n Indilinga African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems - Quarrying African indigenous political thought on governance : a case study of the Ndebele state in the 19th century

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1683-0296



African indigenous political thought on governance and human rights has remained victim to mythology, Western stereotyping, colonization as well as African romanticization. The net effect has been that African styles of governance have either been stigmatized and reduced to a long night of savagery and violence or celebrated as a golden age of freedom and equality. The reality lies somewhere between these two erroneous views. This article re-examines the debate on governance in Africa by means of a case study of the Ndebele state. Of special interest in this study is the kind of governance style that the Ndebele constructed, the values that underpinned it, how it was operated and articulated, as well as the general political ideology of the Ndebele in the 19<SUP>th</SUP> century.

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