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Past Smuts Commonwealth Lectures

Smuts Annual Lecture 2013

Professor Francis B Nyamnjoh

Fiction and reality of mobility in Africa (2013)

This talk takes a critical look at dominant approaches to studying and relating to mobile Africans. Nationals, citi-zens and locals in communities targeted by mobile Africans are instinctively expected to close ranks and fight off the influx of Africans perceived to bode little but inconvenience and backwardness. If and when Africans are al-lowed in, emphasis is on the needs, priorities and convenience of their reluctant hosts, who tend to go for the wealthy, the highly professionally skilled, and the culturally bleached, even at the risk of accusations of capital flight and brain drain. The talk demonstrates how to marry ethnography and fiction to study African mobility.

Francis B Nyamnjoh holds a PhD (1990), from the University of Leicester, UK. He joined the University of Cape Town in August 2009 as Professor of Social Anthropology from the Council for the Development of Social Science Re-search in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar, Senegal, where he served as Head of Publications from July 2003 to July 2009. He has taught sociology, anthropology and communication studies at universities in Cameroon and Botswana. He is a B2 rated Professor and Researcher by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) since 2010, a Fellow of the Cameroon Academy of Science since August 2011, and Chair of the Editorial Board of the South African Hu-man Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Press since January 2011. Dr Nyamnjoh has published widely on globalisa-tion, citizenship, media and the politics of identity in Africa. He has also published seven ethnographic novels.

The Smuts Commonwealth Lecture 2013 was organised by the Centre of African Studies and the Division of Social Anthropology Cambridge University.

Francic Nyamnjoh 1Francic Nyamnjoh 2Francic Nyamnjoh 3

Photography by Judith Weik