Mfecane debates

It could be destructive, constructive; anti-African; pro-African; geographically narrow, or sub continental. There they established the Gaza kingdom. Fifth, it makes for a heavily distorted periodization of political change in African societies by focusing mainly on the s and s, and largely neglecting previous decades.

This notion may now sound trite to numbers of historians of southern Africa, but it is one which we — and I mean all of us without exception — have been prevented from holding until very recently by the concept of the mfecane and by its ideological twin, the concept of the great trek.

John Wright: iMfecane?

There are list historians of Africa who have adopted ideas of Omer-Cooperof the mfecane as a positive revolutionary idea. By the same token, iMfecane-informed history ascribes the settlement of Ngoni communities in Malawi in the s unproblematically to their supposed flight from the Zulu in the early s.

In terms of iMfecane -theory, the history of the Natal region in the later eighteenth century leads automatically to the rise of the Zulu kingdom in the s and s.

Instead, Cobbing argued that the roots of the conflicts could be found exclusively in the labour needs of the Portuguese slave traders operating out of Delagoa Bayin modern-day Mozambiqueand of the British colonists in the Cape.

On these African-created foundations rose the Bantustans or Homelands of twentieth-century Southern Africa. Sub continental mfecane does continue until the s. The language now known as Zulu was spoken by the Ndwandwes. The Zulu-centred mfecane on the other hand begins with the career of Dingiswayo at the end of the eighteenth century and continues until the end of the Zulu kingdom which ended in He argued, however, that these ideas were quite compatible with the notion of the mfecane, and that Cobbing and I were Mfecane debates effect building up a straw man to knock down.

They warred periodically with the Ndwandwe. At that time the Zulus were a very weak ethnic group under the leadership of Senzangakhona. His original understanding of it to quote from The Zulu Aftermath, p. The actuality, as constituted by numerous written and spoken interchanges, most of them so far unpublished, is far more complex.

In addition, the profitable slave trade through Delagoa Bay modern day Maputo Bay is another cause. Since the late s a few historians — like Martin Legassick on the Cape northern frontier, and Alan Smith and David Hedges on the Delagoa Bay region — have been pointing towards a view of history which sees the European impact as having been significant in the interior and east eighty or a hundred years before the great trek.

According to Cobbing, apartheid historians had mischaracterised the Mfecane as a period of internally induced black-on-black destruction. By it was being integrating virtually all of them.

Foremost among these concepts is the notion of the iMfecane. For example, it unquestioningly links the migration of the Ndebele in the late s from the western trans-Vaal region to the south-west of what is now Zimbabwe with the expansion of the Zulu kingdom between the Mkhuze and Thukela rivers twenty years before.

More particularly, they had been caused by the expansion of slave-raiding and slave-trading from the borderlands of the Cape colony in the south and from the Portuguese trading outpost at Delagoa Bay in the east. The British claim that they were parrying a Zulu invasion is exposed as propaganda, and the connexions between the campaign and the white-instigated murder of Shaka are shown.Mfecane Debates Julian Cobbing against ‘The mfecane’ Has the mfecane a future?

In recent times historians known as “Africanists” revived the topic of the mfecane in the early s and it was well exploited and was also used to justify certain aspects of Apatheid. Mfecane was a deliberate falsification by Europeans to blame the violence and disorder on the African people in an effort to avoid accountability for the impact of the slave trade and justify taking African land.

Sep 24,  · Julian Cobbing was the fist to start this debates. Suggestions; Send Feedback; Arts & Humanities History. Next. What are the contribution of Julian Cobbing in whole mfecane debates?

Julian Cobbing was the fist to start this debates.

Mfecane Debates

Follow. 1 answer 1. Report Abuse. Are you sure you want to delete this answer? Yes No. Sorry Status: Resolved. The mfecane, suggests Cobbing, must be seen as a myth lying at the root of a set of interlinked assumptions and distortions that have seriously twisted our understanding of the main historical processes of late 18th- and early 19th-century Southern Africa.

Others recognise the need to move away from Zulu-centricity, but still want to retain the term mfecane as a generic label for the upheavals of the s and s.

The diversity of opinion, the multiplicity of different positions in the debates, is well illustrated in the various contributions to Hamilton’s The Mfecane Aftermath. The Mfecane Aftermath: Reconstructive Debates in Southern African History.

Johannesburg: Witwa-tersrand University Press, and Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press, Wright, J.

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Mfecane debates
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