Read On Trial for My Country by Stanlake Samkange Free Online
Book Title: On Trial for My Country|
The author of the book: Stanlake Samkange
Edition: Heinemann Educational Books
Date of issue: October 1st 1967
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 590 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1285 times
Reader ratings: 6.1
ISBN 13: 9780435900335
Read full description of the books:
Certainly a worthwhile read. Without trying to be too cliched, this book is very African, even though half of the story is told from what we understand as a white man's perspective. The writer encountered an old man who had just risen from the dead in order to tell his story to the writer, about the ruin of the Matebele people under their last king, Lobengula.
The story is two tales within a tale. One tale is Lobengula's trial on the face of his father, held accountable for the rise of the whitemen and the consequently, the fall of his people. This is told from Lobengula's perspective while calling into account some witnesses. The other tale is its parallel: The trial of Cecil Rhodes, before his father and his church, held accountable for the destruction of Matebele.
This is where the story becomes complicated where the readers have to be attentive of what the gaps are within each story, some facts which are often conflicting.
Samkange tried to take an objective approach to the story while at the same time slipping bias against English colonisation, depicted as ruthless and manipulative. However, I found it hard to connect with Lobengula, as the victim and the tragic hero of the book, as he took actions which in turn led to the ruin of his people. Cecil Rhodes and his cronies were more impressionable, albeit leaving a bad taste in your mouth as unforgiving opportunities bordering amorality.
The book is an interesting read for those with the subject interest. But even for those who never knew the existence of Rhodesia, the book still manages to connect.
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Read information about the authorStanlake John William Thompson Samkange (1922–1988) was a Zimbabwean historiographer, educationist, journalist, author, and African nationalist. He was a member of an elite Zimbabwean nationalist political dynasty and the most prolific of the first generation of black Zimbabwean creative writers in English.
Samkange was born in 1922 in Zvimba, Mashonaland West Province, in the British southern African colony of Rhodesia. He was the son of the Reverend Thompson Samkange, a Methodist minister and nationalist politician, and his wife, Grace Mano, a Methodist evangelist. The family lived in Bulawayo, Matabeleland and in Mashonaland during Samkange’s childhood. He took his higher education at Adams College in Natal, South Africa and the University of Fort Hare in Alice, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa (the first institution of higher learning in Africa that was open to Africans).
He graduated with honors from Fort Hare in 1948 and returned to Rhodesia to become a teacher. While pursuing his teaching career he began to make plans for Nyatsime College, a secondary school to be controlled by blacks rather than government or missionaries. The school, which opened in 1962, provided academic, technical and commercial education for Africans. He was deeply involved in the liberal politics of Southern Rhodesia during the 1950s and 1960s, but became disillusioned when he realized that the white minority in Rhodesia would reject any multiracial options for government in the colony.
Samkange moved to the United States where he took further education at the Indiana University at Bloomington. After earning his Ph.D. from that institution, he worked as a journalist and then opened a public relations firm. He also taught African history at various universities in the U.S. and in 1978 he was professor of African American studies at Northeastern University, Boston.
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