Original Research - Special Collection: Change agency in a 21st-century South Africa

Unshackling the chains of coloniality: Reimagining decoloniality, Africanisation and Reformation for a non-racial South Africa

Thinandavha D. Mashau
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 3 | a4920 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i3.4920 | © 2018 Thinandavha Derrick Mashau | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 January 2018 | Published: 29 May 2018

About the author(s)

Thinandavha D. Mashau, Department of Christian Spirituality, Church History and Missiology, University of South Africa, South Africa


Racial divisions, polarisation and tensions are on the rise in South Africa today. A democratic dream of a rainbow nation remains just a dream with racism continuing to raise its ugly head in the democratic South Africa, to the detriment of the rainbow dream of a united South Africa. This article seeks to probe whether South Africans should continue to sing the song of racial reconciliation in the light of the continued racial tensions and post-colonial and post-apartheid legacies and stereotypes that continue to manifest in our private and public spaces. Based on an examination of the decoloniality project, Africanisation and Reformation, through literature study, the article calls for the decoloniality of faith in an effort to craft a vision for a non-racial society. This vision not only takes the importance of the redeeming memories of the 500 years of Reformation seriously, but also the notion of Africanisation and, in particular, the use of the African value systems in shaping and reconstructing a non-racial South Africa. This article taps into the resourcefulness of the Reformed faith in South Africa, as articulated in the theologies of Snyman, Tshaka and Botha, and applies them to South African discourses of decoloniality.


Coloniality; Decoloniality; Africanisation; Reformation


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