Afrika in die resente Afrikaanse digkuns
Van der Merwe, Belia Algina Johanna
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The concern with Africa that has been visible in many spheres of the Afrikaans society for the past few years, initiated this study about Africa-consciousness and the manifestation of Africa as theme in Afrikaans poetry. This survey was done on the basis of semiotic differential codes and focuses on Afrikaans poetry of the past twenty years- the period between 1976 and 1996. Various codes generated from these poems, and eight so-called Africa-codes with their various sub codes have been identified: The geographical-, climatological- and nature codes refer to the African continent, whereas the anthropological-, linguistic-, literature- and historical codes, as well as the code of conflict-and-reconciliation, involve the peoples of Africa and their cultures. The background study consists of a short exposition of the historical attachment of South Africa to Africa, and the Africa premise in Afrikaans poetry until 1976. Hereafter, the manifestation of the eight Africa-codes in Afrikaans poetry between 1976 and 1996 is investigated and illustrated with specific examples from the spectrum of poems from this period. Geography, climate and fauna and flora are main themes in many of these poems, and confirmation of the Afrikaans poets' love for their continent, and their attachment to it. Interest in the experiences, language, culture and history of the African people, is also revealed in numerous poems. This interest is especially displayed on linguistic level, proven by the existence of numerous collections of poems written in nonstandard varieties of Afrikaans, which are used mainly by native black speakers. The most extensive code that manifested during this period, is the code of conflict-and reconciliation. There is a definite voice against Apartheid, which not only estranged various racial groups in South Africa from one another, but also isolated South Africa from the rest of Africa. The new political dispensation thus also implicates a return to Africa. It is evident that the Afrikaans poets of 1976 to 1996 do not merely write about Africa, but also from within, realizing their attachment and expressing their commitment to this continent. They embrace Africa as their only home, and future expectations involve complete identification with this continent and its inhabitants.
- Humanities