About the Host

The South African Native College, later the University of Fort Hare, was,  ironically, founded in  1916 on  the  site  of  the  earlier British military stronghold. The college originated from the sometimes uneasy alliance between the new class of educated African Christians, supported by a  number of  traditional Southern African leaders, and early twentieth-century white liberals, many of them clergy. The religious tradition at the heart of Fort Hare‟s origin, shared by blacks and whites alike, heralded "plain living and high thinking‟, and a form of education that was undeniably Eurocentric.   However it did not make the assumption, central to the Bantu Education implemented in South Africa from the 1950's, that black Africans required or deserved a different, inferior education. Thus, the University of Fort Hare produced graduates from South Africa and as far north as Kenya and Uganda, who knew they were as good as the best.  Many went on to prominent careers in fields as diverse as politics, medicine, literature and art. Some politically active alumni like Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Robert Sobukwe and Mangosuthu Buthelezi in South Africa, Robert Mugabe and Herbert Chitepo in Zimbabwe, and Elius Mathu and Charles Njonjo in Kenya, have impacted their nations. In the arts Fort Hare has released from South Africa, poet Dennis Brutus, Drum journalist Can Themba, sculptor and painter Ernest Mancoba and Xhosa author and scholar Archibald Campbell Jordan. The first black Zimbabwean medical doctor, Ticofa Samuel Parirenyatwa, and the historian, novelist and politician Stanlake Samkange were also among the many non-South Africans who spent formative years at Fort Hare. Please visit www.ufh.ac.za for more..