Zanzibar History

Collection of historic British government newsreel films on Zanzibar. Follow the links:




Item title reads - The Sultan of Zanzibar, Seyyid Khalifa, pays tribute at the Cenotaph on first day of State Visit here. London. 

M/S as the Sultan walks along with officials. M/S as he takes a wreath and lays it on the Cenotaph then salutes.




LS. Public buildings on the sea front. LS. Arab dhow at sea. MS. Closer view of Arab sailboats. LS. Dhows at anchor. LS. Government general offices. LS. Museum. LS. Loading ghee onto dhow. LS. Natives chanting whilst working. LS. A seaside residence. CU. Mast of dhow pans down to Africans hoisting ropes LS. The Residency. LS. Boats at anchor pans across harbour showing breakwater and dhows sailing in. WS. Large rowing boat. MS. Loading a dhow at portside. 

(Mute. Red Master.)




 Selected originals (offcuts, selected scenes, out-takes, rushes) for story "Mau Mau Victims Funeral" 53/10.

Material for newsreel story. - extra shots.

Nairobi, Kenya.

VS Sir Khalifa Bin Seyyid Harub, Sultan of Zanzibar visits British Army in Kenya, visiting troops of the Lancashire Fusiliers. 

SV. Jomo Kenyatta, and other accused men, walking outside court. CU of various men accused of Mau Mau atrocities.



Arrival of His Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar at Nairobi West Airport, emerging from doorway of Dakota (East African Airways.) Guard of Honour present arms. H.H. inspects guard. Guns firing salute. Sir Evelyn Baring inspecting Guard of Honour accompanied by Sultan of Zanzibar, Gen. Erskine and two officials. Governor and Zanzibar enter the building. V.I.P's emerging from entrance to Council Chamber. Procession. Sir Evelyn Baring at rear. Misc. shots of guests on terrace, including prominent Muslim and Arab delegates. The African chief in tribal regalia is Senior Chief Njiri, one of the Loyal Kikuvu. Conductor (Lav.)



Zanzibar, East Africa. 

LV. Royal yacht Britannia in Zanzibar harbour. TV. Princess Margaret steps out of the barge and is greeted by the British Resident, Mr Robert Alford. GV. Old building with people looking from the roof. GV. Masses of people in the streets. CV. Faces of men watching. CV. Women in Purdah, one showing her eyes. GV. Princess Margaret shakes hands with the Sultan of Zanzibar, Seyyid Sir Khalifa bin Harub and she shakes hands with the Sultana. They walk into the Sultan's palace. Sultan gives a cheerful wave to the camera. TV. Masses of people dancing in the street outside the palace carrying swords. TV. Men dancing. CV. A bearded dancer's face. CV. Dancers' faces. LV. The palace with Princess Margaret, the Sultan and the Sultana on the balcony. SV. Princess Margaret talking to the Sultana. SV. Church of Christ, Zanzibar - camera tilts down to Princess Margaret walking through crowd after the service. GV. Women watching from a roof. SV. Women in colourful traditional clothes holding babies. SV. Princess Margaret receiving gifts from two old ladies who are reputed to have met Stanley when he went in search for Livingstone. Both women are former slaves. CV. Princess Margaret shakes hands with dignitaries.

(Lavender.) ("Orig "N")



Selected originals (offcuts, selected scenes, out-takes, rushes) for story "Princess in Zanzibar" - 56/82.

SCU. Women salting cloves at Kizinbani miniature agricultural show, & TV. GV. People with baskets of fruit and vegetables. GV. Man climbing coconut tree, & AS. SV. Man breaking down coconuts and leaves from tree, & LV. Pan to coconuts falling on the ground. LV. Towards, Princess Margaret arrives to agricultural show. LV. Princess Margaret arrives at coconut grove. SV. Piles of coconuts, Princess Margaret looking. SV. Princess Margaret watching men cutting coconuts. CU. Princess Margaret watching. SV. Pan Princess Margaret watching a man breaking coconuts into halves. LV. Towards, Princess Margaret walking through show. SV. Princess Margaret examining a tree, & SCU. Princess Margaret examining clove taken from a tree. LV. Princess Margaret watching clove salting. SCU. People watching. SV. Pan, Princess Margaret looking at (believe to be) cloves laid out on mats. Her companion takes some from the mat and gives it to Princess Margaret who inspects it closely. LV. Princess' car passing through Shwaka village. TV. Travelling shot, Royal car driving through village. CU. Small boat in a glass case. SV. Princess being greeted by Said Bin Ali El-Mugheiry at Pemba. SV. Towards, Princess walking with Said Bin Ali El-Mugheiry. SV. Said Bin Ali El-Mugheiry presents Princess with the boat in the glass case seen earlier, & SCU. SCU. & Past, Royal car leaves Pemba. SV. Towards, Princess Margaret with the Sultan and Sultana of Zanzibar in the garden of the residency, & SCU, & LV. SV. Sultan and Sultana say goodbye to the Princess and enter a car, & SV. SCU. Princess Margaret waving goodbye. LV. Princess Margaret going back into residency. 




Zanzibar, Tanzania. Ceremonies for the Accession of the New Sultan of Zanzibar.

MS People arriving at the Palace. MS Women arriving wearing Purdah dress. MS Police arriving. Good CUs of people in crowd. LS Flag of Zanzibar flying at half mast, pan down to crowd. Various shots of the following and other notables arriving: Sk. Said Hilal, Sk. Salim Bin Ali Mendhry, Sk Salim Bin Ali Riyamy, Kathi (Muslim judge) Sk. Abdalla Saleh Farsy. Elevated Shot, The Sultan's car arriving. Elevated shot of Sultan reviews guard of honour. MS. The Sultan Sir Abdullah Bin Khalifa Seyyid) arriving at Baraza Hall (Throne Room) MS The British Resident Sir George Mooring proclaiming The Sultan and asking him to take Oath of Allegiance to the Queen. MSs Chief Khathi (Senior Muslim Judge) reading the Oath to the Sultan. MS The Sultan signing Oath of Allegiance. MS Sir George Mooring signing. MS The Sultan ascending Throne. LS Sir George Mooring presenting the Sultan in the name of the Queen. MSs The Sultan reading speech from the throne. MS Three Princes, the sons of the Sultan. LS Sir George Mooring reading speech from the Queen. High angle panning shots of dense crowds outside the Palace. MS The Sultan and Sir George Mooring after ceremony. LS Guard of Honour, pan with the Sultan's car as it enters Palace. Various shots, prominent personalities leaving the Palace after ceremony. GV Street scene. CUs Women in Purdah. MS People on quay. 

(Mute. F.G.) Old record suggests material dates from around 01/11/1960.



General view of a large white two-storey building, probably a hotel, and grounds. In the garden European tourists watch tribesmen perform a traditional dance with drums. Several shots of an Arab dhow and African crew off the coast of Mombassa. 

At the Protectorate of Zanzibar we see men unloading goods at the docks. Two locals chat. C/U of cloves growing on a tree; women workers pick them. Brief shots in market; a man runs his hands over nutmegs on a tray. Liner ship off the coast. Two tourists in a rickshaw pulled by a man on foot. Street scenes. Several shots of local craftsmen at work outdoors - engraving silver, wood carving and working on an ornate doorway. Guards outside the Sultan's town palace. The present Sultan, High Highness Seyyid Sir Abdulla bin Khalifa, comes walking down the steps and salutes his guards. Tourists take pictures as he gets into his red car. Shots of a beautiful sandy beach at Mangapwani. 

Liner ship and yachts in harbour of Dar es Salaam. Extremely brown (white) man sailing yacht and bikini girl posing on board. General view of harbour. Street scenes and hotels in Dar es Salaam. Visitor Information Bureau; two women tourists look in the window and at brochures. African brass band plays in a field at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. Beach in Tanganyika. Tourists having fun in the sand and sea. An African lady sits with a white baby in the sand. African fisherman sitting on a boat mends a net. Outrigger canoe comes into shore. Several shots of a man building a canoe. 

In a field a man cuts leaves from sisal bushes. Women arrange the white fibres on wire fences to dry. Brief shots of two Masai warriors.

According to paperwork, this is reel 2 of 'Magnificent Adventure'. Leader at start and end of film says it is 'Jambo, East Africa, Part 1'. Some of this footage is also found in CP 326 - 'Zanzibar Story' - see separate record for details.



Various shots, good street scene in Zanzibar, Darajani Street looking to Gulioni Street. Good shots of Portuguese Street one of the narrowest streets in Zanzibar. LS. Man touching up an emblem on a coastal dhow. Good shots, loading coastal dhows at Zanzibar dhow wharf. Good CUs. taken in Women's section of a Polling Booth at Malindi in Zanzibar Township. Various shots taken in Men's section of a Polling Booth at Malindi. Various shots of Sheikh Ali Mohsin, leader of the Zanzibar Nationalist Party, outside the party's headquarters drinking coffee and talking to his followers for last minute briefing. He is also seen talking to Mohamed Abubaker who was his first school teacher. Various shots, including CUs. of the Vice-President of the Zanzibar and Pemba People's Party, Mr. Ameri Tajo, with Aba Leil Mbwana another candidate of the a party (in cap and suit) and some followers of the party outside their H.Q. CU. The emblem of the Zanzibar Nationalist Party, a cockerel stencilled on the wall outside the Party's H.Q. MS. Street scene, showing typical Zanzibar hamali cart outside the H.Q. GV. Portuguese street in Malindi. Pan down from narrow roofs of Portuguese Street down to street. LS. Portuguese Street, with Indian women in saris. MS. Children buying from fruit seller in Portuguese Street. Good panning shot of Arab dhows in Zanzibar dhow harbour. CUs. as ornate doors are closed by Arab and he leaves by smaller door. LS. an arched road way under the Muslin Academy with Baitel Ajaib (the Secretarial and the Sultan's Palace in b.g. Various shots of Mr. Abed Amani Karune, the President of the Afro Shirazi Party, addressing his followers at the last political meeting before the actual elections at Mpakani, pan on to women supporters raising right hands and shouting "Uhura" (freedom). CUs. of Mr. Abed Amani Karune, pan to women supporters shouting "Uhuru". MSs. CU. Arabs waiting to cast their votes outside the Malindi Polling station. good close-ups of women's queue outside Polling Station, all the women in purdah (screening women from men). Various shots of very long queue CUs. of shepherd, who is so shy he hides behind an umbrella. Various shots of women waiting to vote, dressed in very colourful robes, with their babies strapped to them. Various shots, as passengers from a visiting liner admire and sample coconuts. MSs. Picking cloves from a tree (man's shirt so ripped it's hanging off him). CUs. Hands holding cloves. 

(Mute. F.G.)

Note: screen occasionally flicks.



Various shots of a dhow sailing on the sea around the island of Zanzibar in Africa; other dhows are seen in moored in the harbour as large boxes of spices are unloaded; two men in traditional costume haggle over prices. 

Various shots of women picking cloves from trees; we are told Zanzibar is the greatest exporter of cloves. L/S of the market place; M/S of a fruit stall selling pineapples and mangoes (?); C/U of a seller running his hands over a pile of nutmegs.

L/S of a cruise liner coming in towards the island. M/S as two tourists in coolie hats climb into a rickshaw by the sea front and set off, being pulled by an African man. Point of view shot from a moving vehicle as we pass through the main street; M/S of the couple in the rickshaw looking around with interest. M/S of the town with people milling about.

Various shots of an Indian craftsman working on some hammered silver ornaments; another craftsman carves a wooden Arab doorway; a finished carved doorway is seen in place, being embossed with silver.

The Sultan, His Highness Seyyid Khalifa bin Harub is seen coming out of his palace, saluting to his troops and getting into a fabulous red car to drive off, while a small gaggle of excited tourists watch and take photos.

L/S and M/S of Mangapwani Beach; beautiful golden sands, palm trees and clear sea; a lone man walks across the sand. Another man is seen plunging into the sea and swimming out to where an African man treads water near a rowing boat. M/S of the beach as three small naked African boys standing near a beached boat play catch with a ball.



Cuts for story ZANZIBAR STORY (aka ZANZABAAR STORY) in CP 326. Similar footage to the cut story; more material of Zanzibar's streets and markets, people landing at Zanzibar Airport, shots of other local crafts, footage of a dhow at work, work opening some kind of large nut, the Sultan inspecting his guards, a tortoise, a glorious beach.