Re-thinking the colonial encounter in Zimbabwe in the early twentieth century

Sabelo Ndlovu

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    17 Citations (Scopus)


    An orthodox nationalist scholarship has always defined the colonial encounter between the Ndebele and the early Rhodesian settlers in the dichotomous terms of domination and resistance pioneered by T. O. Ranger in the 1960s. In this article, I seek to transcend this traditional conceptualisation of the colonial encounter by recognising mimicry, hybridity, negotiation and alienation as the central aspects of the encounter between the coloniser and the colonised. I employ recent theoretical work to historically problematise the colonial encounter, in order to understand both the strategies used by the early Rhodesian settlers to indigenise themselves and the dynamics of Ndebele political consciousness in the period 1898 - 1934. Scholars have not seriously engaged with this period of Zimbabwean history, seeing it only as a simple pre-history of Zimbabwean mass nationalism. This article will open this historical period to interpretations based on the agency of the colonised and the coloniser in the construction of colonialism.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)173-191
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Southern African Studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007

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