Teverayi Muguti is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He holds a BA Honors Degree in Economic History (University of Zimbabwe), an MSc in Intelligence and Security (Bindura University of Science Education – Zimbabwe) and a PhD in History (Stellenbosch University – South Africa). His research interests are African border studies and borderland community livelihoods (with focus on the Binga and Tonga people of Zimbabwe), as well as human-animal interactions in southern Africa. He also has a growing interest in the research of African sports history (particularly the cue sport of pool).

 

Next Gen: Please describe the central argument of your doctoral dissertation. What is its main contribution to knowledge in your field?

Muguti, Teverayi PhD Graduation picture
Photo Credit: Culture Media (Zimbabwe)

Teverayi Muguti: My doctoral dissertation is titled “A History of Border Control and Trade Relations between Zimbabwe and Zambia, c. 1963 – 2017.” Focusing on Zimbabwe, it analyzes how the state controlled the movement of people, goods, and services across its northern border with Zambia during times of war and peace, under colonialism, and in the post-colony. This helps us understand the power of the state and how its citizens survived against a barrage of setbacks: isolation, war, famine, drought, and economic crisis. This study demonstrates the significance of the border in shaping the state-to-state interaction between the two neighboring countries. In addition, it shows how ordinary people in a typical borderland area (Binga district) have negotiated state border security policy in their everyday lives over time, in both quotidian and extraordinary circumstances.

How did the Next Gen fellowship program impact your doctoral journey?

The Next Gen fellowship was important in supporting my data collection, as I was able to do gap-filling research after my initial research fieldwork in Zimbabwe and Zambia. It also assisted me in improving my writing and interpersonal communication skills through participating in research and writing workshops with fellows from different parts of Africa in 2022 and 2023. These experiences enabled me to draw parallels between occurrences in my area of study and experiences elsewhere on the continent. Apart from the phenomenal recreational excursions at the workshops, which were always fun and refreshing, the fellowship has also connected me to important academic and professional networks across Africa. Such networks are vital in fostering cross-disciplinary academic collaborations going forward.

Now that you have completed your PhD, what are your plans for the future?

I intend to transform my PhD findings into accessible and palatable academic/professional outputs that inform border policy in southern Africa, along with the whole continent. I also aim to explore new research centered on the precarious livelihoods of ordinary citizens in southern Africa. Hopefully, that knowledge may significantly result in the formulation and implementation of people-centered policies across all facets of life, instead of being largely state-centered. As such, my academic future is focused on researching and writing about aspects that impact the lived experiences of the disadvantaged and vulnerable sections of African societies in the 21st Century.

What advice do you have for upcoming doctoral students?

Don’t always aim to be the best – research, write, and finish your thesis in time.

 

 

Teverayi Muguti’s Publications

Book Chapter, “Nexus Between Border (In)Security and Economic Development in Binga District since 2000”, in Kirk Helliker and Joshua Matanzima, (eds.) Tonga Livelihoods in Rural Zimbabwe, (London: Routledge, 2023), pp. 177 – 192. https://www.routledge.com/Tonga-Livelihoods-in-Rural-Zimbabwe/Helliker-Matanzima/p/book/9781032244358.

Book Chapter, “The River is a Natural Resource, Not A Border?” Understanding Tonga Borderland Community Responses to State Border Security Policy in Binga district of Zimbabwe, c. 1957 to 2017” in M. Mushonga, J. Aerni-Flessner, C. Twala, and G. Magaiza (eds.), Migration, Borders, and Borderlands: Making National Identity in Southern African Communities, (Lanham, Lexington, 2024) pp. 115-138. https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781666942811/Migration-Borders-and-Borderlands-Making-National-Identity-in-Southern-African-Communities.

With Joshua Matanzima et al.,Socio-Economic Flux and Tonga Rituals in Rural Zimbabwe,’ in Mankind Quarterly, 64 (3), 431-446, (2024), ISSN: 0025-2344. https://mankindquarterly.org/archive/issue/64-3/11.

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