The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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Ndabaningi Sithole: A Forgotten Founding Father is a biographical mapping of the political and intellectual contributions of Rev Ndabaningi Sithole to the liberation of Zimbabwe.

As the founding president of ZANU, Sithole was at the vanguard of the nationalist movement in the 50s and 60s. He was also one of the first black writers in Rhodesia and made prolific contributions in various genres including fiction, poetry, polemics and autobiography. Despite all this, Sithole has receded from view, partly because of his own political misfortunes, and partly through the machinations of his erstwhile comrades and political opponents.

Since the seismic shifts in Zimbabwe's politics in November 2017 after an unexpected military coup and the eventual demise of Robert Mugabe there is a new interest in marginalised historical and national figures such as Ndabaningi Sithole. This book will be an important contribution to a new and emerging discourse re-appraising the nationalist history of Zimbabwe. It is a misnomer that Sithole the founder of ZANU has not been given his due credit for the contributions and sacrifices he made to the independence of Zimbabwe, warts and all.

This is the first major book on Ndabaningi Sithole, so it is a very unique contribution to Zimbabwean historiography. As such there is no competition. There was a critical discourse around his writings in the 60s and 70s in various history journals, but since he was removed as leader of ZANU there has been very little critical discussion of Sithole.

Product information

Format : 210mm x 148mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 256
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2638-8
Publish Year : March 2023
Rights : World Rights

Acknowledgements

Glossary of abbreviations

Chronology (or timeline of Ndabaningi Sithole’s life)

Introduction: The Gospel According to Ndabaningi Sithole - Tinashe Mushakavanhu

Part 1: His Life

Finding my way

Prison Life

Part 2: His Voice

Political Writings

Statement in response to the charges brought by Rev Garfield Todd (1948)

We are our own Liberators (speech at the inaugural ZANU Congress, 1964)

On the assassination of Herbert Chitepo (1976)

Mugabe’s False Claim: Memo to President Samora Machel (1976)

March 3 Agreement: Interview (1978)

Zimbabwe Year of Independence

Literary Writings

Voice of America transcript: Sithole on his writing career (1975)

Obed Mutezo (first chapter)

To fish where everybody fishes (Ingwane)

On the precipice’s edge (Roots of a revolution)

Sons and Daughters of the Soil (1977)

Two Poems: The enemy are paper tigers (poem); ZANLA (poem)

Selected Correspondence

Letter to Herbert Chitepo (1970)

Letter to Nelson Mandela (1986)

Letter to Tobaiwa Mudede, Registra, Zimbabwe (1996)

Letter to Joshua Nkomo (1997)

Political activism

Extract: ZANU vs ZANU PF Copyright infringement lawsuit (1987)

Warned and cautioned statement, charges for attempting to assassinate Mugabe (1995)

Banana must be tried (no date)

The new social order for Zimbabwe (no date)

Churu farm: A Chronicle of Despair (1994)

Part 3: His Legacy

The Discovery of Ndabaningi Sithole

Ndabaningi Sithole Road in Accra, Ghana

Our Father, Memories from Daughters

Text permissions and photo credits

Selected Bibliography of Sithole’s writings and speeches

About the author

Index

Dr. Tinashe Mushakavanhu is a Junior Research Fellow in African & Comparative Literature at St Anne's College, University of Oxford.

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