Azille versus Zille

Helen Zille, Administrator Western Cape; (Picture — Wiki)

In an article published in the Natal Mercury on 11th April 2019 Stellenbosch academic Azille Coetzee joins the group of those who irrationally attack Helen Zille for views expressed regarding Colonialism. The basis for these attacks is certainly problematic, and show a lack of understanding of the fundamentals of the point of view expressed.
There is no defence of the system of Colonialism as such, but an acceptance that in the historical context of the time it was a process not only inevitable but one that conferred benefits as well as suffering and hardship to the subjugated nations. Once again jargon is introduced into the argument, with that recently overworked word ‘narrative’ describing as such the fact — and it was a fact —that the colonialists were culturally and technologically superior at the time. Never mind independent judiciary, piped water, formal education, improved healthcare and all the rest, it ignores the fundamentals like the wheel, mathematical concepts, reading and writing, building, complex music, and all the other facets where the colonialists were far advanced.
The English language as a vehicle for far more sophisticated communication than was available at the time can also not be denied.
Bleating about past civilisations in Africa, involving peoples other than Nguni, is totally immaterial. The period during which colonialization took place is what counts. Also, wishful thinking about how knowledge could have come about through migrants, traders and explorers, without colonization happening, is unrealistic in the extreme.
Given the points in history at which they took place, the choices were between isolation, as in the remotest parts of the earth where progress still remains static, or annihilation of the ‘inferior’ races, or, as the mildest form,  domination.
However much one may decry the methods whereby these came about, colonialism laid the foundations for the tablets and modern vehicles and houses that all those denigrating colonialism would not now be without. Poverty? This was alive and well in the times before colonialism and thrives still, including in the lands of the former colonisers. It is extraordinary that this balanced view has become ‘unfashionable’ with politicians and academics alike, who all take a stance that nothing to do with colonialism or the colonists was in any way admirable. This is manifestly absurd.

© April 2019 Colonialist.

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
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9 Responses to Azille versus Zille

  1. I wonder what the native African people would be doing now if the colonialists had not decided to stay; nothing, just like like they were doing before?


  2. perdebytjie says:

    Politike korrektheid is nou al so dat die leuen die waarheid word. Ongelukkig is dit altyd net die kolonialiste se sondes wat aan die grootklok gehang word en niks wat deur hulle bygedra is, mag erkenning kry nie.Dis ‘n nuttige slaansak en verskoning vir “incompetence “!


  3. disperser says:

    You’re fighting a mindset that judges through a distorted lens; distorted by ignorance and self-serving motives usually anchored in greed and quest for power.

    I met a similar mindset in Hawaii where people (ignorant people) decry the loss of Kapu, an oppressive totalitarian regime anchored on religious beliefs that benefitted the few at the expense of the many. The few, by the way, much like modern “spiritual” leaders, interpreted the supposed divine will for the lesser subjects . . . usually, to the benefit of said leaders.

    Not unlike current religious and political parties, if you think about it.

    The chief characteristic is a demand for lack of critical thinking and vociferous protestations when said critical thinkers raised their voices.

    Be careful because there is a common progression to these things and it doesn’t end well for critical thinkers.


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