[PODCAST] InKonversation: Critiquing Transformation, towards Decolonisation in South Africa


The following two part podcast has been put together in an attempt to consolidate and differentiate two terms, loaded with ideological differences, that are being hotly contested among young people in the South African political landscape.

I endeavored to record a conversation with two separate groups of people who had previously expressed strong grievances about the terminology associated with “transformation” in the hope of getting a better understanding of the necessity for the “battle of definitions” that we, as a country, are encountering.

PART 1:

In the first section of this 2 part podcast Kealeboga Mase Ramaru, Ntebaleng Morake and Refentse Ramatlhodi critique “transformation” in the context of South Africa and go on to describe their perspectives on some of the differences between that process and what they understood as “decolonisation”.

This In Konversation podcast was recorded at the University of Cape Town.

PART 2:

In the first section of this 2 part podcast Masixole Mlundu and Lindokuhle Patiwe join us later in the day adding their critique of “transformation” in the context of South Africa and go on to describe their perspectives on some of the differences between that process and what they understood as “decolonisation”.

This In Konversation podcast was recorded at the University of Cape Town.

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3 thoughts on “[PODCAST] InKonversation: Critiquing Transformation, towards Decolonisation in South Africa

  1. Hey, thanks for putting this together. It was very interesting to me. It was also very painful. Painful in the amount of frustration it caused me.

    Firstly the language used is so vague it is almost unintelligible to me. There are almost no concrete examples of what is being spoken of. What does “not being able to breath” even mean??

    Second, what I hear is “I came to a University to get an education, change the way I think and learn about the system. Then they asked me to work hard to change and fit into the system”. If you don’t want to be educated into the system that provides you cars, airplanes and phones then don’t. Go study to be a traditional healer but then don’t expect to participate in the culture that provides phones, houses or western medicine etc. Note this system is not something that belongs to white South Africa. It is a world culture adopted by Korea, China, USA, Europe and the rest of the “first world”. All are welcome if they can fit into the culture.

    Thirdly even as a white man I did not have it easy at university. Nobody at UCT cared about how I did. Nobody “saw” me (except some select peers). I had to leave parts of my personality off campus because they were not appropriate to the space. It is not about race it is about culture.

    Fourthly there is a lot of criticism of the culture etc but nothing about what should replace it. One of the participants admitted the goal is to dismantle the culture. Why?? Why not concentrate on what you want to build rather than what you want to take apart. Surely there is space and resources for both a university like UCT and whatever else you plan on replacing it with? If it is about revenge then say so.

    • On the point of not being able to breathe I think it is worthwhile to consider this to be an existential expression of suppression and oppression.. anything further clarity I suggest you take up with the speakers themselves and in the interim I can suggest supplementary readings that may help things seem clearer for you.

      I take your comment about the traditional vs “modern” (phone’s etc) to be a grave misunderstanding of the politics being discussed the here. The critique of the system here pertains to the inability for people to self determine their destinies as a direct result of power structures imposed..

      On your experience as I white man I literally have no comment.

      The concerns you have an the focus of deconstruction vs so called building I believe are misplaced.. They are a simultaneous processes.. and culture itself remains fluid.. We must also remember that resistance itself produces culture.

      This has nothing to do with revenge to frame liberation politics as a revenge fight is both ahistorical and deeply disingenuous.

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