Not yet Uhuru

2016-03-23 06:00

STEVE Biko, before his death, declared that “colonialism leaves behind germs of rots, that we need to clinically detect and remove in our land but most importantly in our minds”.

This quotation I use as a gambit to dissecting the dichotomies and fallacies around the “Fees Must Fall” and “Rhodes Must Fall” protests. As seen on TV, social and print media students from various universities including: Rhodes, Wits, TUT, UP, UKZN, UCT, UJ, U-Stellenbosch, DUT, etc., are rising up against all that which categorically dehumanises a black man.

The first ubiquitous fallacy around these protests is one that purports to categorise students as lunatics and/or gangsters or as people who are embarking on fruitless initiative. This is not true, if indeed these were lunatics and/or gangsters they would have joined the thieving strata long ago, I hear the entry requirements are less relaxed compared to universities.

Another equally perturbing fallacy is one that seeks to classify this movement as just another unnecessary unrest intentionally instigated by students to avoid classes. Such fallacies are perilous, especially, if proclaimed in public by people in leadership. This, without a doubt is inimical to real transformation.

Among many worrying dichotomies is one that seeks to circumference what is happening at universities as just a war between students and university management. No, it is bigger than that. This is a movement against white supremacy, inferiority complex, dehumanisation of blacks, systematic exclusion of blacks and working class alienation.

Conditions for liberation are being paved, what we are observing is the epistemology relationship between liberation struggle and its ontological vocation.

Equally worth mulling over, as we make sense of the events in question, is that we must not forget that colonialism and apartheid were the most violent, derogatory and unscrupulous tools of oppression. Subsequently, the people produced by these regimes are violent, it is the only language they have been taught by the oppressor.

Also, one must take into cognisance the modus operandi of colonialism and apartheid, which was orchestrated thus - structural, institutional and psychological racism.

One wise man once said: “No army can stand in the way of an idea whose time has come.” The time for institutional, structural and psychological transformation in Africa has come.

Like in any previously repressed nation, this process will unfold in no particular order, than previously applied.


• Zipho Makhoba is author, political philosopher, research consultant and writes in his personal capacity.

Email: makhobazipho4@ gmail.com


Colonialism leaves behind germs of rots, that we need to clinically detect and remove in our land but most importantly in our minds

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