South African Journal of African Languages

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Socio-cultural dimensions of Raditladi’s poetry: Reflections from images and allusions from selected poems

DS Matjila


This article demonstrates the different features of transformation of Batswana and Western cultural norms. LD Raditladi blends themes and forms influenced by indigenous African and Western forms to portray the common and shared ethos, beliefs and practices of the Batswana. He depicts artistic and edifying aspects of his people’s culture in a remarkable style. In addition he employs modern devices of poetry to good effect. There is an inter-textual connection between his predecessors and his successors. Influence of precursors and his creative oeuvre are significant to Africans who for so long have negotiated and navigated a world of contrasting social norms and values. Many modern Batswana continue to attempt the harmonisation of their cultural values and norms with what they feel to be useful and relevant from so-called ‘modern’ norms and values. It is a journey beset by fearful odds. This poetry speaks to this everyday struggle we call life in the post-colonial and post-apartheid setting. This work is intended to convey a new paradigm in which Setswana poetry can be analysed and interpreted.

South African Journal of African Languages 2012, 32(1): 35–41
AJOL African Journals Online