Dictionary compilation for the African languages in South Africa stands on the eve of the African Renaissance and prospective compilers of dictionaries for African languages are in need of a sound perspective and guidelines in respect of the compilation and choice of examples. The aim of this article is to analyse and evaluate some current approaches towards the handling of examples of usage as a data category in modern dictionaries and to suggest ways in which this information category can be improved by compiling, selecting and shaping examples to render
optimal transfer of information and to enhance information retrieval. The emphasis will be on example phrases and sentences given in the dictionary article.
Keywords: lexicography, dictionary, metalexicography, african languages, examples, authentic examples, constructed examples