ONE of the legacies that apartheid gave to Africa is the canon known to the literary world today as protest literature or literature of pains. This was an imaginative response by different strata of South African writers community to the challenges of race politics that was practiced by the ruling dominant white minority in the hey days of apartheid.

This  form literature found expressionism in all the genres of literary expressionism vis-a- vis prose, drama and poetry as well as theatre, movie and popular culture. The fulcrum of this literary tradition was to use the the imaginative power to engage the politics of colour that segregated the rainbow people of colour.

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela

The works that captured this canon of writing looked at the various ranges of segregation that that took place in the South Africa’s  society whether it was at the mine, in the  church, school, place of work and other public space.

From this tradition, emerged a whole range of writer activists, wgho employed the power of the intellect asnd the imagination in prosecuting the fight against apartheid. It was the era of protest literature that nurtured and produced some of the world’s best writers including Lewis Nkosi, Peter Abraham, Bloke  Modisane Andre Brink, JM Coetzee  and Nadine Gordimer.

Also  such other notable names like Poet Denis Burutus, dramatist Athol Fugard are also other significant  writers and activists , who stoood rigidly with their writing to challenge minority power in South Africa.

In the genre of poetry, such poets like Denis Brutus , Lewis Nkosi  and Modisane were notable names whose poetry engage with  strong energy of the intellect the inhuman condition in South Africa.

In the area of prose  fiction, Peter Abraham, Can Themba, Coetzee, Gordimer and Brink , also captured  different dimensions to the obnoxious regime that brought so much pains on the people. Just like in theatre where Fugard’s Swesi Bansi is Dead, in its dramatic power highlighted on stage the heart raking route that blacks had to take  to survive works in black job’s stricken South African society.

Beyond wentertainment,  alll forms of literary expression and visual culture were appropriated by artists  and activists as enlightenment toools with which the activities of  apartheid rulers were roundly expose, challenged and exposed to the international community , which rose up against te regime.


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