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I Speak To The Silent

 
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zypherious



Joined: 27 Oct 2005
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 6:31 am    Post subject: I Speak To The Silent Reply with quote

Mtutuzeli Nyoka's first novel, 'I Speak To The Silent' is a deceptively simple work. An old Xhosa man, Walter Hambile Kondile, is in prison for the murder of a struggle hero, and after many years, he at last decides to explain his actions.

Nyoka's message is all the more extraordinary for the ordinariness of his story. His plot is by no means unusual, but even that is deliberate. South African society is still a deeply patriarchal one, and his praise of the women of the struggle is unusual; just as unusual, in fact, as his searing criticism of the so-called heroes who betrayed their own people.

Even now, South Africans still find it hard to believe allegations against our public idols, whether they are politicians, sportsmen, or high-placed officials. Domestic violence and sexual assault are accepted by many; and the public refuses allegations of wrongdoing to tarnish adored public figures.

Describing himself as "a simple man, a Xhosa and an African, whose life is of no significance to the world", Kondile tells of life in the Eastern Cape town of Alice under apartheid, and the events which led up to his beloved daughter's disappearance and death.

A simple message but a powerful one in a truly remarkable book.

IAfrica.com
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