The Hut: Presentation and Activities

An intellectual movement known as ‘the Hut’ and its members ‘Hutians’ has taken shape in Strathmore Law School. Ideally, each academic year, we gather in the Hut on Friday evenings in Sir Thomas More Building, 3rd floor, Heritage Boardroom, to discuss matters that are critical to the lives of Africa’s peoples. We are predominantly students of law, from the Strathmore Law School LLB programme. However, and on many occasions, students of political science, business and information technology as well as lecturers also gain Hutian status by simply frequenting the Hut. Although, as Hutians, we are encouraged to be consistent in attending our sessions, there are no rules of attendance. The Hut excludes no one. 

Any Hutian can chair the discussions of the day. Such discussions are very informal but deeply thought-provoking. Our aim has never been to tackle any of them conclusively. As a custom, these are done through an exclusive reliance on African novelists, philosophers and authors, and poems, plays, and documentaries depicting an African event or a political personality. Some of the African contributionist and critical traditionalist sons and daughters whose works we have interacted with are Chinua Achebe, Francis Imbuga, Mamdani, Mazrui, John Mbiti, Anta Diop, Mugo, Frantz Fanon and Kwamena Bentsi-Enchill. We have passionately critiqued documentaries covering the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, apartheid in South Africa, Robert Mugabe, Winnie Mandela, Mobutu Sese Seko, Jerry Rawlings, Julius Nyerere, Idi Amin, Jomo Kenyatta, Muhammar Kadhaffi, Jean-Bédel Bokassa, amongst others. 

The Hut has empowered us with non-traditional ways of researching. As Melissa Mungai and Desmond Tutu have intimated, the Hut is a living conversation about understanding Africa in a globalised world. It has helped us bridge gaps in knowledge, an exercise which could have taken many years of reading on many topics in libraries and elsewhere. 

It is worth noting that we are not hostile to what is Eurocentric and do not advocate for a return to African indigenous institutions. Part of our claim has always been that Africa can never go back to its precolonial starting point. However, we make a case for a partial retreat, ‘looking inward to the ancestors to establish contacts with familiar landmarks of yesterday’. In addition, since the world is increasingly becoming a global village, we look outward as well to be sensitive to the whole world of human race. We understand and embrace the reality that African, the Islamic and the European mainly, and even globalisation, are part of our heritage. What we have always argued for has been a balanced dialogue among these three civilisations.

In the spirit of growth but also for us to capitalise on some of the things that the pandemic has introduced us to (it has made it easy for people from all over the world to connect easily, at least virtually), we have found a forum, known as Hosted in Africa, that has been kind enough to host the Hut as one of the communities on their platform.  

Hosted in Africa embodies the communal philosophy of Ubuntu that binds the continent physically, spiritually, culturally, and economically. It is a place to illuminate unique efforts and brilliance from across Africa and its diaspora. True to the spirit of Ubuntu, the space shall encourage authentic individual and collective creativity, in a value exchange arena, that aims to positively impact the wider society. It is different from Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc because on Hosted in Africa people meet as communities (a community centered on business, AI, or, in the case of the Hut, decolonial ideas from an Afrocentric perspective). 

Below are a few advantages that Hosted in Africa will give us: 
• It places the Hut on a global map, and anyone interested in it from any corner of the world can be joining us (it makes the Hut grow beyond SLS);  
• The Hut will be easily accessible and searchable in the sense that one may put it on their CV;  
• The materials we rely on will be posted on the website (Hosted in Africa) directly; 
• Discussions can continue on a ‘community’ chat option that Hosted in Africa gives us; 
• Whoever wants to publish any piece can do so and that will be promoted on the website; 
• You have the chance to join and interact with other communities on Hosted in Africa; etc 

Hutians now meet every Friday at 6-8pm EAT on the Hosted in Africa. This week, The Hut discusses Program 7 of Ali Mazrui’s “The Africans: A Triple Heritage”, which is available on YouTube.  

Register on the HiA Network at hostedinafrica.com/register, to join the The Hut Community. Be a part of weekly decolonial discussions and stream past recordings of meetings in The Hut. 

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Next Gen, Value Exchange

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