Original Articles

The literary history of isiNdebele

Published in: South African Journal of African Languages
Volume 23, issue 2, 2003 , pages: 111–119
DOI: 10.1080/02572117.2003.10587210
Author(s): P.B. SkhosanaDepartment of African Languages, South Africa


Ntuli and Swanepoel (1993), and Taljaard in Gérard et al (1993), touch on isiNdebele literary development from 1921 to 1990, albeit very briefly. Notwithstanding their contributions, more information needs to be researched and uncovered. Both works dwell on the history of the Ndebele people rather than the development of their language; rather than the literary history of isiNdebele. No mention is made about the contributions of the missionaries, although this is a well known trend in other African languages. The importance and the development of the eleven official languages of the Republic of South Africa, particularly those that were previously marginalized, has been over emphasized by various authors, and is well supported by the present post apartheid government. Therefore this article investigates and discusses the historical development of isiNdebele as one of the official languages of the Republic of South Africa from 1921–2000. The main aim is to give a more detailed overview of the both the earliest and the latest trends in the development of isiNdebele literature.

Get new issue alerts for South African Journal of African Languages