Jimmy Stevens


Jimmy Stevens was an individual known by his charismatic characters, he was a political activist from the now know Republic of Vanuatu formerly known as New Hebrides. Jimmy Stevens was the most vocal individual in the era of fighting the colonial powers in his country. Vanuatu was a small country but the French and British colonial powers all wanted to control the land and it led to the creation of the sharing agreement that gave the French and Britons equal powers to rule the Nation[1]. Most of the services were provided by the colonial powers but the religious communities helped in filling the gaps by providing additional services. Jimmy Stevens was against the colonial rule and established anti-colonial movement known as Nagriamel. This paper seeks to identify the reasons why Jimmy Stevens first opposed the French and then later supported the French settlers in the New Hebrides

Reasons why Jimmy Stevens opposed the French

Jimmy Stevens was conservative Citizen and he opposed the colonial administrators more than anybody else during his time. He created the Nagriamel movement which he used to fight the French colonist who had taken over the land of his people. He felt that the people needed to be free and the only way to get independence was to create a strong revolution that would stand up against the French condominium. His main motivation came from the Santo- bush people when he shared his vision of reclaiming their land back from the white settlers. The Santo people supported his vision and hence the birth of the movement[2]. Jimmy had little formal education and worked as a laborer in various white private companies, he kept changing the job and one day he was involved in an accident where he broke his leg…2. The Santo people looked after him another factor that made him dislike the whites, he stated that, it is not the whites that looked after him, but the local Santo people took care of him. His poor background also contributed to his desires to liberate the people from the French colonies.

Reasons why he supported the French settlers

1n 1960s, Jimmy led his movement in holding meetings and took actions in taking back the land from the white settlers. The French and British administrators started becoming concerned of his strong following that was proving to be a force to reckon with. They used police and other apparatus to destabilize his meetings…1. Jimmy Stevens had great support from the Northern part of the nation where the majority of the French settlers were, the French realized that for them to be safe, they needed to stop opposing the movement but instead support it. Meanwhile the British colonials supported the church groups which were also opposing the Nagriamel movement. Jimmy was invited to France and met the France President and made some agreements. The French colonials assisted the Santo bush people with finances to build various infrastructures such as hospitals and school. Jimmy saw it as worth venture because his people were benefitting and hence started supporting the French to outcast the British colonial rulers.


Jimmy Stevens was and will be forever remembered as the person who fought for the rights of Santo bush people. His primary interests was to liberate the people from the colonialism and this was demonstrated when he declared the state independent and named himself the prime minster. Evidently, Jimmy had to support the French settlers the very people he opposed at the first because he saw it as the only way to gain independence faster.

References pg 886

David Goldsworthy, Losing the Blanket: Australia and the End of Britain’s Empire (Melbourne 2002)

Steven Roger Fisher The History of the Pacific Islands (New York 2002)


  1. G, David, Losing the Blanket: Australia and the End of Britain’s Empire (Melbourne 2002) p 34
  2. F, Steven Fisher The History of the Pacific Islands (New York 2002) P 112

    1 G, David, Losing the Blanket: Australia and the End of Britain’s Empire (Melbourne 2002) P 56


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