‘Personalization or fictionalization of national history in Zimbabwe?’ A re-evaluation of the Political careers of Ian Smith and Ndabaningi Sithole


  • James Hlongwana
  • Richard S. Maposa University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
  • Thamsanqa Moyo Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe




The historiography concerning the making of Zimbabwe as an independent nation has been written
from various perspectives and by using different sources, both primary and secondary ones. The
study constitutes a re-evaluation of the political careers of Ndabaningi Sithole and Ian Douglas
Smith against the background of their autobiographies as forms of primary resources of national
history for Zimbabwe. It will be noted that autobiographical writing is a fruit of an arduous
process of human construction, de-construction and re-construction done in the shadow of some
interlocking interests, fears and pressures that surround the autobiographer. The present study
contends that every personal engagement in the writing of history of a particular people or nation
is a moralizing crusade or enterprise, whether by default or by design. Evidently, that is how the
characteristic elements of objectivity and subjectivity come to the fore vis- a- vis the status of
autobiography as a source and resource of national (or patriotic) history.


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Author Biographies

James Hlongwana

James Hlongwana is a lecturer in the department of History and Development Studies . He is a
holder of a MA in African History .He has published articles in refereed journals. His research
interests concern human rights issues and democracy.

Richard S. Maposa, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

R .S . Maposa is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies He holds MA
and M.Ed degrees from the University of Zimbabwe . Maposa has written several articles in
International journals. His research interests concern church-state relations and the history of
missions in Sub-Saharan Africa .Maposa is a Phd candidate with the University of Zimbabwe.

Thamsanqa Moyo, Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe

Thamsanqa Moyo is a lecturer in Literature in English at Great Zimbabwe University. He teaches
Comparative Literature, Varieties of Literature and Zimbabwean Literature .Moyo has published on
issues of postcolonial Literature and the Zimbabwean crisis.


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How to Cite

Hlongwana, J., Maposa, R. S., & Moyo, T. (2013). ‘Personalization or fictionalization of national history in Zimbabwe?’ A re-evaluation of the Political careers of Ian Smith and Ndabaningi Sithole. Journal of Social Sciences (COES&Amp;RJ-JSS), 2(1), 15–26. https://doi.org/10.25255/jss.2013.