“Moment of Madness”: Ethnic Marginalisation and Exclusionary Development, are they not Social Development Issues?


  • Nokukhanya Ndhlovu UNIVERSITY OF FORT HARE




ethnical marginalisation, exclusionary development, tribalism, social development, amaNdebele, Zimbabwe


Even though the concept of development means different things to different people, the general consensus is that it should not be discriminatory nor exclusionary. It should also not obstruct basic human needs or real human interests. Against this backdrop, many governments have adopted integrated people-centred development that caters for all people irrespective of their location, ethnicity, race or gender, among other things. The study discusses the way in which the Zimbabwean government has used development to marginalise and exclude minority ethnicities from its development agenda. More particularly, the study discusses the way in which development in Zimbabwe has been used as a tool to exploit, sideline and disempower the amaNdebele people. The study concludes that whereas many nations have opted for people-centred development, Zimbabwe has taken a different route. For the country, the term development has a different meaning altogether. Not only is it top-down, disempowering and exclusionary, but it is also divisive, structurally violent and incredibly hateful. The study recommends that Zimbabwe openly discuss and acknowledge that tribalism exists and be willing to redress the legacy of hegemonic politics and separate development intentionally and effectively.


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How to Cite

Ndhlovu, Nokukhanya. 2021. “‘Moment of Madness’: Ethnic Marginalisation and Exclusionary Development, Are They Not Social Development Issues?”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 33 (2):16 pages. https://doi.org/10.25159/2708-9355/6967.



Received 2019-10-24
Accepted 2021-06-22
Published 2021-08-23