Critical Analysis of the Orakloric Resurgence in Mda’s The Heart of Redness 

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 Mphoto Mogoboya, Shokane Ratau


The interplay of oral-lore in literary texts is gaining immense popularity African literary texts. This influence of African oral elements are common in novels, the short stories, poetry or drama written by most black African writers. Ngugi (1986) calls this phenomenon, orature, which means oral literature in Africa. This article endeavours to critically analyse the resurgence of orality in Mda’s The Heart of Redness (2000). Mda’s The Heart of Redness was purposively sampled from other novels by the same novelist because of its germaness to the study. It is a qualitative study which is undergirded by the Post-colonial theoretical assumptions. Firstly, this article defines and discusses the following interwoven terms: orality, oral tradition and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS). Secondly, this article critically analyses some of the salient characteristics of the oral tradition employed in Mda’s The Heart of Redness, which are, totemism, symbolism and omen(s). Lastly, it (this paper) emphasises the use of oral forms and IKS in literary texts for the transformation of (South) African literature.

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