air by means of concealed mines of gunpowder. After slaughtering a few hundreds or thousands of Bnnny natives he used to return with a renewed appetite to bu«ineoj, and |his ox tori ions m the nay of " daeh " became more alarming than ever. At length the British Government intervened, and, having captured thia sable buccaneer, carted him off first to Bt. "Vincent, and afterwards to Tenoriffe. In the mild climate and peacofnl seclusion of tint romantic island he showed distinot signs of moral improvement m bis doelining years, and the Governmont were just thinking about letting him go back to Bonny whon he went off on his own account on a still longer journey. The death of Oko Jumbo was announced almost immediately ■ afterwards This can only be regarded os a coincidence, Bince there is no reason to supposo that Oko Jumbo died of griof for Ja-Ja. Inrioed there io ground for relieving that the former never sympathised ■with the restless ece'gy of the latter, but was ! always of opinion that, aa a neighbour, he was dietinotly trying to tho nerves.

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Bibliographic details

JA-JA AND OKO JUMBO., Timaru Herald, Volume LIII, Issue 5233, 7 September 1891

Word Count

JA-JA AND OKO JUMBO. Timaru Herald, Volume LIII, Issue 5233, 7 September 1891

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