Saturday, August 4, 2007

An African Scholar

Professor Clement Tsehloane Keto

I have come to develop a value and a pride in myself that does not require to be sustained by disrespect for the pride and value of others nor to belittle those who were different from me…My personal dignity is like a ship that is only able to stay afloat on a sea of respect for the dignity of others.

C. Tsehloane Keto

Clement Tsehloane Keto was born on 23 February 1941 in Matatiele, in the Transkei region of the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa. A historian by training, he retired as the last Vice-Chancellor of Vista University in South Africa prior to that institution’s ultimate break-up and disbanding as a result of national government policy of restructuring the higher education landscape in South Africa following the introduction of a democratic dispensation after 1994.

The son of Victor Lentsoe and Chatherine Naniwe (nee Mazibu) Tsehloane who where both school principals, he, at the time of his death on 2 March 2004, was married to Zodwa Lucy Keto, his fifth wife. Keto had three children. He had twin sons Lefa Victor and Lefanyana James from his marriage to Claudia Ann Tucker and a daughter Naledi who, though born from a relationship he had with his girlfriend Joyce in the US, returned to Botswana where Joyce comes from originally. Following his divorce with Claudia Ann, he married Isoke K. Hajj-Mak on 1 April 1994. Isoke brought two more children of her own, Anwar Bullock and Adika Hajj-Mak, to this marriage.

After completing high school at Mariazell High School in the Cape Province, he obtained a BA degree from the University of South Africa (UNISA) through Pius XII College in Lesotho in 1963. He taught at a high school in Lesotho in 1964 and in Zambia in 1964 to 1966. He went to the United States and obtained an MA from the American University in Washington, DC in 1967 and had to return to Africa due to visa requirements. He returned to Zambia where he worked as a teacher at the Mporokoso Secondary School from 1967 to 1968 whereupon he returned to the US and obtained a PhD from Georgetown University in Washington, DC in 1972. He also attended history courses at Howard University and George Washington University, both also in Washington, DC.

Keto taught political science and history at Lincoln University in Oxford, Pennsylvania and Elizabethtown University also in Pennsylvania from 1969 to 1970. He was an Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas in Lawrence from 1970 to 1973 before becoming an Associate Professor in History and Black Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia from 1973 to 1991. He was a professor at Temple University from 1991 until he left Temple in 1996 to return to South Africa to serve as deputy vice-chancellor of Vista University. While at Temple University he also served as the Director: Institute of African and African-American Affairs from 1985 to 1992 and Director: Graduate Program of African-American Studies from 1990 to 1995. In 2000 he served as the penultimate Vice-Chancellor of
Vista University.

Keto authored a number of books, contributed articles and chapters to books, wrote journal articles and other publications. He authored The Aftermath of the Jameson Raid and American Decision Making in Foreign Affairs, 1896 (1980), American South African Relations, 1784-1980: review and selected bibliography (1985), Africa Centred Perspective of History (1989), which was revised in 1991 and 1993 as Africa Centered Perspective of History: An Introduction, and Vision, Identity and Time: The Afrocentric Paradigm and the Study of the Past (1995), Tsa Batho: Zonal Dynamics of Black Politics (1989), Pre-Industrial and Education Policies and Practices (1990), Vision and Time (2000).

He received the National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) Award and was a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honour society. He was active in Amnesty International, a member of the American Historical Association, the African Studies Association, the African Heritage Studies Association, serving as its Director from 1988 to 1995, the National Council for Black Studies, the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, the South African Research Association, serving it membership secretary from 1976 to 1980, the Organization of South Africans, serving as Publicity Secretary from 1987 to 1989, the NAACP, and the Cultural Reclamation Forum, and the African Renaissance Institute.


Barren, Chris. ”Professor Tsehloane Keto: Historian who pioneered the Afrocentric view”, Obituary, Sunday Times, 14 March 2004

Georgetown University Alumni Directory 1995. Bernard C. Harris Publishing. New York, USA.

2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 20th Century (First Edition, 2000), International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England.

Who’s Who in the East (23rd Edition, 1991-1992). Marquis Who’s Who, Illinois, USA.

Who’s Who in the World (12th Edition, 1995). Marquis Who’s Who, New Jersey, USA.

The Africa Centered Perspective of History: An Introduction. 1991. KA Publishers, New Jersey, USA.

The Africa Centered Perspective of History and Social Sciences in the Twenty First Century. 1989. KA Publications, New Jersey, USA


About Me said...

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Anonymous said...

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