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Education in Exile:
SOMAFCO, the African National Congress School in Tanzania, 1978-1992
Seán Morrow, Brown Maaba and Loyiso Pulumani
230pp. | R160.00 | 0-7969-2051-6| April 2004


This book re-lives the exile experience of many South Africans from 1978 to 1992 at the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College (SOMAFCO).

Much is known about the youth who fled South Africa to join Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). Less is known about the many who left the country to receive education and vocational training and to be part of a unique, self-reliant community at the ANC settlements of Mazimbu and Dakawa, near Morogoro in Tanzania. This latter group of mainly young people were equally freedom fighters, dedicated to preparing themselves for service to the Struggle and for reconstruction and development in a free nation.

At SOMAFCO were gathered young people, and their teachers, who had been obliged to flee a country whose regime had attempted to miseducate its youth and then turned viciously on them when they resisted. In the difficult conditions of exile this remarkable school sustained and developed an education based on principles of equal opportunity, non-discrimination and the dignity and unity of mental and manual labour.

SOMAFCO was a beacon of hope. South Africans from all backgrounds, and solidarity workers from many parts of the world, showed at Mazimbu and Dakawa what a new educational system might be and what new ways of thinking about teaching and learning could achieve.







  1. Education and the struggle for freedom
  2. Origins and early years of SOMAFCO
  3. Teachers,administrators and students
  4. The Charlotte Maxeke Children 's Centre
  5. The primary school
  6. The secondary school
  7. Curriculum and pedagogy at SOMAFCO
  8. The social life of students
  9. South Africans and Tanzanians
  10. Women at SOMAFCO
  11. Dakawa Development Centre
  12. Funding SOMAFCO
  13. The end of SOMAFCO
  14. SOMAFCO in retrospect


References and sources


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