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“Modern Prophets, Produce a New Bible”: Christianity, Africanness and the Poetry of Nontsizi Mgqwetho

D Brown


In this article I consider how one might approach the apparently singular figure of Nontsizi Mgqwetho, a Xhosa woman who produced an extraordinary series of Christian izibongo in newspapers in the 1920s: through what kind of language, from what critical perspective, might one think and write about her? There have been various attempts to write about Mgqwetho, and there are certain obvious possibilities in terms of approach and methodology, which I explore briefly, but I want to suggest a mode of reading which provides a richer, more engaged and more engaging understanding – one which reads with and through, rather than onto or against, her African Christian articulations.
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eISSN: 2159-9130
print ISSN: 1013-929X