24 April 2019

South Africa: Be Part of the Renewal of Fort Hare - a Clarion Call to Students, Staff and Alumni

opinion

We the undersigned come from diverse backgrounds, but all love Fort Hare and the Eastern Cape. Fort Hare is a beacon of hope to this nation. The present and future generations must not trash it, but must preserve it for future generations. We call on all students, all staff and all alumni of Fort Hare to support the Vice-Chancellor in the fight to reclaim and promote the intellectual heritage and inherited values of the Eastern Cape.

The Eastern Cape has a proud heritage of resistance to colonialism and to apartheid, and equally proud heritages of integrity, moral values and intellectual development. The longest war of resistance to colonisation was fought here. For 100 years, from 1779-1879, the Xhosa people fought nine wars against one of the most powerful empires that the world has seen. With the colonial conquest came also the earliest establishment of missionary centres, educational institutions and hospitals.

From the late 19th century many African intellectuals emerged in the Eastern Cape and made significant contributions in education, literature, the church, journalism and politics. Prominent were the likes of Soga, the Bokwes, Rubusana, Mqhayi, and the Jabavus. From ZK Matthews to Steve Biko and to Nelson Mandela, the Eastern...

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