NgÅ©gÄ© wa Thiong’o is one of Africaâ€
It is perhaps for this reason that a group of students at the University of Cape Town (UCT) felt inclined to orchestrate an intervention at his talk on the campus on Friday.
Kolosa Ntombini from the Pan Africanist Student Movement of Azania (PASMA) got onto the stage and asked that wa Thiongâ€
â€” Mfondiny (@Mfondiny) March 3, 2017
UCT’s professor Xolela Mangcu took the stage immediately after the intervention and declined the request, saying that it would be disrespectful to wa Thiongâ€
This is not the first time Mangcu shut down a request by students raising points of concern surrounding the presence of white people when talking about issues of particular concern to black people.
â€œThe key word here is the â€˜baseâ€
Immediately after this Mangcu closed the meeting after a white member of the audience attempted to ask a question and was shouted down by many in the audience.
Responses from students to the nightâ€
Ngugi didn’t make matters any easy by using liberal language about White allies. That not all white people, not all Europeans are oppressors
â€” Bwa Mwesigire (@bwesigye) March 3, 2017
Some felt that wa Thiongâ€
Others told The Daily Vox they believed the intervention was an open example of the â€œblack nationalist blocâ€ of UCT attempting to coup the space as a means of politicking, and that wa Thiongâ€
â€œI felt [wa Thiongâ€
Discussions of race, the politics of presence, representation and utilising popular events as platforms to push ideology, remain live in university spaces.
If one thing is for sure, the days of quietly sitting by and listening to lectures without direct and outspoken involvement have long since past.
The tone of engagement has shifted. Do we move with it or against it?