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It is important to question some recurrent commonplaces about the (post)colonial order and the preservation of the environment if one wants to reconcile ecocriticism and postcolonial theories. For instance, were pre-colonial societies devoid of ecological awareness? Is the environmental commitment of the developed world a kind of repentance for the damages that its material comfort has caused to the environment? Are the underprivileged people of the third world so concerned with their daily survival that they become unable to advocate for the protection of the environment? Can we conclude, given the conflicting views of the industrialized countries and their post-colonial counterparts on ecology, that issues of human development and those of the conservation of the environment are incompatible? These are some of the questions that the essays in Aspects Ècocritiques de líimaginaire africain attempt to answer, with reference to African literature.
Aspects of Colonial Tanzanian History is a collection of essays that examines the lives and experiences of both colonizers and the colonized during colonial rule in what is today known as Tanzania. Dr. Mbogoni examines a range of topics hitherto unexplored by scholars of Tanzania history, namely: excessive alcohol consumption (the sundowners); adultery and violence among the colonial officials; attitudes to inter-racial sexual liaisons especially between Europeans and Africans; game-poaching; European settler vigilantism; radio broadcasting; film production and the nature of Arab slavery in Zanzibar. A particularly noteworthy case related to European vigilantism is examined: the trial of Oldus Elishira, a Maasai, for the murder of a European settler farmer in 1955. The victim, Harold M. Stuchbery, was speared to death when he attempted to ìarrestî a group of Maasai young men who were passing through his farm. The event highlighted the differences in the concepts of justice held by Maasai and the imported justice systems from the colonizers. It also raised vexing questions about the colonial judgeís acquittal of Oldus Elishira, while the Maasai who should have been satisfied with that decision decided to take it upon themselves to mete out an appropriate punishment to Elshira instead of total acquittal, and to compensate Mrs. Stuchbery for the death of her husband by giving her a number of heads of cattle.
Perspectives on Globalization and Class Struggles
Globalization is a term that describes the contradictory economic, political, and cultural processes of world capitalist integration. Although capitalism has been of a global character since the 1400s, the current phase of globalization is manifest by emergent transnational institutions, changing relations between multinational corporations and assaulted paradise of sovereign nation-states and the development of a global monoculture of consumption among feuding class divides. This book examines the relationship between globalization and nation states, the dynamics, contradictions, and crisis of global capitalism, and the developing and maturing class struggles and the prospects for social change and transformation of global capitalism. It examines these class struggles within the context of the globalization of capital and draws out the political implications of this process for the future course of capitalist development on a world scale. In this book Tatah Mentan drives home the point that contemporary neoliberal globalization is in fact an advanced stage of capitalist hegemonism and that the contradictions of 21st century globalization are thus a projection of the contradictions of capitalism on a global scale, with all its inherent exploitative characteristics and militarized class conflicts that will lead to the revolutionary transformation of vulture capitalist society. He argues that dominant global processes are not an immutable feature of capitalism, but are contested by social class actors across these three dimensions.
Donato Francesco Mattera has been celebrated as a journalist, editor, writer and poet. He is also acknowledged as one of the foremost activists in the struggle for a democratic South Africa, and helped to found both the Union of Black Journalists, the African Writer's Association and the Congress of South African Writers. Born in 1935 in Western Native Township (now Westbury) across the road from Sophiatown, Mattera can lay claim to an intriguingly diverse lineage: his paternal grandfather was Italian, and he has Tswana, Khoi-Khoi and Xhosa blood in his veins.
This unique work lifts the African question out of the dust. Against the backdrop of prison life, it explores the complex reality of being an African in today's world. Through the tight sensitivity and illuminating knowledge of its two principal characters, themselves victims of misplaced justice, greed and lust, it captures the pain and sadness that almost always comes in the wake of betrayal and egotism. The work's message is strong, and is delivered with equal strength by characters whose individual convictions also sway us to their side. We have here a new, powerful shaft of light on the landscape of recent African writing.
The Bad Samaritan is set in a kleptomaniac and highly corrupt imaginary African country called Ewawa. Due to mismanagement, financial institutions collapse. Salaries are slashed and there is unprecedented unemployment leading to country exodus. Professor Esole and his wife are not only aggrieved by the salary slashes, but also by the dubious closure of the Post Office Savings Bank with their savings. Desperate for money, they resort to borrowing from private sources at exorbitant interest rates. Esole toddles into politics with the aim of righting things. Will his naÔve approach to politics make or mar?
This is a complex volume that combines a good deal of survey data on Bakassi and its populations with more ethnographically based insights into the conditions of the Bakassi communities. The book is the outcome of research carried out by Fongot Kini between 2004 and 2009. The work is intended to serve as first hand exhaustive information on the live situation in the contested Bakassi Cameroon-Nigeria border region. The term Bakassi engenders multiple meanings loaded with many conflicting emotional, spiritual and material interests. Native inhabitants are systematically disinherited of their ancestral cultural heritage and socio-economic resources. They are bastardised, humiliated and scammed by unscrupulous opportunists who deliberately misidentify them with intentions of dispossessing them of their ancestral lands and natural resources. Overall the author is in sympathy with the Bakassi who he argues have been marginalised and neglected by the Cameroon state. In particular, the value of the indigenous communities in terms of local economies as well as securing this vital border area has not been recognised and various external groups have been either allowed or encouraged to settle there to both the detriment of local populations and to the security of the region.
Karin Schimke is a widely published journalist and columnist, and the Cape Times books editor. She also works as a writing tutor and mentor, an author of non-fiction ñ including the best-selling Fabulously Forty and Beyond, co-written with Margie Orford - of childrenís books and of short stories. She edited Open, an anthology of erotic short stories written by some of South Africaís best known women writers. Her poetry has appeared in South Africa Writing, New Contrast, New Coin and Carapace magazines. Bare & Breaking is her first collection of poems.
As a veteran playwright and actor, Kwo Victor Elame Musinga is more than just a pioneer in popular theatre. His simple but profound messages demonstrate a depth of understanding and insight into human nature and the nature of society. The texts he crafts are universal and timeless in their content and appeal, even as the themes and situations that inspire them are localized in specific places, experiences and histories. The Barn is a collection of three topical plays. Njema captures the predicament of love in a context where innocence and trust are preyed upon by deceit, dishonesty, promiscuity, waywardness, callous indifference to human life, the reckless abandon of parental authority and wisdom by youth in a hurry to celebrate sexuality, irresponsible manhood with or without the connivance of girls/women, and HIV/AIDS and its terror. Invitation to God addresses elitism and fair-weather friendship even among believers. In Moka, the theme of friendship is explored through the simple act of dishonesty and greed, especially to those with whom one should be nothing but virtuous, open, generous and kind. In these plays Kwo Victor Elame Musinga explores the virtues of being human, while addressing the dark side of humanity.
Ashuntantang is an extraordinary weaver of words who showcases vivid pictures that compete with 3D simulation. Her greatest asset is her use of the beautiful traditional Cameroonian anchor that evokes folk tales with its moonlight romance and glory. You feel, laugh, weep, shiver, wonder, and hail the triumphant spirit of the persona as it navigates African postcolonial and global experiences with the melancholy of an exile who is purposeful, strategic, and a lot of fun.