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Keywords:

  • citizenship;
  • education;
  • patriotism;
  • patriotic history;
  • African crisis;
  • Zimbabwe

Abstract

This article draws from my current research on the challenges that the concept ‘citizenship’ brings to postcolonial Africa. The article takes Zimbabwe as a case study with the view to interrogate how the decade-long crisis has been obfuscated by the elites' manipulation of the education system which has left it redundant for envisioning both postcolonial and world citizenship. First, this article seeks to outline the challenge of enunciating the crisis. Second, it outlines and discusses how the limits of postcolonial education reforms and the demand for a patriotic citizenry have stemmed from the political ideologues' deployment of ‘patriotic history’ to mobilise citizens' allegiance to the party-state. Third, the article situates the citizenship education debate within the broader discourse of democratic citizenship and argues that the Zimbabwean crisis can be meaningfully addressed, among other measures, by taking citizenship education seriously and making schools and institutions of higher learning sites for democratic engagement.