oa Alternation - National identity and Xhosa poetry (1880 -1900)

Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



On 8 May 1996 South Africa reached a milestone when more than the required two thirds majority in the Constitutional Assembly voted in favour of the new constitution of the Republic of South Africa. The argument of this article is that the new national identity which is enshrined in the new constitution of South Africa is a phase of development of a discourse that has occupied the minds of Xhosa poets as far back as the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The article furthermore argues that the poems that were written during the period 1880-1900 embodied a then marginal position. However with the new dispensation the philosophy that is contained in the poems has assumed a central position of dominance.

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