n African Renaissance - At home but away from home : emerging communities of the African diaspora in (South) Africa

Volume 16 Number Special Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305



Over the decades the concept of the African diaspora has been studied based on its etymological root, attached to historical and geographical trajectory. Studying the African diaspora from within the African continent, has not received so much scholarly attention. Yet there is a clear evidence of growing diaspora communities in countries like South Africa. The issue of whether this concept constitutes an area of discourse within the African context is yet to be established. Should there be such a thing as ―the African diaspora in Africa‖? Can indeed Africa be externalised from within Africa? Historically the African diaspora was essentially formed as a political tool to fight against colonial domination. Despite scholars‘ engagement with its dynamic nature, the concept of the African diaspora has continued to operate within the lens of externalised elitism, operating outside the continent. This article attempts to deconstruct this essentialisation by providing some understanding that the African diaspora can indeed be studied from within Africa. As an emerging economy, South Africa is increasingly becoming the hub of professional migrancy from the rest of Africa. Using the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) as the locus for this study, the article highlights the role played by constituted diaspora communities within UKZN to foster intellectual cooperation and development in Africa. Findings of this study reveal that the kind of intellectual developmental activities that foreign African scholars are involved in this institution are like what their counterparts do in other parts of the world where you find the African migrants. The article, argues that, such endeavours therefore, qualify them to belong to the fraternity of the African diaspora.

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