African Philosophy (of Education) and Decolonisation in Post-apartheid South African Higher Education

  • Thokozani MathebulaEmail author


In this chapter, Thokozani Mathebula argues that decolonisation is primarily a knowledge project grounded in African philosophy, which is generally tied to indigeneity, which in principle is the idea that knowledge construction and pursuit must be relevant to the context of the people. Decolonisation as a knowledge project must necessarily seek clarification and critical evaluation of the very concept of decolonisation incessantly. As such, Mathebula holds that decolonisation must be understood in a strict theoretical sense instead of a popular ideological sense. This entails that decolonisation must recognise and transcend the inadequacy of indigeneity alone and should not be restricted to the binary of Eurocentrism and Afrocentrism. Decolonisation ought to be a demand for a democratisation of knowledge globally. In this vein, the author posits that decolonisation should entail a public debate with free discussion about the nature and substance of education where the education is relevant to the struggles of the people, going as far as challenging the typical neo-liberal models of modern education. Ultimately, for Mathebula, decolonising of an African university must provide the space for its stakeholders to be able to raise and find answers to questions about the socio-cultural contexts of people as well as to meet the intellectual and material needs of African society. As such, the decolonisation project is about a critical appropriation and reappropriation of African indigeneity, knowledge production and capitalisation.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of Witwatersrand, JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

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