Towards Trans4mation in Africa: Africology, Black Consciousness, Communitalism and Nhakanomics

Our vision is a Sophiatown and surrounding communities where all people truly belong : where there is healing, opportunity and prosperity; so that resources are used to create a society where none live in poverty.

Prof Ronnie Lessem & Prof Alexander Schieffer visiting Trevor Huddleston Memorial Centre in Sophiatown

Trevor Huddleston Memorial Centre

How do we understand and create knowledge? Does scientific knowledge cover all knowledge? Afrikology tries to answer these questions by tracing the issue of epistemology to the Cradle of Humanity in Africa and through such a reflection establishes a basis for holistic and integrated ways of knowledge production that makes it possible to interface scientific knowledge with other forms of knowing. (1)

A group of Southern Africans, specifically combining graduates of a Masters in Social and Economic Transformation (MSET) based at the former CIDA (Community and Individual Development Association), and Trans4m based PhD’s pursuing Integral Development, met at the Trevor Huddleston Memorial Centre in mid-November, 2019. Together we expressed the desire to purposefully and interdependently further pursue a process of social innovation, serving to co-evolve political, economic and educational transformation, in Africa, for the world. Altogether, this group of social innovators, all of which have been inducted into TRANS4M’s Integral Worlds approach; for a “Transformative Mix” – and instantaneously entered a deep dialogue on how the various transformative impulses in the group could coalesce to support a (South) African Renaissance process – including the interconnected renewal of African Politics, Economics and Education. The group committed to a process of co-creation, beginning with a position paper of a core team that was formed on the spot. That position paper would then serve to stimulate co-creation with the entire group, with the objective to ultimately and actively engage in top-level political and economic leadership, working together for an alternative integral vision for African political and economic governance.

In pursuit of such a wholesome cause, it was considered essential not only that we stand on the shoulders of African giants, naturally and culturally, technologically and economically, set within an all-round polity, but that we also purposefully build on what we are co-creating, individually and institutionally, already. Recognizing the proverbial divide in Africa, institutionally through not individually and communally, between spirit (nature, culture, ontology) and matter (technology, economy, polity), the particular impulses on which we have been already drawing straddle that basis divide, thereby drawing spiritually on Afrikology (East Africa), and Black Consciousness (South Africa), and materially on Communitalism (Nigeria) and Nhakanomics (Zimbabwe). Most recently moreover, in and around the Trevor Huddleston Centre, linked with the Hope of Africa Institute, locally, and Trans4m Communiversity Associates (TCA), globally, the opportunity has arisen for us to combine forces, under a common umbrella.

The unusual, thereby integral, Research Academy that we envision as such, would be firstly and locally grounded not in adversarial politics but in communal learning such as that undertaken in Sophiatown: hence also “Communitalism” as an alternative polity.  Secondly, the transformation journey in which we would purposefully co-engage, locally-globally emerging individually and collectively, aimed at creating a society where none live in poverty, would also serve, through transformative education, to co-evolve “Black Consciousness”. Thirdly, and building socially and scientifically on both of the above, newly globally as it were, the research academy would seek to combine nature and culture, technology and enterprise, in “Afrikology” guise. Finally, in transforming spirit into matter, “Nhakanomics”-wise, socio-economic laboratories straddling the public, private, civic and environmental, would turn the spirit into matter. 

Read more about Trevor Huddleston Memorial Centre here.     


(1) Dani Nabudere – Afrikology: Philosophy and Wholeness: An Epistemology

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