n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Communicating social inclusiveness : Paul Slabolepszy's (1997) : research letter

Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2279
  • E-ISSN: 2219-8237



Paul Slabolepszy is a well-known South African playwright whose socially inclusive plays appeal to broad national and international multi-cultural audiences. His ability to reflect an authentic South African landscape with its stormy political background, diverse cultures and inhabitants, and to evoke empathy for all of his diverse characters within this South African milieu, adds to the dramatic impact of his plays. In his play, (1997), Slabolepszy depicts an empowered woman as the focus of his concern. In this play he takes us on a nostalgic journey of recognition, and with sensitivity and insight relates the return of an exile from America to South Africa. A black woman, Thandi, returns to her place of birth to redefine her heritage and roots. I would also like to demonstrate how Slabolepszy combines various degrees of comedy in order to evoke empathy for Thandi, as well as for his white characters. In so doing he is able to foster social inclusiveness in . Slabolepszy's play also ends on a hopeful note, for he suggests that by freeing our souls, there is hope for South Africa's emergent democracy.

Paul Slabolepszy is 'n bekende dramaturg wie se sosiaal inklusiewe toneelstukke byval vind by die breë publiek, asook by nasionale en internasionale gehore. Sy vermoë om 'n outentieke landskap te skep teen Suid-Afrika se stormagtige politieke agtergrond, diverse kulture en boorlinge, en om empatie te wek vir al sy uiteenlopende karakters binne 'n Suid-Afrikaanse milieu, verhoog die dramatiese impak van sy toneelstukke. In sy toneelstuk, (1997), val die fokus op 'n sterk, bemagtigde vrou. In hierdie toneelstuk neem hy ons op 'n nostalgiese herkenningsreis. Slabolepszy beeld die terugkeer uit van 'n uitgeweke swart vrou, Thandi, na haar geboorteland, Suid- Afrika. Hierdie vrou keer terug uit Amerika om haar erfenis en verlede te herdefinieer. Slabolepszy kombineer in dié drama verskeie grade van komedie om sodoende empatie te wek vir Thandi asook vir die wit karakters. Sodoende slaag hy daarin om sosiale inklusiwiteit in uit te beeld. Die slot van Slabolepszy se toneelstuk veronderstel ook hoop vir die toekoms en Suid-Afrika se ontluikende demokrasie, mits ons daarin kan slaag om in die proses ook ons gees te bevry.

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