oa Alternation - Writing resistance on the margins of power: Rampolokeng's Poetry and the restoration of community in South African

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



Recent debates on the state of South African writing have tended to suggest that the theme of apartheid, and by implication the theme of resistance within the context of 'decolonisation', may have become exhausted. Njabulo Ndebele has once again thrown into focus the crisis that South African writers, black and white, are likely to face in the new political dispensation. 'What we are likely to have in our hands', Ndebele writes, 'is a general loss of focus. And there lies the crisis of culture in our country' (Ndebele 1992:25). For Ndebele (1992:25), 'the possibilities for new writings are inseparable from the quest for a new society'. In other words, for Ndebele, the creative agenda is intricably bound to the challenges that are likely to be thrown up by the new political scenario in the country. As early as 1987, Lewis Nkosi had suggested that apartheid had become a sterile source of inspiration for black South African writers, and he went further to suggest that only fresh ways of looking at the apartheid theme can salvage black South African writing from its present state of stagnation.

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