Two Fellowships were awarded in 2007 – to Professors Jeff Guy and Winston Hide.
Jeff Guy, Professor Emeritus of History and Research Fellow at the Campbell Collections, University of KwaZulu-Natal, makes history come alive and has a story of his own to tell: “Working as a teacher in London in the 1960s, I gave a paper on South African history at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the next day I was invited to the offices of Anglo American where I was asked how much I would need to stop teaching and pursue full-time research. I have no idea what would have happened if I had not subsequently been offered a scholarship by the Trust which allowed me to leave school-teaching and give all my time to doctoral research. I do know, however, that it changed the course of my life and that to this day the research and the writing of history has been not just the source of great pleasure and fascination, but above all it has been its own reward.”
A distinguished scholar, Professor Guy wrote his first two books from an office in the Oppenheimer Block at the University of Lesotho (formerly Pius Xll College) and in 2007 was honoured for his internationally recognised work on 19th century Natal, particularly his exploration of the life of the enigmatic Theophilus Shepstone and the extent to which the perpetuation and the present revival of African social, political and cultural traditionalism can be explained by the policies he developed towards the government of African societies in colonial Natal.
He sums up his appreciation of the Fellowship “Generally, the ideas that inform my historical research and conclusions are unsympathetic to those who have guided the course of South African and indeed global economic development, as is obvious from my historical writing. Yet there has never been the slightest attempt, or even the suggestion of an attempt, to guide how I worked, how I thought, how I argued, or how I presented the past. The Trust has granted me the privilege of not just a material but an intellectual freedom which, generally I believe, gets more rare, and therefore more valuable, by the day. It is for this freedom above all that I thank the Trust and those responsible for it.”
Guy has published widely on South African history. His works include The Destruction of the Zulu Kingdom: The Civil War, 1879-1884 (1994), The Maphumulo Uprising: War, Law and Ritual in the Zulu Rebellion (2005) and Remembering the Rebellion: The Zulu Uprising of 1906 (2007). Theophilus Shepstone and the Forging of Natal was published by UKZN Press in August 2013.