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The Making of an African Missionary Hero in the English Biographies of Apolo Kivebulaya (1923-1936)

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Apolo Kivebulaya was a well-respected Ganda priest who, beginning in the 1890s, established Anglican churches in Toro, Uganda, and in the Boga area of what is now Congo. A CMS colleague, A.B. Lloyd, wrote three popular biographies of Apolo for a British readership that inspired the writing of others. This article examines the style and content of Lloyd’s biographies and explores the factors that influenced them, including Keswick spirituality and boys’ adventure stories. It demonstrates early twentieth-century expectations of missionary heroism, and suggests that the way in which Apolo has been read in the past has influenced his relative neglect in the present.

Affiliations: 1: Henry Martyn Centre, Westminster College Cambridge, CB3 0AA UK, Email:


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