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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Tanzanian newspaper poetry: political commentary in verse
Author:Askew, KellyISNI
Year:2014
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1063)
Volume:8
Issue:3
Pages:515-537
Language:English
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:newspapers
poetry
Swahili language
heads of State
About persons:Julius Kambarage Nyerere (1922-1999)ISNI
Wilhelm II; emperor of Germany (1859-1941)ISNI
George V; king of England (1865-1936)ISNI
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2014.918312
Abstract:By the 1910s, swahiliphone newspapers in what was then Deutsch-Ostafrika featured poetry as a mainstay of the newspaper form. Swahili poetry, mostly written by nonprofessional poets, remains a standard element of contemporary Swahili language newspapers throughout Tanzania today. This article, featuring numerous newspaper poems translated by the author in collaboration with master Kenyan poet Abdilatif Abdalla, offers an overview of the genre from its emergence in the colonial era to the end of the twentieth century with an emphasis on praise poems about three political rulers: (1) German colonial-era poems about Kaiser Wilhelm II; (2) British colonial-era poems about King George V; and (3) post-independence poems about first president Julius Nyerere published at various points in his political career and following his death. By examining these poems within their political and historical contexts, the author seeks to construct a poetry-driven, citizens' narrative of Nyerere's political career and explore the poetics of popular expectations and assessments of governance. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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