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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The colonial state and the political economy of famine in Swaziland, 1943-1945
Author:Simelane, Hamilton SiphoISNI
Periodical:South African Historical Journal (ISSN 1726-1686)
Geographic term:Swaziland - Eswatini
colonial policy
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02582473.2013.787641
Abstract:African countries have experienced the occurrence of famine at different times in their history. Researchers have analysed these famines and have developed theories to explain their causes and the socio-economic dislocations they have unleashed. However, not all African countries have benefitted from such academic attention. Swaziland has experienced famine at different times but no study has been conducted to analyse the intensity of the famines and the factors that motivated them. The famine that affected the whole of Swaziland between 1943 and 1945 has received casual mention from some scholars and commentators and nature has been blamed for its occurrence, and the negative impact of indigenous farming methods has been highlighted. This article focuses on this famine, particularly the nexus between colonial policies and escalation of famine conditions during the said years. It argues that simplistic reliance on natural causation and imprudent cultivation methods of the indigenous population fail to provide a nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the drivers of the famine. The article integrates wartime colonial policy into the discourse of causes of famine in colonial Swaziland. It shows that famine was more of a colonial construction than a natural 'visitation'. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]