This is a book of desire denied, of what the pain of that impotence drives people to do, and how it makes them unwilling contortionists and even co-conspirators in their oppression. From ‘The Transformation of Harry’: “And there we all were; in an uncertain country, ourselves uncertain. A land with a sly heart; and ourselves ready to be deceived.” For if colonialism was any one thing it was denial: denial of land, denial of African culture, denial of any form of psychic nourishment—including hope—denial of black existence itself. And neocolonialism is the denial that any of that is still happening. First published in 1978, The House of Hunger speaks, or rather shouts, forward from its own time to 2017. Perhaps the most painful parts of the book to read are those that show how little has changed in thirty-nine years. For if colonialism was any one thing it was denial: denial of land, denial of African culture, denial of any form of psychic nourishment—including hope—denial of black existence itself. And neocolonialism is the denial that any of that is still happening.
No one cares about issues of diversity facing black universities. No one cares what happens there and whether or not the throughput rates are increasing, whether or not targets are being met to produce qualified and competent doctors, engineers, scientists, nurses, and the other urgent skills required by our economy. No one asks whether or not the racial balance at the black universities has been met, or whether or not numeracy or academic levels have improved. Why is this debate not in the public realm? Unlike black universities, formerly white universities are under constant scrutiny for racial transformation . Many former white universities with black vice-chancellors have become no-go areas, the fiefdoms of those who stifle free debate and tyrannise those academics who dare to ask questions. Countless disciplinary procedures have been instituted against those who will not “toe the line” , at great legal cost to universities who need those monies for academic programmes. – Rhoda Kadalie in Business DayBACK TO TOP