Postcards from Soweto
Postcards from Soweto
by Mokone Molete
"One of the major criticisms of the Bantu education system was the way we were taught ‰ۡóÁÌ_́ÌÎÌ_?ÌÎÌ_? by rote. We had to repeat things and scream out the answers. On one occasion our English teacher was getting us to learn words ending with 'hood'. The 'motherhoods', 'fatherhoods' and 'sisterhoods' came flooding in from all corners of the class. Mzala, not the most stupid chap in the class, stopped us in our tracks when, asked for his contribution, he answered: 'Firewood'."
Postcards from Sowetois a memoir of sorts. In a series of postcard vignettes,Molete relates the anecdotes of "back in the day" whenhe was a child and could get away with just about anything except Mama's wrath.
The beauty of this memoir is that it charts not only the author's youth ‰ۡóÁÌ_́ÌÎÌ_?ÌÎÌ_? the beatings, the friends, the girls ‰ۡóÁÌ_́ÌÎÌ_?ÌÎÌ_? but also the growth of a township called Soweto. At times amusing, and at other times unsettling, each vignette contains a wealth of atmosphere. These epsiodes are offered up to the reader, not to be judged, but to be accepted as "the way things were". Accurately rendered, with details of language, popular culture and place,Postcards from Sowetowill transport you in your imagination to a setting mingled with the tinge of memory and nostlgia, like a photograph in sepia.
The author warns the reader, from the outset, that the book "needs to be enjoyed for what it is: recollections of a middle-aged hack reminiscing rather romantically about days gone by." With the recent interest in the era ofDrummagazine,Postcards from Sowetois a must for those readers indulging in some nostalgia, whether these were their experiences of youth or not.
About the Author
Mokone Moletewas born in Alexandria. His family was one of those relocated to Diepkloof, Soweto, as part of the National Party's apartheid policy, which did not recognise the permanency of black people in urban areas. Mokone has held various positions in several Johannesburg-based newspapers. He is one of six siblings, and has three children of his own.
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