From the publisher:
“This remarkable work, based on years of research and written with great sympathy, tells the little-known early history of the genesis of an African intelligentsia during the colonial period.
"In 1857, at the height of the colonial period, as Britain was advancing its control over southern Africa and absorbing the formerly independent African chiefdoms, the Anglican Bishop of Cape Town, Robert Gray, set up Zonnebloem College on an old wine farm on the outskirts of the city. Working in partnership with the British Governor, Sir George Grey, he enrolled the sons and daughters of leading African chiefs. They received an English, Christian education, the purpose of which was to further the cause of Christianity and 'civilisation' in Africa. This elite educational project, both cultural and political in nature, soon gathered steam. Among the first entrants were Gonya and Emma Sandile, heir and eldest daughter of the Rharhabe chief Sandile; Nathaniel Umhaka, son of the Ndlambe chief Mhala; and George Tlali, son of the great Basotho leader, Moshoeshoe I. Over the years a succession of sons from chiefly dynasties, sometimes spanning several generations, came to Zonnebloem: the Moshoeshoes of Basutoland, the Pilanes of Bechuanaland, the Lewanikas of Barotseland, and the Lobengulas of Matabeleland.
“After their education at Zonnebloem, students took up careers as catechists, teachers, political secretaries, lawyers, newspaper editors and priests and served their communities with distinction. Their stories, trials and achievements are recounted in this book, often in their own words. Central to the book is a unique collection of school essays and letters, that forms one of the earliest bodies of writing by Africans in southern Africa.”
16.9 x 23.4 x 2.2 cm | 256 pages | softcover
Cape Town author Janet Hodgson (b. 1936) holds a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Cape Town. She was appointed Adviser in Local Mission/Diocesan missioner in the Diocese of Durham from 1994 to the end of 2001, before retiring to South Africa.
Theresa Edlmann holds a PhD in Humanities from Rhodes University. She is the founding Director of the Legacies of Apartheid Wars Project, established in 2012 in the Rhodes University History Department.