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Practices caught between the African Cultures and the South African Constitution (1996): A Case Study of Northern Sotho and Tshivenḓa Proverbs

Lekau Eleazar Mphasha
Tshinetise David Raphalalani


The issue of proverbs has been universally studied. It is not new even in African cultures. Christians in the Bible also talk about the Book of Proverbs to show that they have existed from time immemorial. They have the old wisdom of a group of traditional people. They derive from beliefs, attitudes, emotions, values and the whole system of thought and feeling. Although they contain truth about life in general and human nature in particular, some of them do not feature nowadays. In some cases, they discriminate against women whereas according to The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996), no one must be discriminated against. The Constitution of the South Africa (1996) identifies injustices of the past and put them right to satisfy everybody. Their use in daily conversations is slowly declining. It is the aim of this paper to investigate the relevance of some Northern Sotho and Tshivenḓa proverbs in the new South Africa. It seeks to explore the challenges that proverbs phase in the transformation of African society, including the Northern Sotho and Vhavenḓa ones, within the technological world.

Keywords: Antiquity. Complement. History. Interpretation. Tradition