A review by Nicholas A. Jackson
Francis B. Nyamnjoh. 2016. #RhodesMustFall: Nibbling at Resilient Colonialism in South Africa. Bamenda, Cameroon: Langaa.
With his valuable book #RhodesMustFall, Francis Nyamnjoh mobilizes many years of work on identity, mobility and epistemological transformation in situating Rhodes as a makwerekwere (“stranger”) and subsequently seeking to understand the “Rhodes Must Fall” movement in the context of resilient colonialism as well as the long and enduring presence of amakwerekwere (“strangers”) such as Nyamnjoh himself who make up the contested space that is South Africa, where people respond to one another according to whether or not “the other belongs” (Geschiere and Nyamnjoh 2000). When Nyamnjoh takes on the problematic of Rhodes’ defaced statue at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa, he makes certain from the beginning that there is no doubt about what kind of colonizer Rhodes was. Rhodes and his associates “took over, ruled, developed and exploited for his personal profit and that of Britain the lands and bodies of those he conquered, turning them into amakwerekwere on their own native soil, their homeland” (p.28). These contests between “whitening-up” and “blackening-up”, inclusion and exclusion, have persisted to the present day not only with regard to European (Boer and British) residents but also Indians and black Africans such as himself from elsewhere in Africa.
Click here to read the rest of the review in Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography.