Tuesday, June 13, 2017

THE MAN DIED: Prison Notes of Wole Soyinka





It is bizarre to think that a distinguished, world class literary pearl like Soyinka spent years clamped in gaol. But then again, so did other African literary giants like Kofi Awoonor (Ghana), Ngugi (Kenya), Jack Mapanje (Malawi) Mongani Wally Serote (SA) among others. At least Soyinka’s incarceration resulted in this extraordinary book, a work so brilliant that it necessarily invites all sorts of superlatives. The full range of Soyinka’s literary talent and nous is explored in this work, with his patent intellectualism augmenting this memoir – a memoir that one can read over and over again with multiple rewards. Soyinka never hides his disgust and disdain for certain tendencies and personalities, and there are many instances here, perhaps including the “damned casuistic functionaire”. The author’s innate imagination and creativity is “gathered, stirred, skimmed and sieved” (to purloin his own expression here) during his travails behind the bars.  Soyinka has always been a cerebral, metaphorical poet and legions of pertinent examples abound in this work. Memorably, the hapless soul who emits “porcine sounds” whilst cleansing his throat/expectorating early every day: “regurgitating mortar and slag and dung plaster...do you?”
- Eric Malome

Monday, May 22, 2017

ARROW OF GOD. By Chinua Achebe





Literature can often puzzle and startle one, including African
literature - the way we receive and criticise books. A good example is
Ghana's world class writer, Ayi Kwei Armah; the literary world keeps
on praising him and his first novel, The beautyful ones are not yet
born. Yet Armah was a young man, still developing, when the book came
out, and critics did not seem to care about his subsequent, better
works over the decades. This seems to be the case too with Achebe,
whose first novel, Things fall apart, is always talked about and
praised. Yet this one, Arrow of God, published many years after Things
fall apart, is in many ways better and more mature than Things fall
apart. Arrow of God is more mature and dense...here Achebe is at his
best, displaying great knowledge of indigenous black characters, and
also the white (imperial agents) characters too. There is a startling
objectivity and detachment that one would not expect from a African
(black) writer. Yet Achebe, like he did in Things fall apart,
brilliantly goes to the heart of Igbo customs and proverbs throughout
this work. The narrative is ultimately tragic of course - as one might
expect.
- H Ozogula

Monday, May 8, 2017

THE PRIMACY OF THE MOTHER TONGUE






Mother tongue is the language that every child learn to speak firstly when she/he start to speak besides the household of the Africans that their houses English is their first language and in that case the child will start speak the basics of it like Daddy or Mommy. 

True or not any African person who speaks their mother tongue hundred percent daily or more, they dream in their respective language and see every object in their language before they translate it English. “Former South African President, Nelson Mandela said; If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart”.

South African writer, poet and author Tiisetso Thiba took a giant step to write in his mother tongue which is Setswana on his second book titled “Tlhabane Ya Makgowa” and his first book was poetry anthology titled “Let’s Take A Walk Mama”. It is a Setswana novel book that talks about the true story that is happening in various towns and cities but he chosen Rustenburg to be specific.

Indeed, the suave Thiba has found the need to preserve and promote his language because no one will if he doesn’t, besides few they are writing in Setswana too and according to the writers nowadays, their works are mostly written in English and their reasons is to broaden their markets and which will automatically increase the sales as well. But Thiba chosen the path that many are doubtful to choose in terms of their writing careers. 

On 30th April 2017 Tiisetso Thiba took his book to a location of Mothibistad in Kuruman to launch there. Honestly one can say he took a risk because no one recently launched his/her book written in their mother tongue and if someone did he/she needs applaud. He was not sure of how people will respond to the launch, yet it was a roaring success.

Astonishingly the launch was attended by lots of people and they have expressed themselves by saying “they are not used to this kind of the event in their locations but it was really informative one and hope that many writers will emerge after this book launch”. 

Thiba is intending to launch his latest Setswana novel in various places and encourage writers to write in their languages and readers to read more. This beautiful book was launched by Charmza Literary Club in Bloemfontein.

Friday, April 7, 2017

BOOK IMMORTALISES PETRUS "WHITEHEAD" MOLEMELA



The legendary Ntate Petrus Molemela (South Africa) is dead - the larger-than-life man associated with the Bloemfontein Celtic football club in Mangaung. Before he died, Charley Pitersen wrote a fine, comprehensive work on Dr Molemela...



Title:  I HAVE SEEN IT ALL

“NTATE” MOLEMELA

SOUTH AFRICAN SOCCER; BUSINESS ICON

Author:  Charley Pietersen


“Club owner, hotelier, building contractor, beer tycoon, filling station owner and bottle store owner.  You name it.  “He has Seen It All and he’s done it all.”

This book seeks to honour and introduce a living legend and father of this beautiful game of soccer or football to South Africa, Africa and the world.  Dr Ntate Petrus Rantlai Molemela, loving and caring husband and father, inspirational servant leader, fearless sport administrator, soccer scout, intellectual, political activist, entrepreneur, employer par excellence and community leader.

Ntate Molemela made a huge impact on South African football.  He played a role in shaping the National Soccer League (NSL) and the current Premier Soccer League (PSL) as a member for many years.  What was important for him was not soccer politics but that every decision taken should benefit soccer and Celtic in general.

Ntate Molemela will go down in South African history as Mr Football and his green and white attire and Mexican hat will live with us forever.”
- blurb

Foreword by Kaizer Motaung Chairman and owner of Kaizer Chiefs Football Club

Gary Player Grand Slam Golf Icon

Book Pages:  166

First published 2013

CONTENTS


FOREWORD 1 ........................................................................................................... 7

FOREWORD 2 ........................................................................................................... 9

WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT ........................................................................... 10

PREFACE ................................................................................................................... 11

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ....................................................................................... 12

INTERVIEW WITH MOLEMELA .......................................................................... 13

EDUCATION, FAMILY, BUSINESS ....................................................................... 17

SOCCER ..................................................................................................................... 37

TRAGIC MOMENTS & REFLECTIONS ............................................................... 73

MOLEMELA’S INFLUENCE ON OTHERS .......................................................... 85

A SUMMARY OF WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT MOLEMELA ........................ 119

ACHIEVEMENTS ..................................................................................................... 125

MEDIA ARTICLES ON MOLEMELA .................................................................... 131

CELTIC HONOURS DURING MOLEMELA’S TIME .......................................... 145

ABBREVIATIONS, GLOSSARY, BIBLIOGRAPHY ............................................. 153

FAMILY TREE .......................................................................................................... 157

 (Compiled by M. I Soqaga)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Adieu, South Africa's first Black female novelist




Miriam Tlali - A Powerful Fascinating Pioneer of African Literature



By M. I Soqaga

It is absolutely gruesome to see early pioneers of African literature departing this world rapidly!  For the past years Africa has been reeling over its literary giants who departed this world, icons like Chinua Achebe, Es’kiaMphahlele, MbuleloMzamane, Grace Ogot, Lauretta Ngcobo, BuchiEmechete and recently Miriam Tlali. 

And now Miriam Tlali has done a very wonderful work as a fervent African writer.  It is important for one to reckon that her literary fame was not an easy achievement.  From the onset since she begin to write, her works were disrupted and thwarted by apartheid in South Africa.  Miriam Tlali is known by her masterpiece-a novel which makes her to be recognized as the first female African writer to write a novel in South Africa.  As things are-we are all aware how she struggled to be published especially her first novel Muriel at Metropolitan which was finally published in 1975 after six years of rejection by white publishers in South Africa.

However, we need to ponder that Miriam Tlali works became famous through incredible sacrifice of critics who ensured that her works are scrutinized.  It is vitally important to comprehend that it is via critics that MriamTlali works flourished worldwide.  Nevertheless this literary genre has been view as problematically nuisance and uninviting obstacle that is advocated by other iconoclastic writers whose interest is to besmirch African literature.  As far as things are, African writers always believe that whatever they produce literary must be automatically being venerated and unanimously celebrated.    

Imperatively, criticism in literature is not something that is preposterous; but its role in literature is to ameliorate literature.  It is absolutely absurd for some people to reject their works to be criticised.  Writers need to appreciate this type of literary genre because its role in literature is graphically significant.  Africa has lot of talented writers and because of being obstinate to literary criticism its writers are not well known in the world.  Miriam Tlali as critic herself will feel dejected if Africa continues to shun out critics in literature.  During her life time she understood the enormous value critics add to promote literature.  Consequentially writers or whoever aches to be part of literature need to be familiar with this type of literary genre.  For instance, in football there are rules and a football player cannot ignore them.  Like a player cannot use a hand to score a goal but instead he/she is anticipated to use a leg, head and so on.

Furthermore, it can be argued as whether what apartheid censorship did especially towards many African writers in South Africa was critical correct to banned their books.     Apartheid censorship was not immersed in literature but its existence was basically racially biased.    Like Miriam Tlali would elaborate that “Oh, I suffered a lot of harassment by the system in South Africa, by the police.  They used to visit my house long after midnight and harass us, with Saracens and Casspirs, fully armed and so on, in their efforts to discourage me from writing.  I wrote a lot about it.  Articles of mine have been printed abroad.  The Index on Censorship printed two lengthy articles of mine where I speak about this kind of harassment and what I was suffering, and about censorship in general against South African writers.” (Reflections: Perspectives on Writing in Post-Apartheid South Africa).  Edited by Rolf Solberg & Malcolm Hacksley, Nelm Interviews Series Number Seven.

Miriam Tlali literary contribution will invariable remain immortal inspiration to lot of literary aficionados in the world.  Her passionate affection to literature began at the time when she was in school until she was ultimately published.   Her courageous love and unflinching demeanour for literature make her one of the awesome literary giant that the world had ever produced. 


Selected bibliography
·         Muriel at Metropolitan, Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1975. Longman, 1979.
·         Amandla, South Africa: Vivlia Publishers, 1980, ISBN 978-0869751893.
·         Mihloti, Johannesburg: Skotaville, 1984.
·         Footprints in the Quag, David Philip Publishers, 1989, ISBN 978-0864861269. As Soweto Stories, London: Pandora, 1989.

Further reading
·         BernthLinfors and Reinhard Sander, Twentieth-Century Caribbean and Black African Writers, Detroit: Gale Research, 1996.
·         Derek Attridge and Rosemary Jane Jolly, Writing South Africa: Literature, Apartheid and Democracy 1970 - 1995, Cambridge (UK) and New York: Cambridge University Press (New York), 1998.
·         Christina Cullhed, Grappling with Patriarchies: Narrative Strategies of Resistance in Miriam Tlali's Writings. Doctoral dissertation, 2006. Published by Uppsala University.
·         Sarah Nuttall, "Literature and the Archive: The Biography of Texts", in Carolyn Hamilton (ed.), Refiguring the Archive, Cape Town: David Philip, 2002.