Jana Frey | 05.07.2018 | 810 Aufrufe | Interviews

Lloyd Melusi Maphosa | "A Historical Analysis of Joint Stock Companies in the Cape Colony, 1862-1910"

Lisa Maskell Fellowships at Stellenbosch University, South Africa

In 2014, the Gerda Henkel Foundation initiated a scholarship programme supporting young humanities scholars from Africa and Southeast Asia in honour of the foundation's founder, Lisa Maskell. It is the largest international support programme for PhD students in the history of the Foundation. The Lisa Maskell Fellowships aim to strengthen universities in the partner countries, to counter the outflow of qualified young scholars and to ensure the doctoral students enjoy excellent academic training.

In the following months, L.I.S.A. will publish interviews with the Lisa Maskell Fellows from Stellenbosch University in South Africa, in which they will talk about their research projects as well as their experiences during their academic career and the Lisa Maskell fellowship.

This week, we welcome Lloyd Melusi Maphosa from Zimbabwe. After graduating from the University of Zimbabwe, he started his PhD in History with the thesis A Historical Analysis of Joint Stock Companies in the Cape Colony, 1862-1910 at Stellenbosch University in 2017.


Lloyd Melusi Maphosa from Zimbabwe

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L.I.S.A.: What is the state of the humanities in Zimbabwe, your home country?

Lloyd Melusi Maphosa: The state of humanities in my home country is fair. Zimbabwe, or Zimbabweans, value human life and since independence we have tried to achieve an egalitarian society although the crisis of the 2000s (economic sanctions) heightened poverty.

L.I.S.A.: Have you ever encountered problems in the realization of your academic career?

Lloyd Melusi Maphosa: I have never struggled in that regard.

"Entrepreneurship is our only hope of development"

L.I.S.A.: What is your PhD project about and what got you interested in the chosen topic to begin with? 

Lloyd Melusi Maphosa: My initial PhD topic was about the origins of regional and horizontal inequalities in sub-Saharan Africa with a specific focus in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe. I was motivated to study this because I believe the inequalities abundant in our societies today are results of colonial institutions. Understanding this phenomenon is instrumental in rectifying today's problems. However, I was advised to change my research to the study of capitalism in the Cape colony. Whilst this may seem divorced from my initial study, I am not too far from my beloved study of Africa's development. Here I study the genealogies of entrepreneurship in Southern Africa. This is especially important to our development because in the wake of failed and interrupted political structures, entrepreneurship is our only hope of development.

L.I.S.A.: What has your experience at Stellenbosch University been like? Have there been any differences to the University of Zimbabwe? 

Lloyd Melusi Maphosa: Stellenbosch is relatively a larger learning institution than the University of Zimbabwe hence it has given me a lot of opportunities and an apparatus that easily made my academic life bearable.

"A country that values education"

L.I.S.A.: What are the opportunities in Zimbabwe to pursue different degree options (BA/MA/PhD)?

Lloyd Melusi Maphosa: The opportunities are endless as Zimbabwe is generally a country that values education. The only barrier is funding. Just like in South Africa, it is expensive to fund oneself at tertiary education, thus, exogenous funding is paramount.

L.I.S.A.: What are your plans concerning your future career once you have obtained your PhD? 

Lloyd Melusi Maphosa: My wish is to return back home and plough back the knowledge I accrued. 

Lloyd Melusi Maphosa has answered the questions in written form.

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