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dc.contributor.advisor Abodunrin, O. J. Sebola, Moffat
dc.contributor.other Madadzhe, R. N. 2023-04-14T05:47:44Z 2023-04-14T05:47:44Z 2022
dc.description Thesis (Ph.D. (Tshivenda)) -- University of Limpopo, 2022 en_US
dc.description.abstract The issue of African identity in African literature has been receiving considerable attention in recent times. However, comparatively speaking, the focus has largely been on texts written in English, whereas texts written in (African) indigenous languages have received minimal attention. Moreover, critics who cannot understand the language of indigenous writing ignore such writings in their criticisms, which culminates in the treatment of indigenous writings as palimpsests on which the other records their story. Consequently, perspectives and philosophies shared by indigenous literature are marginalised and only those conveyed in European languages are considered. Against this backdrop, this study aimed to, firstly, attempt to draw Tshivenḓa poetry from the periphery to the ‗centre‘ of conversations on issues of selfhood, identity and culture in the postcolonial context. Secondly, it sought to show that a representative selection of Tshivenḓa poetry can provide indices into the trajectories and nuances of the Vhavenḓa people‘s selfhood, identity and culture. Undergirded by a trifocal theoretical framework, namely Afrocentricity, the hermeneutical approach and postcolonial theory, the study shored up various aspects that were thematised by the selected poets as indices into the Vhavenḓa‘s selfhood, identity and culture. The study employed a qualitative research approach and the descriptive method to analyse sixteen (16) purposively sampled poetry texts. Textual and thematic analyses were relied on in the analysis of the selected texts. The study found that Tshivenḓa poetry demystifies the meta-narratives propounded by colonialists and exponents of apartheid about African people‘s selfhood, identity and culture. Tshivenḓa poetry attains this, firstly, by demonstrating that the indigenes have always had ways through which they expressed their selfhood, identity and culture, and secondly, by agentively challenging hegemonic discourses on selfhood, identity and culture. The analysis of the selected texts also revealed that the Vhavenḓa poets derive their sense of selfhood, identity and culture from two main sources: God (Ṅwali) and their ancestors. It was noted that most of the modern Vhavenḓa poets‘ concept of ‗God‘ gravitates more towards the Judeo-Christian worldview, while those who espouse ‗ancestor veneration‘ promote the Africanist traditional religion as their base for identity formation and articulation. The former observation in particular should be ascribed to the influence of Christian missionaries. Other themes, such as Tshivenḓa mythology, religion, agitations for self-identification and representation, marriage, socio-cultural traditions, selenology, cosmology, cosmogony, dance, and ritual, are mainly anchored to the Vhavenḓa‘s notions of theocentricity and anthropocentricity. This study contributes to the ongoing discourse on politics of identity and discourses interested in how the formerly colonised indigenes seek to assert their presence and agency after decades of marginalisation and repression. The study recommends that aspects of selfhood, identity and culture that are encapsulated in Tshivenḓa poetry should form part of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) that need to be studied in institutions of basic and higher education. For the sake of knowledge preservation and perpetual transmission, communities should be proactive in passing this knowledge to the younger generations. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) and South African Humanities Deans Association (SAHUDA) en_US
dc.format.extent xiv, 217 leaves en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.relation.requires PDF en_US
dc.subject Identity en_US
dc.subject Culture en_US
dc.subject Poetry en_US
dc.subject Tshivenda en_US
dc.subject Selfhood en_US
dc.subject.lcsh African poetry en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Tshivenda culture en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Identity en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Venda poetry en_US
dc.title Selfhood, identity and culture in selected Tshivenda poetry en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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