oa Historia - Formative years : early influences on the career of Z.K. Matthews, (1916-1937)

Volume 37 Number 2
  • ISSN : 0018-229X



This article deals with the early years of Z.K. Matthews from the time that he entered Lovedale High School until his appointment as a lecturer at the University College of Fort Hare. The major focus is therefore on education and the intellectual climate of the time. Lovedale is considered in some detail and a synopsis of its historical background provided so as to place the education of the African in context. Missionary zeal particularly from Lovedale led to the founding of the South African Native College (Fort Hare) and Matthews was one of the first students and the first to graduate. His time at Fort Hare was the beginning of a life long interest in the institution. Because of this the historical background to the founding of Fort Hare is discussed. Adams College was also an important learning experience for Matthews educationally and politically and this also prepared him for his entry to Yale under die guidance of C. T. Loram where he specialised in social anthropology proceeding to the London School of Economics. Of consideration here is the debate between Loram and Kerr as to whether Matthews should take up a position as head of Adams or return to Fort Hare. He followed the latter course in 1936 establishing himself the following year as South Africa's leading African academic with his appointment to the De La Warr Commission.

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