Research Article

An analysis and interpretation of the Basotho proverb ngwana ke wa dikgomo (‘the child belongs to the cattle’): Marriage, child acceptance and inheritance

Published in: South African Journal of African Languages
Volume 41, issue 1, 2021 , pages: 55–60
DOI: 10.1080/02572117.2021.1902134
Author(s): Rethabile Possa-Mogoera, South Africa, Palesa Khotso, South Africa

Abstract

The Basotho’s use of proverbs continues with new ones created to express and come to terms with contemporary issues and new technology. However, the old proverbs are still employed today, though some proverbs may be regarded as archaic, with no place in the modern world. Others have twisted and shifted in order to suit modernity. The article examines Basotho marriage, child acceptance and inheritance through the proverb ngwana ke wa dikgomo (‘the child belongs to the cattle’). This is a proverb that has stood the test of time. The article questions the power of this proverb in protecting Basotho marriage, inheritance and child acceptance. The rationale for the examination stems from the fact that this proverb is popularly known and used when dealing with protections vis-à-vis marriage, child acceptance and inheritance in the Basotho tribe. This article employs critical discourse analysis to answer the research question. Literary texts, court cases and qualitative research methods are used to interpret, explain and explore issues related to this proverb. This article will only focus on the Basotho from Lesotho.

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