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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The early career of D.L.P. Yali-Manisi, Thembu 'imbongi'
Author:Opland, JeffISNI
Year:2002
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Volume:33
Issue:1
Pages:1-26
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:Xhosa
griots
oral poetry
About person:David Livingstone Phakamile Yali-Manisi (1926-1999)ISNI
Link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v033/33.1opland.pdf
Abstract:David Livingstone Phakamile Yali-Manisi (1926-1999) was not just a Xhosa poet, but a traditional Xhosa oral poet, an 'imbongi' (pl.'iimbongi'). In this narrative of the early career of Yali-Manisi, the author addresses concerns distinct from those who use folklore texts as an incidental springboard for theoretical debate, and reverts to a perspective advocated by Mark Azadovskii (1926), who called for greater attention to be paid to 'the biographical element' of tales. Manisi delivered his first public performance as an 'imbongi' in 1947, a year before the white Nationalist government came to power in South Africa, and he produced his last oral poem in 1988, two years before the release of Nelson Mandela. The article pays special attention to three of Manisi's praise poems, the first dedicated to the Thembu chief Kaiser Daliwonga Mathanzima (1947), the second dedicated to the Thembu chief Sabatha Mthikrakra (1952), and the third dedicated to Nelson Mandela (1954). Consideration of the biographical element in Manisi's poetry reveals his increasing criticism of his own chief, Mathanzima, arch-collaborator with the white Nationalist government. Bibliogr.
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