An aspect of moral education in ‘Molefi Kgafela’: A traditional poem from a collection of praise poems of Tswana chiefs by I Schapera

  • S.E. Masote


This article examines the aspect of moral education in ‘Molefi Kgafela’, a traditional poem in a collection of praise poems of Tswana chiefs by I Schapera. The article focuses mainly on the decline of moral values amongst Kgafela’s subjects, which is caused by a lack of proper leadership and guidance. An incremental lowering of moral values in South African communities has been observed over the last decade, as evidenced by current reports in the media on greed, corruption, violence, drugs, sexual abuse and other criminal activities which negatively affect daily activities at various levels of society, such as schools, universities, churches, homes, the police force and government. The analysis of this poem will be used to illustrate that traditional poetry is not only meant to praise chiefs for their bravery, as some like to believe, but also to address the challenges of society. The general decline in values such as respect for authority, politeness and good manners, motivated the researcher to undertake this analysis to reveal the moral decline and to examine how the poem, although traditional, can play a positive role, even today, in addressing the challenges faced by modern society.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2305-1159
print ISSN: 0257-2117