Alfred E. Golz Memorial Lecture

Alfred E. Golz Lecture Fund was established by Ronald A. Golz '56 in 1970 in memory of his father. This fund is used to support a lecture by an eminent historian or humanitarian to be scheduled close to the November 21 birthday of Alfred E. Golz.

The Golz Lecture for the 2023-2024 academic year will be delivered by Mustafah Dhada.

 Aphani Wense! Kill Them All: Portugal’s Final Reckoning of the Wiriyamu Massacre.

Wednesday, November, 15, 2023

7:30 PM

Location: Kresge, VAC

On December 16, 1972, Portuguese commandos massacred 385 women, men, and children in five villages along the Zambezi fifteen miles south of Tete, the district capital of colonial Mozambique. Six months later, the Times of London revealed the story as a massacre on its front page, extreme right column. The Sunday Times then backed up the story with timely data that an acolyte and his priestly mentor stationed in Tete had started collecting on the very night of the massacre. Portugal replied, it was fake news fabricated by over-imaginative priests conspiring with prelates working against Portugal’s sacred mission to promote western civilization in colonial Africa. Nine months later, fascist Portugal fell, ushering in parliamentary democracy. For the next fifty years Portugal continued to support its denial, while scholars, journalists and public figures challenged with evidence- based texts. In 2022 Portugal buckled, in part under the weight of newly published texts using probative data collected over an extended period of inquiry. The Portuguese Prime Minister finally admitted the former empire had acted abominably and asked forgiveness of the people of Mozambique for its inhumanity. The President of the Portuguese Republic followed suit as did the Speaker/President of the National Assembly.

The talk unveils two aspects of the Wiriyamu story both narrated as a lived experience: one aspect explores individuals and the role they played in delivering the story to the Thunderer, the London Times; the other traces the methodological anatomy undergirding the recent texts that upended the Portuguese denial narrative. The talk will then ask us to address two rhetorical interrogatives: What practical pointers Wiriyamu offers to tackle colonial mass violence in Africa; and where do positionality as a lived experience and intentional presentism fit in the study of colonial mass violence?

About the Lecturer: Mustafah Dhada 


Mustafah Dhada was born and brought up in Mozambique, educated in England at Sussex and Oxford. Dhada served ten years in academic administration as Dean of Arts and Sciences, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies, Dean of Extended Education, and Associate Vice President for Academic Programs, in a tenured capacity as professor of African and Middle Eastern history. His book The Portuguese Massacre of Wiriyamu in Colonial Mozambique, 1960-2013, (London: Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2017), won the American History Association’s Martin A. Klein Award for the most distinguished scholarly text in African history in 2017.

The Wiriyamu Massacre: An Oral History, 1960-1974, (London: Bloomsbury Academic Press 2020) was equally well received. His first book, Warriors at Work was reviewed as a landmark study in the field of Luso-African revolutionary warfare, a vigorously revisionist work grounded in archival sources. Dhada was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Asiatic Society.

He is now, he says, “quill poised” to begin work on a new monograph, Aphani Wense! Kill Them All: Portugal’s Final Reckoning of the Wiriyamu Massacre.