Category Archives: history

gowon, atiku to launch adebanwi

The name of the politician Obafemi Awolowo is a household name in Nigeria. He was an outstanding and influential politician, especially in western Nigeria. Behind the man and next to him stood his wife Hannah Awolowo. Just short of two months ago Hannah passed away.

Later this month a book on her life will be published.  One of those who will take part in the launch is the former president Yakubu Gowon, who hails from the Plateau State in the center of the country.



de-concentration, decentralisation

In many countries on the continent we see an accumulation of political and financial power in a small center in the capital city. In this book we see a ten year history of de-concentration and decentralisation.

I do not know how the situation is at the present in Angola. When I think about the situation in Kenya, where is an attempt is being made at decentralisation, I see an increase in confusion, an increase in clashes of authority, an increase in ‘ now it is my time to eat’, an increase of overseas travel.

shedding light on cecil john rhodes’ lifelong obsession

Cecil John Rhodes has made an interesting comeback in South Africa. Suddenly his name was on the lips of many, especially young people. #RhodesMustFall became popular on Twitter. His statue was looked at and brought down. Rhodes as a symbol of white supremacy and white privilege. One thing that did not fall were the scholarships connected to Rhodes. Now a book has been published on one of the more hidden activities of this Rhodes, an intriging activity.The Secret Society

the new book from eusebius mckaiser

Years after the abolition of apartheid there is still a hot debate on the matter of race in South Africa. Preferential treatment or equal treatment? What simmers underneath the surface? The writer Eusebius McKaiser has written a book on this topic. Here you find some more information on this book. 

Cover Reveal: The New Book from Eusebius McKaiser

respected abroad, distrusted at home

Jan Smuts seems to be a forgotten name. Once his name was given to an airport, but his name was taken of the signs. Smuts was a South African politician and known on the international political scene. 

The writer Richard Steyn has written a book on this man

the tale of jahohora told

For many people Namibia is equated with the Himba, or the sanddunes of maybe the German occupation. But there is more to say about the history of Namibia. One of the people who wrote about the history of this country is Mari Serebrov. When in 1998 Mari heard the story of the Herero / Name genocide she decided in the end to write a book about this harrowing historical event.


what happens after mugabe?

Please note: this book with this title has been published ten years ago. This question is still relevant. President Robert (uncle Bob) Mugabe is still on his throne. People have been running around his throne, hoping to dethrone him, but he still sits and he continues to sit.

The books starts with the elections in the year 2005 in Zimbabwe. According to Mugabe the United Kingdom and the United States of America try to take over his beloved Zimbabwe and Tsangirai is their puppet. At that time one third of the population lived in exile, there was a very high rate of unemployment. His former cronies when he killed thousands of people had turned into his enemies. One year before the elections Geoff Hill visited Rwanda, a country with a very violent recent history. But Rwanda on on its way back, already in 2004 the signs were visible.

Hill gives a short history of the area that is now called Zimbabwe. He writes about migrating people (nothing new!), about the Shona and the Ndebele and the San and the white tribes (with many minor tribes). He writes about elections, the militia that are weapons in the hands of Mugabe, the war-veterans. He writes about the decline of education, healthcare, the police-force, pressfreedom, agricultural produce, judicial system. He writes about the increase in the number of exiles, many of whom moved to South Africa, and others continued their journey to the United Kingdom (is it ironic? the enemy of Mugabe).

At several points in his discourse he refers to the situation of Kenya during the reign of Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, the dictator, during whose reign the country went into a downward spiral. 

Geoff Hill shows that what is needed is not just a change in regime, but also the need for a long term vision, to change the country. Seeing the enormous decline in so many fields, this is an uphill battle in Zimbabwe. Many African countries that have chased away a dictator show that this does not automatically imply the rise of democracy, the rise of press-freedom, the rise in decency. It is a difficult process, a long term process and Geoff Hill is not very optimistic about the future of Zimbabwe. 

Geoff Hill – What happens after Mugabe? Can Zimbabwe rise from the ashes? – 2005