South African Journal of African Languages

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Religious inclination of Sigwavhulimu’s poetry, with special reference to Tsiko-Tshiphiri (1971) and Mirunzi ya Vhuvha (1975)

Nelson Mbulahaeni Musehane


Religious themes tend to create a great deal of interest among literary scholars. An instance of this is the poetry by Sigwavhulimu as reflected in his anthologies titled Tsiko-Tshiphiri ‘Secret Creation’ (1971) and Mirunzi ya Vhuvha ‘Shadows of Being’ (1975). Some of the poems in these texts deal with Christian religion explicitly while others are more implicit in their treatment of this theme. It is the aim of this article to investigate to what extent Sigwavhulimu has been influenced or affected in his general attitude, belief and thinking by Christian religion in the depiction of the theme of Christianity in his works. Christian and religious faiths have often been cited as a cause of the problems that affect human kind. Sigwavhulimu is one of a few Tshivenḓa poets who have been challenged by religion as a problem on the one hand and as something that liberates people from their spiritual or psychological problems on the other. A critical analysis of the texts will be carried out to establish to what extent Sigwavhulimu, as the creator and writer of those texts, is inclined to Christian beliefs in his poetry on religious themes.

S.Afr.J.Afr.Lang.,2009, 2

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