African Apocalypse: The Story of Nontetha Nkwenkwe, a Twentieth-century South African Prophet - Research in International Studies - Africa Series 72 (Paperback)

by Robert R. Edgar, Hilary Sapire

Format: Paperback 213 pages

Not in stock

Usually despatched in 2-3 weeks

£16.99

Delivered FREE
in the UK

Add to basket

The devastating influenza epidemic of 1918 ripped through southern Africa. In its aftermath, revivalist and millenarian movements sprouted. Prophets appeared bearing messages of resistance, redemption, and renewal. "African Apocalypse: The Story of Nontetha Nkwenkwe, A Twentieth-Century Prophet" is the remarkable story of one such prophet, a middle-aged Xhosa woman named Nontetha. After surviving the deadly virus, Nontetha proclaimed that a series of dreams revealed to her that the influenza had been a punishment from God. Consequently, she embarked on a mission to reform her society.
She imposed numerous prohibitions and rules on her followers. In a parallel movement, in 1919, millenarian Israelites congregated in the holy village of Ntabelanga, 100 miles north of Nontetha's area, to await the end of the world. In May 1921, police killed nearly 200 Israelites near Queenstown in a showdown over attempts to expel the settlers.
Accused of sedition by an alarmed government, Nontetha was committed to Fort Beaufort Mental Hospital in 1922. On Nontetha's death in 1935, officials buried her in an unmarked pauper's grave. In 1997, Edgar and Sapire located Nontetha's grave. Of Edgar's efforts to return Nontetha to her home, the "New York Times" said, "One would not expect, perhaps, that a mild-mannered professor from Howard University would turn out to be the Indiana Jones of South Africa."
"African Apocalypse" touches on a variety of themes, including African Christianity, gender, protest, the social history of madness, and the engagement of professional historians in contemporary issues.

Book details

Published
20/12/1999

Publisher
Ohio University Monographs in International Studies

ISBN
9780896802087


Other books by this author See all titles

The prices displayed are for website purchases only, and may differ to the prices in Waterstones shops.