Mamphela Ramphele

Mamphela Ramphele trained as a medical doctor and anthropologist. She is the author, with Francis Wilson, of Uprooting Poverty: The South African Challenge as well as other books and articles, and is at present deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town.

Listed in: African Studies · Anthropology · Sociology




A Bed Called Home · Life in the Migrant Labour Hostels of Cape Town
By Mamphela Ramphele · Photography by Roger Meintjes

In the last three years the migrant labor hostels of South Africa, particularly those in the Transvaal, have gained international notoriety as theaters of violence. For many years they were hidden from public view and neglected by the white authorities. Now, it seems, hostel dwellers may have chosen physical violence to draw attention to the structural violence of their appalling conditions of life.

“This is an excellent book: it is easy to read and provides a deep analysis of apartheid and its consequences by homing in on one particular kind of institution. It provides a means to self-examination for both black and white readers which is so much needed in South African writing now…A work which is among the best recent South African publications.”

Sarah Nuttall, Journal of Southern African Studies