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Wiseman Nkuhlu: Behind Colonisation Lies a Gap in Science and Technology

Wiseman NkuhluProfessor Wiseman Nkuhlu, the chancellor of the University of Pretoria and the first black chartered accountant in South Africa, spoke about the value of education at a recent forum hosted by the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).

Nkuhlu referred to his own life, struggles and achievements as captured in his biography Wiseman Nkuhlu: a life of purpose by Luvuyo Wotshela, to illustrate the importance of learning. In his speech Nkuhlu called for a special focus on subjects like science, mathematics and technology.

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“As I became more politically conscious, I became more convinced about what was behind colonisation,” he mused. “Africans in West Africa – especially in ancient Ghana, Mali and in Sudan – were trading with Europeans, especially the Portuguese and there was no fear of being colonised. The issue of African being perceived as inferior came as Europe was advancing with the Renaissance, the Enlightment and they were acquiring and mastering weapons. They started feeling superior and also arrogant. So I became convinced that behind this colonisation was this gap in science and technology, which developed between Africa and Europe.”

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