South African Journal of African Languages

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A historical-biographical analysis of Kgašane

Malekutu L Bopape


The aim of this article is to make a historical-biographical analysis of the historical drama Kgašane by SPN Makwala. The article begins by defining the key principles of a historical-biographical approach. It then locates the story of Kgašane within the Balobedu history in the late nineteenth century. This is followed by an analysis of the dramatic text using six parameters identified by Fleischman (1983), namely authenticity, intention, reception, social function, narrative syntax and narrator involvement. The article highlights the fact that the use of a historical-biographical approach enables one to discover crucial information that may have been hidden by the author for specified or unspecified reasons. The article also highlights the difficulties experienced by researchers in trying to record oral material in a context where there is conflict. It concludes with an assessment of the author’s attempt at writing a historical text.

S.Afr.J.Afr.Lang., 2006,4

AJOL African Journals Online