Article

Images of traditional Setswana time concepts in DPS Monyaise’s novels

Published in: South African Journal of African Languages
Volume 37, issue 1, 2017, pages: 109–119
DOI: 10.1080/02572117.2017.1316936
Author(s): Sekepe MatjilaDepartment of African Languages, South Africa

Abstract

To the Batswana, time was determined by past and current events, the everyday chores and activities of men, women and children, the behaviour of wild and domestic animals, the colour or shape of the landscape and other objects, the sound and music of the birds, the appearance, disappearance and reappearance of celestial objects like the sun, the moon and the stars. These events were given names to indicate time. Naming something is an expression of a relationship, mostly of ownership. By naming these events in Setswana, the Batswana were creating a bank for the memory generated by human interaction with the natural environment. This article will analyse Monyaise’s use of time images in his novels. The choice of images in Monyaise’s work uncovers the quality and/or the essence of his language practice as well as his vision to nurture and safeguard the Setswana language and culture. In Western society, time is a commodity that can be bought, sold or utilised. For the traditional Batswana, man is not a slave of time; he can make time and therefore regulates time.

Get new issue alerts for South African Journal of African Languages