PERSPECTIVES IN COLONIALISM (IN TRIALS OF DEDAN KIMATHI BY NGUGO WA THIONGO AND SIZWE BANSI IS DEAD BY ATHOL FUGARD)
NgugiWaThiongo and MicereMugo’s The Trial of DedanKimathi and Athol Fugard’sSizweBansi id Dead treat colonialism, the building and maintaining of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. Colonialism is the child of capitalism and what capitalism seeks out to do is to maximize profit at the expense of labour. This study aims at analysing both texts as responses to colonialism and the ills that it breeds. The study examines apartheid as a product of colonialism in Fugard’s play and treats colonialism per se in the other play. It shows that colonialism breeds ills such as racism, alienation, oppression and capitalism. Colonialism is the subject matter of the two plays; the playwrights examine the preoccupation from different perspectives but agree that colonialism is injurious to the colony.
1.1 Background of the Study
Colonialism is a process whereby sovereignty over the colony is obtained by the metropole and social structure, government economy within the territory of the colony are changed by the colonists. It is a certain set of unequal relationship between metropole and colony and between the colonists and the indigenous population. Colonialism normally refers to the period from the 15th to the 19th centuries when the nations of Europe established colonies in other continents of the world. The reasons for the practice of colonialism at this time include the profit to be made, the need to expand the power of metropole or escape persecution in the metropole and spread the colonist way of life including religious and political beliefs. Collins English Dictionary defines colonialism as the policy of acquiring and maintaining colonies especially for exploitation. The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy uses the term “colonialism” to describe the process of European settlement and political control over the rest of the world, including America, Australia and parts of Africa and Asia. In Africa, colonialism brought a new dimension into the concept of land and various other aspects of the culture of the African people. Colonialism is the child of capitalism and what capitalism seeks out to do is to maximize profit at the expense of labour. Therefore, the incursion of the settlers into Africa is an attempt to utilize, to the maximum, all resources (both human and materials) that are available there. Capitalism can be said to be individualistic in nature while the already existing system in Africa is communal and this points out the fact that the two systems negate each other (Walter, 1972).