Africa

African Intellectuals in 19th and Early 20th Century South by Mcebisi Ndletyana

By Mcebisi Ndletyana

Introducing the lives and works of 5 unparalleled African intellectuals within the former Cape colony, this targeted background specializes in the pioneering roles performed by means of those coarchitects of South African modernity and the contributions they made within the fields of literature, poetry, politics, faith, and journalism. providing an in-depth inspect how they reacted to colonial conquest and missionary proselytizing, the problematic process by which those ancient figures straddled either the Western and African worlds is absolutely explored, in addition to the ways in which those contributors shaped the root of the fashionable nationalist liberation fight opposed to colonialism and apartheid.

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Soga’s passion for African literature partly stemmed from his selfperception as a public intellectual. He believed that ‘Missionaries must show that they can speak on other questions than those in which they are more immediately interested’. He took to developing African literature with even greater urgency as his health deteriorated in the mid1860s. His health had begun to suffer seriously back in the 1850s (and was eventually diagnosed as chronic laryngitis in 1866). Fearing that he didn’t have long to live, in March 1865 Soga requested the Mission Society to grant him retirement from active missionary work so that he could ‘… endeavour to lay the foundation for a native literature of which our people are in great need’.

No matter his personal religious beliefs, Old Soga appreciated the benefits of modern influence. In 1835 he became a pioneer of modern farming techniques among his community. Tiyo was not the only member of his family to receive a missionary education – one of his brothers, Festiri, became a teacher. ED U C ATI O N Under the auspicies of Reverend Chalmers, Soga proved an ardent and devout pupil. This determined not only his future career choice, but also his prospects of academic advancement. Reverend Chalmers got him admitted into the prestigious Lovedale Seminary in 1844 and paid his exorbitant tuition fee.

The Cape had a liberal political system which allowed for a qualified franchise for Africans. White political parties vied for the African vote to strengthen their power in parliament. Imvo supported the conservative South African Party while the liberal Progressives saw fit to bankroll Izwi for support. Izwi Labantu, which was intended to give a clear voice to the political aspirations of Africans in the Eastern Cape in the late nineteenth century. za TH E P O L I TI CI AN Rubusana had first emerged as a political leader when, together with other African leaders, he agitated against discriminatory land tenure laws.

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