n English in Africa - The politics of love in Mandla Myeko's

Volume 34, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0376-8902



During the apartheid era, the media in South Africa were prevented from exercising freedom of speech and this forced its practitioners either to find covert ways of expressing themselves or, in some cases at least, simply to toe the line. Such was the case at the Xhosa language radio station, where radio dramas, for example, could not openly be critical of the regime. This paper examines Mandla Myeko's 1981 play, (), and argues that, despite harsh media legislation (most notably Publications Act Number 42 of 1974) during the period in question, some radio practitioners, such as Myeko, engaged with the apartheid regime, although they had to camouflage messages that could be deemed subversive. In spite of the state's heavy-handed censorship of radio texts, then, some of these anti-apartheid messages reached audiences. In this regard, I concur with Liz Gunner's contention that "[t]he censorship of overtly political themes has not meant that what was being produced did not engage with the harsh consequences of apartheid, or with the desire of listeners both to find a medium which would express their suffering and their search for a better life" (2002, 231).

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