Tydskrif vir letterkunde https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl <p><em>Tydskrif vir letterkunde</em> is a peer-reviewed journal, established in 1951. It is the oldest literary journal in South Africa. It publishes articles on African literature. The “literature” in <em>Tydskrif vir letterkunde</em> does not only signify <em>belles letters</em>, but also the diversity of contemporary cultural practices. Articles may be submitted in Afrikaans, Dutch, English and French.</p><p>Other websites related to this journal: <a title="http://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl" href="http://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl" target="_blank">http://journals.assaf.org.za/tvl</a></p> Tydskrif vir Letterkunde Association en-US Tydskrif vir letterkunde 0041-476X The copyright for material published in <em>Tydskrif vir letterkunde</em> rests with the authors. Introduction: Commemorating the 50th anniversary of East African literature as an academic discipline https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208682 <p>No Abstract.</p> Alex Nelungo Wanjala Copyright (c) 2021-06-14 2021-06-14 58 1 1 9 “The mouth that ate itself”: Reflections on Joseph Kamarũ, oral artist extraordinaire https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208683 <p>No Abstract.</p> Gĩchingiri Ndĩgĩrĩgĩ Copyright (c) 2021-06-14 2021-06-14 58 1 10 17 <i>Down River</i> Road in contemporary Kenyan popular fiction https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208684 <p>No Abstract.</p> Sam Dennis Otieno Copyright (c) 2021-06-14 2021-06-14 58 1 18 19 Remembering the past and reflecting on Kenya’s present https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208686 <p>No Abstract.</p> Rebeka Njau Tom Odhiambo Copyright (c) 2021-06-14 2021-06-14 58 1 20 24 Alienation and estrangement in Dinaw Mengestu’s All Our Names https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208688 <p>In this article I explore issues of negotiating cultural identity in new geopolitical spaces as presented in Dinaw Mengestu’s All Our Names. I examine the portrayal of a liminal character living in Uganda and America and how the author narrates his daily experiences of&nbsp; negotiating identity in order to underscore the power of hierarchies of ethnicity, class, race, and nationalistic discourses at play in determining who belongs and who does not. I analyse the ways in which names are used as narrative strategy to show that identity is never singular or fixed but plural and continuous. I explore how, through Isaac’s unnaming, naming, and renaming, Mengestu contests the fixity of names and identity by indicating naming as a processual act and how a person’s identity is layered and thus cannot be fully contained within a single marker. Drawing upon the concepts of hybridity, third space, and cosmopolitanism, I demonstrate how subject position and cultural identity are not fixed into definite categorical distinctions but are fluid concepts. Mengestu does not only raise&nbsp; possibilities of belonging beyond the confines of a nation or community, but also presents a cosmopolitan world where negotiation and belonging is difficult because of power differences, racism, marginalisation, and discrimination.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: cultural identity, cosmopolitanism, hybridity, alienation, racism.</p> Ruth Kwamboka Openda Copyright (c) 2021-06-14 2021-06-14 58 1 25 34 Eastern African women writers’ ‘national epics’: A new force in creative fiction? https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208705 <p>In this article, I bring five recent, substantial novels by Eastern African women writers together for the first time in a study regarding the texts as modern ‘national epics’, analysing some of their shared characteristics in foregrounding local participation in the making of East African ethnonational histories. I trace the novelists’ implicit, open-eyed moral evaluation of their leaders and peoples, neither sentimentalising nor deriding the often terrible struggles of their peoples against both inside and outside powers that seek to keep them in subjugation. The texts eschew traditional heroic portrayal of single, male leaders in national epics and allow us to grasp diverse, communal contributions to the growth of nationhood, while giving larger, often central roles to women. The texts earn the epithet ‘epic’ by authoritatively demonstrating that their embodied, localised histories matter, testifying to the wide human spectrum of the peoples they portray; as novelistic acts they are impressive and moving bids for recognition. As post-colonial endeavours, the texts effectively decentre colonial interventions. While the chosen novels are shown to be relatable, their individual power of portrayal and aesthetic achievements are scrupulously differentiated.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: ‘national epics’, Eastern African women writers, localised histories, authority.</p> Annie Gagiano Copyright (c) 2021-06-14 2021-06-14 58 1 35 45 La République Démocratique du Congo: dramaturgies du conflit (idées et formes) https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208706 <p>This article, which focuses on selected plays by contemporary Congolese playwrights, has two objectives: the first of which is to illustrate how theatre production in the DRC in contemporary times has been devoted to highlighting various social and political conflicts within the society. The paper’s second objective is to examine the aesthetic and technical aspects of the plays under study, such as the use of allegory, metaphors, verbal invention, proverbs, enunciative heterogeneity, voice orchestration, and theatricality encoded in stage&nbsp; directions (didascalia). Through its critical analysis of dramaturgy and style, the paper reveals the manner in which the authors display a&nbsp; heightened sense of awareness about conflicts within their society by employing an agonistic mode in their plot construction. The paper also highlights how the plays have contributed greatly to the development of writing for performance in Africa in general, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo in particular.</p> <p><strong> Keywords:</strong> Congo theatre, conflict, diegesis, discursive strategies, esthetical methods. </p> Renata Jakubczuk Witold Wołowski Copyright (c) 2021-06-14 2021-06-14 58 1 46 60 Teacherly aesthetics: Literature and literacy in Binyavanga Wainaina’s works https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208707 <p>Teacherly aesthetics: Literature and literacy in Binyavanga Wainaina’s works In this paper I use the concept of teacherliness to explore the connections between literature and education in Binyavanga Wainaina’s memoir One Day I Will Write About This Place and his opinion pieces on education. I read Wainaina’s texts against the way the literature/literacy duality has been envisioned in historical discourses, arguing that deeper pedagogical questions were largely overlooked in the intersections between the two theoretical fields. To address this lacuna, I use Paulo Freire’s theory of Critical Pedagogy to analyze historical debates of curriculum and canonization, as well as Wainaina’s more recent engagement with the Kenyan educational system, in which questions on how to write are intertwined with thoughts on how to teach. After detailing this history of literature and literacy in East Africa, I explore the themes and aesthetic devices that Wainaina&nbsp; develops in One Day to reflect on his own role as an educator in the context of his troubled relationship with his own schooling. By focusing on the theme of failure and Wainaina’s embedding of oral structures into his text, I suggest Wainaina’s work offers insights and concrete narrative patterns that might become fruitful tools through which educational theory and literary analysis might illuminate each&nbsp; other’s blind spots, specifically in regard to oral skills in education.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: African literature, autobiography, critical pedagogy, self-writing, orality, teacherliness, Binyavanga Wainaina. </p> Ruth S. Wenske Copyright (c) 2021-06-14 2021-06-14 58 1 61 74 Proximate historiographies in Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s <i>Kintu</i> https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208708 <p>Proximate historiographies in Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Kintu Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s novel Kintu (2014) places alongside forms of historical fiction familiar to European readers, a form of historical causality that obeys a different logic, namely, one governed by the long-term efficacity of a curse uttered in pre-colonial Buganda. The novel can be read as a historiographical experiment. It sets in a relationship of ‘proximity’ linear historical narration as understood within the framework of European historicism and the genre of the historical novel theorised by Lukács, and notions of magical ‘verbal-incantatory’ and ‘somatic’ history that elude the logic of hegemonic European historicism but nonetheless cohabit the same fictional space. Makumbi’s novel thus sketches an ‘entanglement’ of various historical temporalities that are articulated upon one another within the capacious realm of fiction, thereby reinforcing a cosmic ontology<br>and axiology of reciprocity and fluid duality whose infringement in fact triggers the curse at the origin of the narrative.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: historicism, historical novel, metahistoriographical fiction, proximity, Ugandan historical novel. </p> Russell West-Pavlov Copyright (c) 2021-06-14 2021-06-14 58 1 76 85 African literature, metonymic gaps, and the <i>Gandasation</i> of metropolitan language in Jennifer Makumbi’s <i>Kintu</i> https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208729 <p>African literature has its roots in the continent’s oral traditions, while its written mode started as an offshoot of European colonialism. The literature is characterised by paradoxes, one of which is linguistic dissonance. The linguistic incongruity draws attention to the illogicality of African literature ventilating indigenous episteme through exogenous tongues. Though the question of linguistic discordance in African literature is not new, it still generates ripples, and currently attracts tremendous interest of the present crop of African women writers who produce texts that conflate both indigenous and exogenous languages to possibly strengthen the conviction that one language is no longer the sole organiser of worldview. Jennifer Makumbi is one such writer. The Ugandan has succeeded in writing herself into global reckoning by telling a completely absorbing, canon-worthy epic. In her narration of a riveting multi-layered historiography of Buganda/Ugandan nation in Kintu (2014), the novelist bridges metonymic gaps between Luganda and English. She attenuates the expressive strength of English and projects Luganda as another veritable source of knowledge generation. In this article I examine how Makumbi bridges cultural and linguistic gaps in the novel. I employ metonymic gaps as a conceptual model to expound the deployment of indigenous knowledges in a Europhone African text. I mine the overall implications of this practice in African literature, and argue that Makumbi aggrandises Luganda epistemology to resist European heteronomy of African literary expression. Consequently, her text<br>becomes a site of postcolonial disputations where marginal and minor literatures/cultures jostle for supremacy.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> Jennifer Makumbi, world and African literatures, Buganda/Ugandan historiography, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari.</p> Emmanuel Adeniyi Copyright (c) 2021-06-15 2021-06-15 58 1 86 97 Speculative fiction and African urban futures: Writing food in Billy Kahora’s edited collection Imagine Africa 500 https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208730 <p>I this article I explore the place of the future African city as presented in contemporary African speculative fiction. I focus on the short stories in the anthology Imagine Africa 500: Speculative Fiction from Africa (2015) to look at how the urban space is conceptualised in these narrations of an imagined future Africa, 500 years from the present day. While the discussion looks at the urban space and imagined technological development, it highlights the ecological narratives and the contrast drawn between the city and the rural and the local and the foreign, as imagined for the future by relying on the employment of food imagery in these stories. I look at the use of food in these speculative narratives as a link between the familiar and these strange, imagined futures as presented in the anthology. I aim to provoke a debate on the imaginations of what a future African city may look like as presented through literary works and the significance of these imaginings today within developmental and environmental lenses. I read the future city through use of language, space, images, form, and style to look at how the modern short story is theorising on African futures.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> speculative fiction, dystopia. post-apocalypse, urban, city, food, nostalgia.</p> Doseline Kiguru Copyright (c) 2021-06-15 2021-06-15 58 1 98 106 Churchill Show: Transgressing language codes and upsetting stereotypes https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208731 <p>Cultural productions on television and/or online platforms are immensely prolific at expressing the peoples’ every day and the historical. They provide platforms on which actors express themselves on their own terms, in their own language codes and styles with little censure. With the proliferation of digital technologies and the advent of the internet and attendant new media, the production, circulation, and consumption of cultural texts on the (Eastern) African scene has radically shifted and continues to grow in ways unimagined before. In Kenya specifically, with an exponential growth of television channels, numerous local cultural productions continue to burgeon, carrying with them a constellation of voices that are representative of the country’s socio-cultural and linguistic diversity. These productions not only entertain, but also explore critical issues in Kenyan society and beyond. Among them is Churchill Show, which through an aesthetics of escapism, (re)narrates quotidian events and recuperates and (re)interprets the country’s historical trajectory. Moreover, the show oftentimes embodies a political aesthetics cloaked in postmodern humour that serves to recalibrate common/sensical perceptions as well as the regimented practices and ways of knowing. Thus, the show transgresses language codes and upsets socio-psychological stereotypes, for which it is often condemned, to shape a new notion of ‘Kenyanness’.</p> <p><strong> Keywords</strong>: Churchill Show, aesthetics of escapism, transglossia, political aesthetics, postmodern humour, ‘Kenyanness’. </p> Patrick Chesi Lumasia Copyright (c) 2021-06-15 2021-06-15 58 1 107 117 Imagining the Kenyan Canaan dream journey in cyber space https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208733 <p>With technological advances made in contemporary times, new literary genres have emerged in digital space, with an attendant rise in the<br>performance of rhetorical discourse on social media platforms. In the run up to Kenyan elections on 8 August 2017, the opposition leader Raila Odinga, whose father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga wrote a book titled Not Yet Uhuru, packaged himself as the biblical Joshua with a quest to liberate Kenyans and take them to the Promised Land, Canaan. This biblical analogy depicted in Odinga’s speeches propelled Kenyans to engage in creative descriptions of the Canaan journey using social media. This play on imaginings of a Canaan journey, as displayed in cyber space, became a performance of biblical analogies, dreams, and expectations by rival characters in an ensuing online drama. In this article I examine the digital orality in the emergent texts found on Kenyan social media platforms as a form of online liveness. It focuses on social media exchanges that are inspired by Odinga’s quest (as captured in his speeches) to take Kenyans to Canaan. Placed within the framework of online liveness studies, it analyses how, using digital media, spatially dispersed Kenyans shared creative memes, messages, and tweets that allowed them to vicariously undertake the Canaan journey online. I utilise Carl Jung’s theory of archetypes and collective unconscious to explore the journey motif, framed within an analogy of the Israelites’ journey from captivity, with Odinga portrayed as a hero who pursues the political quest of delivering Kenyans to the land of Canaan.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: cyberspace, journey motif, emerging genres, online liveness, digital orality. </p> Kimingichi Wabende Copyright (c) 2021-06-15 2021-06-15 58 1 118 126 Metatextualities in the Kenyan Swahili novel: A case study reading of <i>Kyallo Wamitila’s Dharau ya Ini</i> https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208734 <p>Contemporary Swahili novels transgress the boundaries of the novel text itself. They employ metatextualities of different categories in order to fulfil a variety of functions. In this article, I explore metatextualities in the Kenyan Swahili novel, and provide a case study reading of one of the novels by the prolific and award-winning writer Kyallo Wadi Wamitila. My reading of Wamitila’s novel Dharau ya Ini (2007) concentrates on metanarration and metareference. I analyse how narration, especially point of view, is used and how it is discussed and reflected upon by the text and in the text itself (metanarration). I also focus on instances of metareference, especially on references to oral literature and to the literary genres of drama and poetry, as part of a work of prose. These analyses are done through a close reading informed by current research on metatextualities, and, in one of the examples, by phonostylistics. This study is led by the following overall objectives: first, it aims to show how Swahili novel writing as an instance of literature in African languages participates in global discourses on, and practices in, literature and the arts. Secondly, in a perspective of East(ern) African literature, it argues that Swahili literature and literary studies provide stimuli to literary theory and practice otherwise still dominated by its Anglophone counterpart in the region (and, of course, beyond). Thirdly, as regards the domain of Swahili literature, it reflects the crucial impact of Kenyan writing since about the turn of the millennium, in a sphere hitherto dominated by writers from Tanzania.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: metatextuality, metanarration, metareference, Kenyan literature, Swahili novel, Kyallo Wadi Wamitila. </p> Lutz Diegner Copyright (c) 2021-06-15 2021-06-15 58 1 127 138 (East) African postcolonial ecocriticism: Revisiting Okot p’<i>Bitek’s Song of Prisoner</i> https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208735 <p>(East) African postcolonial ecocriticism: Revisiting Okot p’Bitek’s Song of Prisoner This article celebrates Okot p’Bitek’s contribution to East African literature in general and the song school of East Africa in particular, by revisiting one of his less-known works, Song of Prisoner on the fiftieth anniversary of its publication. I subject the text to a close reading in order to demonstrate how p’Bitek uses imagery that is drawn from East Africa’s natural environment in a way that evokes issues that are an assault on the prevailing social and political order in East Africa at the time, in a nuanced manner. With the benefit of hindsight, the paper establishes that p’Bitek’s attempt to preserve his natural environment (that of East Africa) through writing it into his poetry, was a precursor for texts that would later be examined within the framework of the contemporary critical theory of postcolonial ecocriticism, and that using the text, one can narrow the scope further<br>in a manner that takes into account the specificities of (East) African environmental literature. In so doing, the paper establishes that p’Bitek indeed highlights social realities through his poetry, in order to launch his attack on the existing neo-colonial capitalistic order prevailing at the historical moment of his writing, thus confirming that he displays a social vision that strives for decolonisation without the exploitative aftermath encapsulating modernity. The paper thus demonstrates how this poem is still relevant as a study to the student of East African literature reading it in the 21st century.</p> <p><strong>Keywords</strong>: Song School, East African poetry, Okot P’Bitek, postcolonial ecocriticism.</p> Alex Nelungo Wanjala Copyright (c) 2021-06-15 2021-06-15 58 1 139 157 Distinguishing between ontology and ‘decolonisation as praxis’ https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208736 <p>In this review article I closely read the recently published book African Philosophical and Literary Possibilities: Re-reading the Canon (2020), edited by Aretha Phiri. I suggest two ways of reading the text. The first levels a critique at some of the conflations we find in the text and the second showcases the useful takeaways that the reader gleans from the book. These takeaways are not—themselves—without criticisms, however. Such criticism is generative in that it shores up the work that still remains to be addressed by those working in the decolonial tradition, both here at home (i.e., in the South Africa academe) and further afield. In sum, I demonstrate that the objectives of decolonisation are clearly discernible when we apply ourselves to scholarship developed in the Indigenous languages of South Africa.</p> <p><strong>Keywords:</strong> indigenous languages, decolonisation, literature, philosophy, ontological recognition.</p> Siseko H. Kumalo Copyright (c) 2021-06-15 2021-06-15 58 1 162 168 RESENSIES / REVIEWS https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208737 <p>No Abstract.</p> Wafula Yenjela Copyright (c) 2021-06-15 2021-06-15 58 1 171 173 Nature, Environment, and Activism in Nigerian Literature https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208738 <p>No Abstract.</p> Sule E. Egya Copyright (c) 2021-06-15 2021-06-15 58 1 171 172 Frottage: Frictions of Intimacy across the Black Diaspora https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208740 <p>No Abstract.</p> Gibson Ncube Copyright (c) 2021-06-15 2021-06-15 58 1 172 174 Post-Apartheid Same-Sex Sexualities: Restless Identities in Literary and Visual Culture https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208742 <p>No Abstract.</p> Grant Andrews Copyright (c) 2021-06-15 2021-06-15 58 1 174 175 Innie Shadows https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208923 <p>No Abstract.</p> Earl Basson Copyright (c) 2021-06-21 2021-06-21 58 1 175 177 Dol heuning https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208924 <p>No Abstract.</p> Bibi Burger Copyright (c) 2021-06-21 2021-06-21 58 1 177 178 And Wrote My Story Anyway: Black South African Women’s Novels as Feminism https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208926 <p>No Abstract.</p> Grace A. Musila Copyright (c) 2021-06-21 2021-06-21 58 1 178 180 Botswana Women Write https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208927 <p>No Abstract.</p> Legakwana Leo Makgekgenenene Copyright (c) 2021-06-21 2021-06-21 58 1 181 182 Malibongwe https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208928 <p>No Abstract.</p> Athambile Masola Copyright (c) 2021-06-21 2021-06-21 58 1 183 184 Transcendent Kingdom https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208929 <p>No Abstract.</p> Dina Yerima Copyright (c) 2021-06-21 2021-06-21 58 1 183 185 Uit die kroes https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208930 <p>No Abstract.</p> Ronelda Sonnet Kamfer Copyright (c) 2021-06-21 2021-06-21 58 1 184 185 Pienk ceramic-hondjies https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208931 <p>No Abstract.</p> Danie Marais Copyright (c) 2021-06-21 2021-06-21 58 1 185 187 Everything is a Deathly Flower https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208934 <p>No Abstract.</p> Mbali Sebokedi Copyright (c) 2021-06-21 2021-06-21 58 1 187 188 Fool’s Gold: Selected Modjaji Short Stories https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208936 <p>No Abstract.</p> Nonki Motahane Copyright (c) 2021-06-21 2021-06-21 58 1 188 190 Will, the Passenger Delaying Flight …. https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208937 <p>No Abstract.</p> Yuan-Chih (Sreddy) Yen Copyright (c) 2021-06-21 2021-06-21 58 1 190 191 Aanspreeklikheid https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208938 <p>No Abstract.</p> Chantelle Gray Copyright (c) 2021-06-21 2021-06-21 58 1 191 192 ’n Hart is so groot soos ’n vuis https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208940 <p>No Abstract.</p> Adean van Dyk Copyright (c) 2021-06-21 2021-06-21 58 1 192 194 Ek is Hendrik Witbooi https://www.ajol.info/index.php/tvl/article/view/208941 <p>No Abstract.</p> Tycho Maas Copyright (c) 2021-06-21 2021-06-21 58 1 194 195