Re-Viewing Resistance in Namibian History, by Jeremy Silvester et al.
For a long time now, so Jeremy Silvester believes, Namibia's history was told from the victor's angle. With this in mind, 18 people, educationists, historians, politicians, and many others tried to redesign Namibia's history 'from the eyes and the ears of the victims'. Titled 'Reviewing Resistance in Namibian History', this is the result.
The Caprivi African National Union (CANU) 1962-1964: Forms of Resistance, by Bennett Kangumu Kangumu
The history of the Caprivi African National Union (CANU) is barely covered in Namibian historiography dealing with the liberation struggle. However, in this chapter I am not interested in presenting a historical narrative of the rise and fall of CANU, and thus to mistakenly assume a simple linearity of events regarding the history of the movement will also not discuss the relationship between CANU and the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) in exile and the subsequent 'merger' of the two liberation movements. The main focus will be to examine why the administration enforced a harsh clampdown on CANU activities and activists, forcing many into exile and preventing the movement from operating freely within Caprivi, beyond its official launch and its first meeting. Symptomatic of the suppression was the fact that Brendan Simbwaye, CANU's first president, was arrested and banished from Caprivi altogether, and disappeared after several years whilst in the hands of the authorities. The chapter will, therefore, investigate CANU's political activities and strategies between 1962 and 1964, the period when it was accused of 'undermining' the administration. The Native Commissioner for the Eastern Caprivi Strip at the time criticised the activities of 'certain young men of CANU who, as you know, have been creating trouble here, doing and saying things to try and poison the minds of the people against the government.' What was CANU 'doing and saying' that 'poisoned' people's minds? John Leif Fosse has described CANU's campaign as 'peaceful but successful' and argued that it proved difficult for the authorities to handle. The scope of the chapter will be limited to examining four aspects of the political activities in which CANU played a role to influence public opinion against the authorities:
1. participation in the Odendaal Commission's public hearings;
2. campaigning on the issue of cattle sales in Caprivi;
3. interventions in public debates on the education system; and
4. debating the functions of traditional authorities.
But before discussing these actions, a brief historical background of Caprivi will be provided to help put these issues into perspective. The space that would become 'The Caprivi' was inhabited by subsistence farming communities since time immemorial, who lived sparsely scattered under decentralised forms of governance or tribal administration. During the reign of Ngombala (1725-1775), the sixth ruler in the oral genealogy of the Lozi Kingdom, the Lozi established supremacy over these communities. This was followed, from 1838, by a period of occupation by the Makololo of Sibitwane and then, after 1864, the region fell under Lozi rule again. It was the Anglo-German Treaty of 1 July 1890 that created the Caprivi Strip (Zipfel), and made it part of German South West Africa. However, it took Germany about 18 years before they actually established an operational administration in the Caprivi Strip, and during this time it is alleged that the territory turned into a haven for criminals and poachers (Maria Fisch, 1999 p. 12). In 1909 Germany established a post at a place they called Schuckmannsburg, from where they administered the territory. This was short-lived for the outbreak of World War I intervened, and the Germans surrendered to the Allied Forces without firing a shot at the Allied Forces, making the capture of Caprivi one of the first victories of the Allied Forces in the war. [...]
This is an excerpt from Re-Viewing Resistance in Namibian History, by Jeremy Silvester et al.
Title: Re-viewing Resistance in Namibian History
Editor: Jeremy Silvester
Authors: see content
Publisher: University of Namibia Press
Windhoek, Namibia 2015
ISBN 9789991642277 / ISBN 978-99916-42-27-7
Softcover, 17 x 24 cm, 328 pages, some b/w photos
Silvester, Jeremy und Namhila, Ellen Ndeshi und Hillebrecht, Werner und Shiremo, Shampapi und Mbenzi, Petrus Angula und Hoffmann, Anette und Likuwa, Kletus Muhena und Henrichsen, Dag und Kangumu Kangumu, Bennett und Nambadi, Aaron und Mashuna, Timoteus und Akawa, Martha und Nampala, Lovisa im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Re-Viewing Resistance in Namibian History brings together the output of experienced academics and a new wave of Namibian historians.
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