Bokaelo jwa dikwalo tsa setswana tsa ga gomolemo mokae : Tshekatsheko ya Masego le Kaine le Abele
Seleke, Elsebee Hessie Palesa
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Gomolemo Mokae is a medical doctor by profession and a Black Consciousness political activist (once secretary-general of AZAPO), who produced creative writings first in English, and later, inspired by Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiongo, began to write in his mother-tongue Setswana. It is his Setswana works that are the focus of this study, mainly the novel Masego and the drama Kaine le Abele, which can be regarded as a remarkable and revolutionary contribution to Setswana modern literature: not only do they deserve serious scholarly attention, but also need to be approached as more than "words on a page." They form some of the few examples of Realist and Committed literature in Setswana and in the African languages, written in the vein of Post-colonialist literature with "a political and humanistic purpose" of expressing and exposing the evils of Apartheid and other South African sociopolitical ills, as well as "raising political consciousness and confidence among the Black people of South Africa" (in the words of Miriam Tlali and Theophilus Mukhuba). Using Contextual approaches to literary criticism, the present study seeks to demonstrate that creation of literary texts can be influenced by extraneous factors (such as the writer's biography, historical, socio-political and literary contexts or environments), and that factors forming contexts to the creation of literary texts should therefore be considered when these works are being interpreted. To this end the study will illustrate how Mokae's religious upbringing, literary environment, medical training as well as his political activism, have had influence in his writings, further positing that these factors or contexts need to be considered in the interpretation of his works. The study concludes by recommending more use of Contextual Approaches in the analysis of Setswana literature.
- Humanities