Didacticism in the prose - poetry and Narrative fiction of Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe
Chitontolo, Francis Chomba
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Towards the end of 1948. the Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland Joint Pub 1icat ions Bureau which had replaced the African Literature Committee spelt out the production of literature in the indigenous languages as one of its major goals. Accord ins to John Mwanakatwe (1989). 40 percent of the manuscripts sent to the bureau in 1959 were in Bemba, with a sizeable proportion being works of fiction. What is anomalous, however, is that in spite of such an early start, literature in the indigenous languages continues to be viewed as the 4 terra incognita of literary scholarship. The position is all the more bewildering when one considers the phenomenal development that Zambia has attained in the field of higher education since independence. There is an urgent need for its evaluation and interpretation because indigenous literature - the repository of those values its nationals wish to be embodied in their tradition has rich and unique qualities that add depth and meaning to the nation and its people. The concern of this dissertation is the style of "didacticism" in the prose - poetry and narrative fiction of Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe - one of the most prolific authors in Bemba literature. This i . of special significance because didactic literature plays a crucial role in the development process of any nation. The study consists of three chapters. Chapter one i .s introductory and it gives the background and statement of the problem. It indicates the scope, objectives and purpose of the research. It gives a review of related literature and outlines the research procedure used to undertake the study. Chapter two, forms the "core" of the study. In it, we start by giving a general survey of "didacticism" in written Bemba literature as a basis for the analysis of Kapwepwe's works. In doing this, we want to show that other-writers apart from Kapwepwe have used this formal framework as an inspiration for their fictional writing. Following this background we discuss didacticism in the prose-poetry and narrative fiction of Kapwepwe, respectively. In Utunyonga ndimi (Tongue-twisters), we seek to demonstrate that the importance of this little book does not just lie in its elocutionary purpose, but also in the didactic implication of its content. Our concern in Afrika Kuti Twabelela Uluse Lclo Tekuti TuJabe (Africa we can Forgive but we cannot Forget) is a discussion of the significance of the writer's portrayal of the phases of Africa's history -- past, present and future. Especially, we try to bring out in each phase experiences that have an "instructional" value for society. Our concern in Shalapo Canicandala (Good-bye Canicandala) is the author's treatment of the Zambian culture and its dese¬cration by European colonialism. Kapwepwe devotes, the first half of this book to an expose of Bemba customs and traditional lore through the question - and - answer format in which the young protagonist Chanda, puts a series of questions, to Canicandala , a wise old man and repository of Bemba culture. This is to prepare him for the shock, when in the second half of the book, he finds himself in an urban setting where the cultural mores of his people are devalued and desecrated. In I'buntungwa mu Jambojambo (Freedom in Jambo jambo) , we trace the struggle for freedom and attempt to analyse its implications for Zambia as depicted by the author-. Chapter three is the conclusion and it evaluates Kapwepwe's stature as a literary artist in indigenous Literature.