European men in Omani official costumes, Nicolas / Nicholas Tobback around 1890 Zanzibar. Nicolas Tobback freed 2000 slaves over 5 years at Kisingani from his personal money and with no financial gain.

European men in Omani official costumes Nicolas Toback Zanzibar


Two European men in Omani official costumes with medals and khanjars. Person on the right is the Belgian Nicolas Tobback.

While the Belgian officials were frequently dressed as Omani Arabs they gave western military uniforms as relation presents to the Arab leaders in East Africa, who liked dressing up in western uniforms. The son of the Omani slaver Tippu Tip even had his own business card! 



Antique photo Nicolas Tobback

Nicolas Tobback on the right

The eccentric Belgian Nicolas Tobback

The very eccentric Nicolas Tobback (1859-1905) was the resident on behalf of the Congo free-state in Kisangani (Stanley falls)  This photo was probably taken during a visit in Bagamoyo.

From 1886 the Congo Free State was making agreements with Zanzibari for workers and offering commissions to its Belgian agents for "redeemed slaves" that could be used as soldiers. Nicolas Tobback  bought and freed 2000 such slaves from Zanzibari at Stanley Falls alone.