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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:An assembly of readers: Magema Fuze and his 'Ilanga lase Natal' readers
Author:Mokoena, HloniphaISNI
Year:2009
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Volume:35
Issue:3
Pages:595-607
Language:English
Geographic terms:South Africa
Natal
Subjects:intellectuals
literacy
Zulu
religious conversion
Christianity
1850-1899
1900-1909
1910-1919
About person:Magema M. Fuze (ca. 1840-1922)ISNI
Link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03057070903101839
Abstract:The case of Magema Magwaza Fuze (c. 1840-1922) is about the problem of the introduction of writing in nineteenth-century colonial Natal (South Africa) by missionaries. The relative 'success' of this missionary endeavour appeared in the small and growing number of converts to Christianity who were literate and therefore no longer confined to an oral culture only. By the end of the nineteenth century, observers could identify an incipient 'class' of educated and literate Africans, 'amakholwa' ('believers'). Fuze was one of these literati: an aspirant 'kholwa' intellectual, he was a printer by profession and an assistant to the controversial John William Colenso, the Bishop of Natal. In the early twentieth century he was a columnist for the Zulu-English newspaper 'Ilanga lase Natal' and authored the book 'Abantu Abamnyama Lapa Bavela Ngakona' ('The Black People and Whence They Came'). This article considers how Fuze and his 'kholwa' contemporaries debated the meaning of reading and writing in the pages of 'Ilanga lase Natal', contested the symbolic and cultural values associated with the written word as a technology and as an artefact, and in the process created, or perhaps failed to create, a public sphere in which they imagined, and wrote about, themselves as an assembly of readers. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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