Poceza M'madzulo: Some Chinyanja Radio Plays of Julius Chongo
Julius Chongo is a household name in Zambia, a celebrated Chewa poet and raconteur, renowned for adapting and creating a popular radio drama of oral prose and poetic narratives known in Chewa or Njanga as ?Poceza M?Madzulo'. The serial ran for ten years between 1966 and 1976 and became a hit amongst both rural and urban Zambians. The stories, which mix realism and illusion, were adapted from the storytelling tradition, and the story theatre performance tradition of the Chewa and Njanja speaking peoples of Northern Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia, as an effort to keep this tradition alive. In the same spirit, the stories have been transcribed and translated into English for a new generation. Although not intended for the written medium, the stories convey much of Chongo's idiom, originality and aesthetic devices. The corpus of stories and their translations are thus a valuable contribution to an understanding of Zambian oral literature in indigenous languages, and as a means of communicating these cultures. Further the work is an important effort to address the underdeveloped area of publishing in indigenous languages and literature in Zambia, a prerequisite for the nurturing of local cultural identity.
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FISI WANKHULI KAWAZA
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