Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi is the first in his family to achieve a doctoral degree. On Monday, he spoke with Azania Mosaka about how his research forced him to confront his own past.
In the first chapter, he discusses how he prepared to interview his estranged father so that he could understand some of the events that took place in the Vaal Triangle in the 1980s, which were the subject of his thesis. “It was traumatic in a sense that I was rediscovering a piece of me and something I had thought I concluded in my past. But it was refusing to stay underground.”
We think we engaged in all forms of ritual in 1994, symbolically and otherwise, to sort of bury the proposition that we are sub-human, but it keeps resurfacing. — Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi
Ndlozi looks at South Africa’s history by examining the way in which colonialism and apartheid disrupted family life. “I am thinking here of the father in relation to how Lacan uses it, the french philosopher, as an idea of order.”
You obviously are moving forward in life, but in your head the inadequacy you feel…you keep looking back and I think, in many ways, that may be the damage that colonisation makes out of us. It disintegrates us in a way that alienates us from ourselves.