The Return of Makhanda

Exploring the Legend

By Julia C. Wells

Makhanda was a Xhosa leader and warrior-prophet who lived in the early 19th century in southern Africa, and who led a massive attack on the British in Grahamstown in 1819. His clarity of thinking and personal charisma propelled him into the position of leading spiritual adviser to the powerful Chief Ndlambe of the Rharhabe. Although Makhanda was portrayed in the written record as a religious fanatic and millinarian prophet who led his own people to destruction, this evocative account demonstrates that the popular heroic view of Makhanda, as one of South Africa's early freedom fighters, is far more justified. With meticulous chronology, the book offers a major revision of the life of this often controversial figure. (Series: Thinking Africa). *** "...Wells openly declares that her purpose is to rehabilitate the reputation of Makhanda....Her admission of bias may shock academic purists, but what follows is a meticulous examination of the written and oral evidence that interprets an immensely complex story quite brilliantly. Highly recommended." J. E. Flint, emeritus, Dalhousie University, Choice, February 2013, Vol. 50, No. 6.


292 pages

Publication Date: 7/1/2012
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781869142384