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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Some recent francophone versions of the Shaka story
Author:Ridehalgh, A.
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:traditional rulers
French language
About person:Shaka king of Zululand (ca. 1787-1828)ISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3819829
Abstract:The story of the Zulu king Shaka, who was assassinated in 1828, is remarkable for the number of literary reworkings it has undergone. Viewed as a nation-builder and a unifier of his people, he was particularly popular in literary works in the 1960s and 1970s. Shaka's story as told by the Sotho writer Thomas Mofolo, which appeared in English translation in 1931 and in French nine years later, seems to have been the main inspiration behind numerous reworkings of the story in francophone Africa. The Zulu writer Mazisi Kunene wrote an epic work on Shaka, which was published in the author's English translation in 1979, but which has not yet appeared in French. In this article the author first points out the differences in the portrayals of Shaka by Mofolo and Kunene. Then she discusses the links African writers have made between Shaka and Sundiata, the founder of the empire of Mali. Finally, she reviews more recent versions of the story of Shaka by francophone writers, particularly in the independence period, amongst others those of Baba Moustapha, Marouba Fall, MaoundoÚ Na´ndouba, and Senouvo Agbota Zinsou. The conclusion is that the portrayal of Shaka has undergone many transformations in the course of time. Bibliogr., notes, ref.