1951 Secretary General, ANCongress.
1959 Junior Deputy President, CAP.
Stanlake Samkange was born in 1922 at Mariga in the Zwimba Reserve. His father1 was a minister at Waddilove Mission. Stanlake was himself educated at Waddilove and at Adams College in Natal. From there he went to Fort Hare, also in South Africa, where he graduated B.A. (Hons) in History.
On his return to Southern Rhodesia in 1947 he taught at Mzingwane Government School but gave up the security of his career in order to raise funds for the establishment of a new school at Nyatsime2
In 1951 he became Secretary-General of the old ANCongress and (together with Joshua Nkomo)
attended the conference of African Political leaders at Fort Jameson during that year. On his return from this meeting he persuaded the various political and trade union groups in Rhodesia to merge in the AAC3 In January 1954 he stood unsuccessfully against Jasper Savanhu (UFP) in the first elections for the Federal Parliament4
From 1952 to 1957 he worked as a freelance journalist editing The African Businessman and
contributing articles to New Rhodesia under the pen-name ‘Ganda Shanga’. In 1957 he went to the United States on a scholarship and the following year received the degree of Master of Science at Syracuse University, NY. On his return to Africa he joined the United Rhodesia Party5 and when, in 1959, this party evolved into the CAP he was elected junior Deputy President at the inaugural congress on 4 June.6
When several hundred nationalists were locked up in February 1959 he became chairman of the Christian Action Group, a body devoted to raising funds to support the families of detainees.
Although a firm believer in the aims of African Nationalism, he found the faction fighting between the PCC and ZANU in 1963-64 distasteful and unacceptable. As a man who thought deeply, and who believed in the amicable settlement of disputes, he concluded that his future, at any rate for a time, lay in the academic field. In 1966 he moved to the United States where he obtained a doctorate in philosophy7 He now holds the post of Professor of African History at North Western University, Boston, USA.
On 15 October 1976 he was nominated as Economic and Political Adviser to the ANC Muzorewa) delegation to the Geneva Conference. He married Miss Thomie Marie Anderson, an African American from Jackson, Mississippi, who is a Doctor of Psychology. They have two sons.
On Trial For My Country (Heinemann, London, 1966).
Origins of Rhodesia (Heinemann, London, 1968).
1 Thompson Douglas Samkange.
2 The first African private school in Southern Rhodesia.
3This first attempt at unification of African movements had Joshua Nkomo as President, Charles Mzingeli as Interim Chairman, and Stanlake Samkange as Secretary-General.
4 Although himself a member of the UFP he was not backed by the party.
5 Under the leadership of Garfield Todd.
6 He resigned the following year.
7 At Indiana University. His thesis was ‘African Land Dues in Rhodesia’.