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Archie Mafeje

Bongani Nyoka
Archie Mafeje
ISBN: 978-0-7969-2564-0
2019/312 pages
Voices of Liberation
Distributed for HSRC Press

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Noted for his academic prowess, quick wit, and tireless struggle both for pan-Africanist ideals and for the political emancipation of South Africans living under apartheid, Archie Mafeje has been hailed as a giant not only as a thinker, but also as a human being. His work addressed a broad range of issues critical to sub-Saharan Africa, among them agrarian reform, democracy, the politics of revolution, and even social science methods. 

In this compelling biography, Bongani Nyoka discusses the influences on Mafeje's intellectual development, presents and contextualizes a selection of his writing, and reflects on his legacy.


Bongani Nyoka is a researcher at the Archie Mafeje Research Institute at the University of South Africa.


  • Introduction: Locating Mafeje.
  • Family Background and Influences.
  • Intellectual and Political Background.
  • Cambridge and Beyond.
  • Life in Exile.
  • Return from Exile.
  • The Ideology of 'Tribalism.'
  • The Problem of Anthropology in Historical Perspective: An Inquiry into the Growth of the Social Sciences.
  • On the Articulation of Modes of Production.
  • Peasants in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Soweto and Its Aftermath.
  • South Africa: The Dynamics of a Beleaguered State.
  • Democracy, Civil Society, and Governance in Africa.
  • Mafeje's Legacy.
  • Letter from Dana El-Baz to the CODESRIA Community.