Ungulani Ba Ka Khosa
Ungulani was born in Mozambique in 1957. He has degrees in Law, History and Geography. He wrote op-eds for several newspapers, co-founded the literary magazine Charrua and was deputy director at the National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual of Mozambique. Currently, he’s the director of the National Institute of Books and Records and the secretary-general of the Association of Mozambican Writers. His debut book, Ualalapi (1987), is listed as one of the best one hundred African books of the twentieth century. It is his only publication that was translated into English.
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Defeated by the Portuguese in 1895, the last ruler of the Gaza Empire, Ngungunhane, was recuperated by Mozambique’s post-independence government as a national and nationalist hero. The regime celebrated his resistance to the colonial occupation of southern Mozambique as a precursor to the twentieth-century struggle for independence.
Ungulani challenges that ideological celebration and portrays Ngungunhane as a despot, highlighting the violence and tyranny that were markers of the Gaza empire. This fresh look at the history of late nineteenth-century southeast Africa provides a prism through which to question the machinations of power in Mozambique during the 1980s.
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