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Proverbs based on the people domain in David Mkhize’s <i>Ngavele ngasho</i>

Zilibele Mtumane
Rachel Tengetile Antones-Dlamini


The article seeks to provide a critical analysis of selected proverbs based on the people domain in the isiZulu drama, Ngavele ngasho (‘I told you so’), by David Mkhize. The proverbs are sampled purposively for their direct reference to human habits, behaviour, practices and lifestyles, and for their connectedness to the plot structure and theme of the text. They are then critically analysed by focusing on their origin, grammatical structures, literal and figurative meanings in general, and their meanings in the context of the play. This qualitative study employs textual and thematic content analysis methods for data interpretation and analysis. It is grounded in Kamera’s theoretical approach to proverb analysis which considers three levels of interpretation: the literal level, the micro contextual level and the macro contextual level. The study reveals that proverbs are used as social control mechanisms, and they are the playwright’s tool to express his views, attitudes and concerns regarding the issues affecting his society. It is recommended that more research on Mkhize’s literary works be conducted to explore his style and to preserve the richness of isiZulu language and culture. 

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eISSN: 2305-1159
print ISSN: 0257-2117