Xolela Mangcu lambasts UCT students disruption of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o lecture

These so-called radicals will denigrate African values as “traditionalism”, and describe their own mimicry of European-American jargon as ideology. With such colonial thinking, who needs decoloniality? This mimicry of Euro-American culture is characteristic of almost everything they do.

Xolela Mangcu in an opinion piece titled Decolonisation that assaults African values not worth its salt

When the erosion of the distinction between young and old among black elite is transferred to university campuses, you have the makings of a toxic bourgeois radicalism that despises its own African values.

Xolela Mangcu in an opinion piece titled Decolonisation that assaults African values not worth its salt

A column by UCT Sociology Professor Xolela Mangcu has raised questions around intergenerational dialogue and how young people should conduct themselves when engaging in conversation with their elders.

The piece titled Decolonisation that assaults African values not worth its salt was spurred according to Mangcu, by an exchange with UCT students who disrupted a lecture by acclaimed author Ngugi wa Thiong’o earlier this month, requesting that white people leave the hall.

In the column, Mangcu questions the group's adaptation of ideologies like that of Steve Biko's black consciousness, suggesting that they have 'mischaracterised Biko as an anti-white bigot'.

Student activist at UCT Sinawo Thambo insists that there was no disrespect when a student stepped on stage to articulate some of her concerns.

He says Professor Ngugi welcomed the idea and stepped aside.

She articulated these issues and asked Prof Ngugui to humbly ask white people to leave the space.

Sinawo Thambo, UCT Student activist

For us it’s a consistent intervention that we make in political spaces that speak to decolonial thought….and I don’t know why perhaps Profesosor Mangcu has amnesia about this, we ask white people to leave and give us room to be able to dialogue autonomously

Sinawo Thambo, UCT Student activist

I refute the fact that there was a disrespect of elders.

Sinawo Thambo, UCT Student activist

White people support our causes but we are speaking about political spaces, how we construct them, how we exist in them and having the political autonomy to have a black conversation as black people.

Sinawo Thambo, UCT Student activist

Professor Mangcu rejected an invitation by Eusebius McKaiser to discuss the matter.

Speaking on the African value of respect, award winning speaker and debater Oliver Dickson says this should not be used to negate certain arguments.

Often people who say that just throw that tag and assume it replaces an argument, and they often do that to divert valuable and important engagement.

Oliver Dickson, Award Winning Speaker

That response itself is very dogmatic.

Oliver Dickson, Award Winning Speaker

Click below to listen to the full debate and other viewpoints on the matter:


This article first appeared on 702 : Xolela Mangcu lambasts UCT students disruption of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o lecture


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