Perspectives From the Past, Technology of the Present and the Future: A Critical Appreciation of the Oral Aesthetic in Mapenzi (1999) and Masango Mavi (1998)
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The paper critically analyses the contrastive use of Shona oral art forms in Chiwome’s Masango Mavi and Mabasa’s Mapenzi. It proceeds from realisation that the two writers identify with Shona people’s oral experiences, which are referred to as oral technology in this paper. We advance the argument that Mabasa uses Shona people’s oral technology in a manner that is ideologically and pedagogically empowering. This is consistent with the value thrust of Shona people’s epistemological assumptions. On the other hand, Chiwome adopts a revisionist and deconstructionist conceptual scheme with regard to Shona people’s oral technology. The paper comes to the conclusion that, of the two writers, therefore, Mabasa’s vision maintains the line between tradition and continuity.
This paper was presented at a Seminar held in the Department of African Languages and Literature, University of Zimbabwe in 2006.