n Commonwealth Youth and Development - South African youth : artistic creativity and development

Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1727-7140



Most South African literature that young people consume is created for and not by the youth. The absence of the youth's voices in art tends to allow adults to speak for them or on their behalf. While this situation is not avoidable, or even valid, it tends (particularly after 1994) to be assumed that youths cannot write art that advances democratic development by questioning (1) the apartheid narratives; (2) the black nationalist narrative; and (3) the black elite triumphalist narrative of peace and stability. This article problematises these assumptions by exploring some youths' creativity through poetry in South Africa. Youth creativity has tended to feature anthologies of poetry by individual poets, but a 2008 anthology, We are (2008), which contains several black and white young people's poetic voices, was compiled and edited by another young poet, Natalia Molebatsi. The aim of this article is to explore how the youth's poetic voices have chosen to announce their presence in a creative context in which the literature of development or the development of literary culture has been narrowed down to criticising apartheid only. Images of youth in development discourses are covered by giving a thumbnail history of the precursor to youth creativity in South Africa, before carrying out an analysis of selected important themes from the anthology We are.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error