A. B. S. Chigwedere’s Pre-colonial Histories of Zimbabwe and Africa
QUARTER OF a century ago, in 1962, the study of the pre-colonial history of Africa as a serious academic discipline was beginning to get under way. This was a period of high hopes. Archives virtually untapped by historians were beginning to be used, and it was hoped that the faded documents of European imperialism could be used to recover the history of the peoples of Africa rather than that of their colonizers. Oral traditions were recognized as a legitimate historical source, and researchers armed with tape-recorders were beginning to set out to recover Ae histories of peoples not recorded by observers before the nineteenth century. It was understood that Africa’s past required a multidisciplinary approach, and special stress was laid on the importance of archaeology and linguistics, though it was also hoped that such disciplines as physical anthropology, serology, palaeobotany and a host of others could be pressed into service. This was the heyday of African nationalism, and Africans and Africanists were largely united in the hope that Africa could be given a reliable history reaching as far back as that of Europe, the continent with which Africa was most frequently compared. Hugh Trevor-Roper’s opinion that this was impossible and, worse, irrelevant was often cited only to be demolished.1
Full Text LinksBeach, D.N. (1988) A. B. S. Chigwedere’s Pre-colonial Histories of Zimbabwe and Africa. Zambezia vol. 15, no. 1. (pp. 87-94.) UZ, Mt. Pleasant, Harare: UZ Publications.
University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Publications.
University of Zimbabwe (UZ)