Coloniality of Power in Postcolonial Africa – Myths of Decolonization
Keywords:africa, Chan, coloniality, decolonization, myths, Ndlovu-gatsheni, postcolonial, power, sabelo, Stephen
The book interrogates the African postcolonial condition focusing on the liberation predicament and the long standing crisis of dependence (epistemological, cultural, economic, and political) created by colonialism and coloniality. A sophisticated deployment of historical, philosophical, and political knowledge in combination with the equi-primordial concepts of coloniality of power, coloniality of being, and coloniality of knowledge yields a comprehensive and truly refreshing understanding of African realities of subalternity. How global imperial designs and coloniality of power shaped the architecture of African social formations and disciplined the social forces towards a convoluted ‘postcolonial neocolonized’ paralysis dominated by myths of decolonization and illusions of freedom emerges poignantly in this important book. The book is distinguished by its decolonial entry that enables a critical examination of the grammar of decolonization that is often wrongly conflated with that of emancipation; bold engagement with the intractable question of what and who is an African; systematic explication of the role of coloniality in sustaining Euro-American hegemony; and unmasking of how, paradoxically, the ‘postcolonial’ is interlocked with the ‘neocolonial’. To buttress the theoretical arguments, detailed empirical case studies of South Africa, Zimbabwe, DRC and Namibia completes this timely contribution to African Studies.
Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni is Professor and Chair of Epistemologies of the Global South with Emphasis on Africa at the University of Bayreuth in Germany. He is former Head of the Archie Mafeje Research Institute (AMRI) and Professor in the Department of Development Studies at the University of South Africa. He has taught in universities in Zimbabwe, United Kingdom and South Africa and has published extensively on African history and politics.
Coloniality of Power marries the historical complexities of the past with the ambiguities of the present to expose the obstacles imposed by domination and exploitation, while at the same time revealing the oppositional strategies of intellectual and other forms of everyday and organized resistance and nationalism on behalf of the ongoing project of nation building. The urgency of the moment drives the practical insurgencies to produce The Africa We Want.
Toyin Falola, Professor and author of Decolonizing African Studies
“Ndlovu-Gatsheni demonstrates an encyclopedic knowledge of post-colonial and colonial theory in his evaluation of current African problems.” (From review of Coloniality of Power in Journal of Retracing Africa)
Jason Morgan, University of Texas at Austin
“To decolonise is not automatically to emancipate; to proclaim the postcolonial is not necessarily to end dependency. These terms become often a rhetoric to avoid a sometimes painful exploration and interrogation of the contradictions involved in the long road to true and authentic freedoms. Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni’s startling and important new book refuses us the luxury of rhetoric and invites us to go very much deeper.”