This lecture reflects on the relationship between literature, power and governance with reference to Shakan literature; the writing of Charles Mungoshi, one of the most accomplished Zimbabwean writers and the works of contemporary Namibian poets. It argues that the traditional role of praise poets as chroniclers of the history of their communities that pervades Izibongo zika Shaka permeates the literary works of early black Southern African authors like Thomas Mofolo.

The central focus is on the nature of the relationship between the ruler and the ruled, as is the case in Frank T. Prince’s poem, “Shaka”. Shakan literature, both oral and written attempts to evaluate the political significance of the first Zulu King and questions his style of governance. Mungoshi’s poetry and prose also interrogates issues of governance in Zimbabwe. The younger generations of Namibian poets, such as Kavevangua Kahengua, Christi Warner and Keamogetsi Joseph Molapong (both performance poets) challenge Namibian leaders to honour the dreams of ordinary citizens in the independent state. 

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Malegapuru Makgoba
cordially invites you and your spouse/partner to attend

BAHons (Rhodesia), DPhil (York)

School of Literary Studies, Media and Creative Arts
Faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences
Literature, power and governance:
Southern African Perspectives

Date : Wednesday, 05 October 2011
Time : 17:30
Venue : Colin Webb Hall, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Pietermaritzburg Campus

RSVP: (Acceptances only): Njabulo Zuma
Tel. +27 (0)31 260-2342 • Fax: +27 (0)31 260-2204

or complete electronic reply card by clicking on, or

All Welcome, Guests to be seated by 17:15
Refreshments will be served after the lecture
Academic gowns are available from:
Ronald Pillay, Registry, Howard College Campus
Tel/fax: 031 260 2140 E-mail:
Please assemble in the robing room at least 15 minutes before the commencement of the ceremony 

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