Academic journal article Literator: Journal of Literary Criticism, comparative linguistics and literary studies

Post-Apartheid Representations of Youth in the Zulu Novel Kungasa ngifile/Postapartheidvoorstellings Van Die Jeug in Die Zoeloe-Roman Kungasa Ngifile

Academic journal article Literator: Journal of Literary Criticism, comparative linguistics and literary studies

Post-Apartheid Representations of Youth in the Zulu Novel Kungasa ngifile/Postapartheidvoorstellings Van Die Jeug in Die Zoeloe-Roman Kungasa Ngifile

Article excerpt

Abstract

Post-apartheid representations of youth in the Zulu novel Kungasa ngifile

In this article representation of black African youth in the Zulu novel "Kungasa ngifile" is examined. The view is presented that the novel, though seeming to be politically neutral, deals with images of the youth that have ideological concerns in terms of theme, plot action and character portrayal. Such ideological modes of representation seem to be in tune with the present call for moral rejuvenation and the empowerment of the youth who lost opportunities during the liberation struggle. In this respect, the novel backs positive post-apartheid cultural forms.

Key concepts:

Kungasa ngifile moral consciousness representations: black African youth Zulu youth novel, ideological concerns: theme, plot and character portrayal Zulu tradition

Opsomming

Postapadheidvoorstellings van die jeug in die Zoeloe-roman Kungasa ngifile

In hierdie artikel word ondersoek ingestel na die voorstelling van die swart Afrika-jeug in die Zoeloe-roman "Kungasa ngifile". Daar word aangevoer dat die roman, hoewel dit skynbaar polities neutraal is, die temas, storielyn en karakteruitbeelding gebruik om 'n beeld van die jeug voor te hou wat met ideologiese belange besiel is. Hierdie ideologiese voorstellingsmodusse weerspieel skynbaar die huidige oproep tot morele vernuwing en die bemagtiging van die jeug, wat geleenthede tydens die vryheidstryd verloor het. Sodoende plaas die roman postapartheid kulturele vorme in 'n positiewe fig.

Kernbegrippe:

jeugroman, Zoeloe, ideologiese belange: tema, storielyn en karakteruitbeelding Kungasa ngifile morele bewussyn voorstellings: swart Afrika-jeug Zoeloe tradisie

I. Introduction

Representations of the black African youth in novels in African languages in Southern Africa have always been inescapably linked to historical and cultural foundations and as such, can be understood to be concerned with ideological issues. The representations are ideological in the sense that thematic concerns, plot action and character portrayal deal with social, political, economic and cultural productions and reproductions that aim to normalise, totalise and naturalise assumptions, values and norms of the time. Such modes of portraying the black African youngsters are evident in three modern literary periods of African literature in South Africa: the missionary literary period, which is "roughly from the early 1800s to the beginning of the twentieth century" (Ntuli & Swanepoel, 1993:6), the apartheid literary period, which encompasses literary texts written under apartheid's repressive laws and violent conditions and the post-apartheid literary period, which commences with the inception of democracy in 1994.

The purpose of this article in investigating representations of black African youth (1) in the literary periods identified above, is to attempt to capture common patterns trends and developments in them. The intension is to demonstrate how Kungasa ngifile is representative of the novels that deal with traditional and moral issues within the postapartheid ideological framework.

The article proceeds with the representations of youth in missionary novels and will concentrate on Thomas Mofolo's trilogy Moeti wa botjhabela (1907), Pitseng (1910) and Chaka (1925).

2. Representations of youth in missionary novels

The earliest novels in the African languages of Southern Africa represent youth in terms of the "moral question of the struggle between good and bad" (Bodunde, 2001:1). Such novels aim to teach the youth to be good Christians through the didactic message that is often overt in nature in terms of plot structure, theme and character. Thomas Mofolo's characters in Moeti wa botjhabela, Pitseng and Chaka are represented in the following somewhat simple plot actions apparently for moral concerns:

* Moeti wa botjhabela:

--Fekisi's problems with corruption and killings in Lesotho. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.