BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
THE Ndabaningi Sithole Foundation has said it will be relaunching the late Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole’s book, African Nationalism on Independence Day.
The book was first published in 1959 and republished in 1968 while Sithole was imprisoned by the then Rhodesian government.
In a statement, the foundation said the seminal book, which is centred on African nationalism, played a significant role in inspiring freedom fighters in the 1960s and 70s to fight for freedom.
“The Third edition of African Nationalism, the seminal book written by the late Ndabaningi Sithole, is set to be released on Independence Day (April 18),” the statement read.
“African Nationalism inspired an entire generation of liberation fighters in the 1960s and 1970s both in and outside Zimbabwe to fight for their freedom. It is a important reading in many African history courses globally, today.”
“Sithole’s books attracted interest more as a result of the political circumstances in which they were published and their author’s role in Rhodesian politics than from their intrinsic merits.
“His African Nationalism, which was published in 1959, although not particularly subtle or penetrating, was welcomed within and outside Africa as an expression by an African of what African nationalism meant to Africans. This was at a time when African nationalist leaders were rapidly taking over the governance of their countries from colonial rulers.”
The foundation said in his review of the book, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, stated that the book provided an indubitable contribution to the understanding of nationalism, the theory and practice of politics and the ideological parameters for Africa.
“The publication of the book was a timely intervention not only in the African political discourse, but to the intellectual tradition, as well as it is today,” Mnangagwa said.
Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said: “In the 21st century and with Africa beginning to be rising, this book must be a source of reflection on how we use experiences and expectations of the past to shape Africa’s future. To ensure Africa uses its new status to cement its place indelibly as an equal member of the community of
nations in this century and beyond.”
The foundation’s chairperson Chad Gandiya said the book represented the first of Sithole’s 12 books set to be republished over the next few years.
“African Nationalism is an important body of work for Zimbabweans and Africans to read, especially the younger generations. It contextualises the difficult journey that Africa faced to get its independence, which helps us appreciate the work that still needs to be done to get to where Africa logically should be by now,” Gandiya said.
The book would be available on Amazon and bookshops in Zimbabwe from April 18.