Reasons For Bantu Migration


It is almost impossible to assert the exact reason that led to the Bantu migration. However, some experts have suggested some possible cause for the migration. These reason are:

  1. Population explosion
  2. Search of new fertile land and water
  3. Successive disputes between tribes
  4. Freedom or escape from death
  5. Ethnic wars
  6. Expansion of kingdoms to empire
  7. Disease and epidemics
  8. Rapid migration

1. Population explosion: Anthropologists explain that onces the people develop agriculture, they were able to produce food than they can obtain by hunting and gathering. This led to increase in the population. Since this enlarge population required more food, there arose the need for the earliest Bantu speakers to plant more land. In a little while, there want enough land to go around. They couldn’t go north in search of land because the area was densely populated. The areas that one’s had been savanna were becoming more desert like.

However, population explosion could be seen when the Bantu population was more than the land can acquire, therefore, some started to migrate in order to sustain themselves. The first people that moved to the Congo Basin and because of the Congo river, that place was able to sustain them. They involved themselves into fishing and some were involved with cattle rearing.

2. Search of new fertile land and water: The Bantu people moved southward because of the drying up of the Sahara grassland. Most of the Bantu speaking people who were agriculturalist had to migrate in search of new land and water for farming.

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3. Successive disputes between tribes: There was also the challenges of successive disputes between various tribes. This dispute led to the migration of some groups. Such disputes usually occur after the demise of a king and members of the royal family quarreled over succession.

4. Freedom or escape from death: Slaves and criminal also migrated in order to get freedom or escape death.

5. Ethnic Wars: Ethnic wars also resulted to migration and often times, the defeated flee from powerful groups for safety and also to prevent slavery.

6. Expansion of kingdoms to empire: A very important reason for migration among the Bantu speaking people is expansion of kingdoms to empire. Some rulers wanted to expand their kingdom and this led some of the weaker groups to migrate to new region to avoid being conquered.

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