School of Social Sciences

Mphumeleli Ngidi

Mphumeleli Ngidi



Last Updated 2 years ago

Position Lecturer
Discipline History
Phone 033 260 5292
Campus Pietermaritzburg Campus
Office Address New Arts Building 338

Degrees Held

  • B. SoSc (2011); B. SoSc. Honours (2012); MA (2013), UKZN.



  • Joined UKZN in November 2015 after serving as a tutor for two years in the History department.


  • School of Social Sciences Honours bursary, 2012.

Research Interests

  • My honours mini-thesis focused on a local community soccer team which was formed in the 1960s and became defunct in the 1990s. My MA dissertation focused on the inter-race soccer matches in Natal in the period 1946 – 1960. . Both projects were based on one area of my research, namely, sport. From the oral history conducted for those projects I developed an interest, more broadly, in memory, identity formation, class and race amongst communities in Durban. My current research for my doctoral dissertation focuses on the oral histories of the forced removal of people from Cato Manor in the 1950s and 1960s and how this is remembered in the contemporary period. As a result of my teaching I am more broadly interested in various aspects of the history of KwaZulu-Natal. 

Teaching Areas

  • HIST104: The Making of the Modern World

    In order to understand the world South Africans find themselves in today, a long term understanding of world history is required. In broad terms, this first year level course examines the centuries of world history from the emergence of the ‘first world system’ (from circa 900 CE) to the establishment of Western European domination by the mid-1700s.  Even five hundred years ago there were few signs that Europe would come to dominate the world in which we live. Indeed, in global historical terms, until recently that region lay far from the centres of economic, artistic, cultural, and political vitality. Rather, the most dynamic centres of importance and innovation were to be found in the societies of Islam, and amongst those of Asia, and especially in China. In this course, we consider the world before European hegemony; and then the major forces – economic, political, ecological, technological and cultural – of change that brought the Old and New worlds into contact after the 1400s; the profound impacts of this process of contact; and then the creation of a new world order, though it took until 1750 for ‘the West’ to establish its dominance over much of the globe. This is not a story of Western triumphalism, however, and this course also takes into account the experiences of Asian, African and American and other colonised peoples. It demonstrates how study of the paths of contact and conquest, and of the responses of colonized peoples, lays a necessary foundation for understanding the making of the modern and the contemporary world of states, empires and ideas, which is the focus of the second semester module.

  • HIST 105H2: Empires of the Modern World

    The idea of empire is at the heart of our debates about the modern world.  The tensions that past and current empires have created shape our everyday lives.  Over the last 1 000 years, empires have established the foundations of political and economic life for almost all the inhabitants of our world.  This course will introduce you to some of the key features imperial systems over the last 250 years, ranging from eastern to western empires, and including the Spanish Empire and the Ottoman Empire, the British Empire in India and European empires in Africa.  We will explore debates about neocolonialism and the United States of America, once itself a British colony and now regarded by some as a modern empire.  We will also look at the forms that opposition to imperialism has taken, and at the forces that have led to the collapse of empires. Whereas in the first semester, the focus was on developing skills in accuracy of historical information through quizzes and short questions in tests and the exams, our focus shifts in this semester to essay writing skills, and to developing your ability to use information in historical analysis and debates.

  • HIST201 Law, Crime and Society in History 

    This course examines the changing social context in which ideas about law, crime, freedom, power and rights have been codified and challenged in different regions of the world; whether law shapes society ot society shapes law; changing definitions of crime and punishment; criminalisation of the poor; the role of law in colonialism and capitalist development; crimes of modern states; how traumatic histories should be remembered and addressed. Specific case studies include the use of the death penalty, the Mau Mau in Kenya, apartheid and the TRC in South Africa, sati in India, as well as examples from the history of the United States and the Soviet Union.

  • HIST 206H2: Law, Crime, and Society in History

    Law, Crime and Society in History examines the changing social contexts in which ideas about law, crime, property, freedom, power and rights have been codified and challenged in different regions of the world. It offers a conceptual framework and historical background for understanding some of the crucial legal, political and ethical debates of our own times, as well as of the power and limitations of the law in addressing them. Specific historical examples that highlight the conflict-laden interplay between legal formations of political power and social relations around land, wealth, labour, culture, gender and violence are discussed.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

  • “The Natal Inter-Race Soccer Tournament (1946-1960) and race identities in KwaZulu-Natal”, New Contree, 70, Special Edition; December 2014.
  • “Inter-race soccer and the 1960 riots in Durban, South Africa,” Historia 59, 2, November 2014, pp. 326-343.

Conference Presentations

  • “Race, Community and Identity: the history of Sporting Club D’Alberton Callies, 1960- 1996” at the 2013 Biennial Southern African Historical Society (SAHS) in Gaborone, Botswana, 27 – 30 June 2013.
  • “The Soccer Riots of 1960 and the experiment of Non-Racial Soccer in South Africa” at the Historical Association of South Africa (HASA) Biennial Conference at Blue Waters Hotel, Durban; 26- 28 June 2014.
  • “People’s memories of forced removals: A Case Study of Cato Manor, Durban” at the 2nd annual Memory in Africa Conference at UKZN, Durban; 14 – 15 November 2014.
  • “Forced evictions from Cato Manor and the remaking of community in KwaMashu, c.1960-1990s: Oral History Perspectives”, Biennial Southern African Historical Society (SAHS), University of Stellenbosch, Western Cape, 1 –3 July 2015.
  • “The Natal Inter-Race Soccer Tournament of the 1950s”, World Social Science Forum (WSSF), International Convention Centre, Durban, 13 – 16 September 2015.
  • “Race, Community and Identity: the history of Sporting Club D’Alberton Callies, 1960- 1996”, Indian Diaspora Conference: ‘Celebrating 155 years of Indians in South Africa’, UKZN, Durban, 11 – 14 November 2015.
  • “Forced removals from Cato Manor to KwaMashu – perspectives from the ground: a study based on oral history”, Workshop on Mzala Nxumalo, Mzala Nxumalo Centre, Pietermaritzburg, 26 February 2016.
  • ‘“Mob” resistance to apartheid policies: oral and newspaper perspectives on police killings in Cato Manor, Durban, 1960’, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 20 June 2016.
  • “The Natal Inter-Race Soccer Tournament of the 1950s”, Sport Africa Conference, University of Free State, Bloemfontein, 10 – 13 April 2017.