Voices from the Kavango. A Study of the Contract Labour System in Namibia, 1925–1972

  • Language: English
  • ca. 250 pages
  • illustrations, index
  • BNSS Vol. 22
  • Print: 978-3-906927-19-0
  • PDF: 978-3-906927-20-6
Kletus Likuwa

Voices from the Kavango. A Study of the Contract Labour System in Namibia, 1925–1972

Voices from the Kavango explores the contribution that the life histories and the voices of the contract labourers make to our understanding of the contract labour system in Namibia. In particular it asks: is it possible to view the migration of the Kavango labourers as a progressive step, or does the paradigm of exploitation and suppression remain the dominant one? The study highlights contract labourers engaging in a defeating activity and their disappointment with the little rewards which were non-lasting solutions to their problems. The realization of their entrapment under the contract system and the eventual frustrations led to the political mobilization for independence by SWAPO.

Kletus Likuwa obtained his PhD from the University of the Western Cape for the thesis which comprises this book. He is the Deputy Director for the Multidisciplinary Research Centre (MRC) at the University of Namibia in Windhoek.

Foreword by Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie
1 Tracing the History of the Contract Labour System in the Kavango, 1885–1950s
2 “They Used to Buy Us”: Labour Migration from Kavango
3 Living and Work Experiences
4 Returning Home: Economic, Social Impact and Worker Mobilization
5 General Conclusions and Lessons

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