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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Die verkleurmannetjie(s) op Shaka: 'n vergelyking tussen D.J. Opperman en Thomas Mofolo
Author:Krog, AntjieISNI
Periodical:Tydskrif vir letterkunde (ISSN 0041-476X)
Geographic term:South Africa
speeches (form)
About persons:Diederik Johannes Opperman (1914-1985)ISNI
Thomas Mofolo (1876-1948)ISNI
Shaka king of Zululand (ca. 1787-1828)ISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.4314/tvl.v47i2.60620
Abstract:For the purpose of the D.J. Opperman memorial lecture at Stellenbosch the writer took one of this poet's most well-known credos. Under the influence of Keats, Opperman maintained that the poet should be 'colourless' ('n verkleurmannetjie), i.e. without any agenda, in order to take on the colour of that which or whom is being imagined. Both Opperman, in his Shaka poem published in 'Heilige beeste' (1945), and the Basotho writer Thomas Mofolo, in his novel 'Chaka' (1926, 2003), imagined Shaka and this article explores a key moment in both these works where the imagined Shaka is judging his task. It is shown how Opperman's Shaka is carrying very much the thumbprints of the rising Afrikaner nationalism of the 1940s as well as a notion of the task of a poet/builder/leader taken directly from poets influenced by Europe, such as N.P. van Wyk Louw. In contrast, Mofolo presents Shaka outside the missionary framework of his time and within an indigenous moral structure. In Mofolo's work ambition changes Shaka into an individual who begins to live in disregard of his community. It is argued that it is important to imagine The Other by getting under their skin, but that imagining The Other as a differently skinned version of oneself is misleading. To escape the 'spurious one-ness of a quasi-liberal era' requires unhampered and translated conversations under normalizing circumstances. Bibliogr., sum. in English, text in Afrikaans. [Journal abstract]