Connect with us

Arts/Literary

Books On Shaka, The Zulu

Published

on

All it took and still counting were 11 authors including a poet to write 11 books on Shaka,the Zulu warrior and King who lived and reigned in the 19th century in South Africa.
They include the pioneer writer, Thomas Mofolo 1925, E A Ritter 1955, Donald R Morris 1965, Mazizi Kunene 1979,  Diane Stanley 1988, Carolyn Hamilton 1998, Dan Wylie 2006,Walton Golightly 2011,  Joshua Sinclair 2013, Luke Molver 2019 and Lynn Bedford.
The novels are all on one subject…King Shaka and tell of the origins of the Zulu nation ,his birth, trials,rise to power, victories and death.
The first author, Thomas Mofolo from Lesotho who started the series took about three years to do his research between 1907 to 1910. The write-up was supported by the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society.However, the novel was not published until 1925 in the Sotho language of the author. The English translation was done in 1931.
The delay in the publication by 15 years was due to the publisher’s being disturbed by the author”s refusal to condemn what is interpreted as pagan customs potrayed in the novel. According to research, some vital chapters on Zulu traditions deemed to be too fetish were removed from the completed manuscript submitted for publication. This were some of the reasons that frustrated Mofolo from writing more books. But despite all these setbacks, the novel became a regional and international bestseller and in 2002, Shaka was named as one of the 12 best works of African literature by a panel organized by Professor Ali Mazrui as part of the Zimbabwe international book fair.
Mofolo’s approach and style is totally different from others as his use of oral tradition is unique. His narrative flows easily and reminds one of the moonlight settings of the real African environment where a grandmother will gather little children and tell them of the happenings of the years of of old. Although some critics might be of the view that his version was too harsh on the shaka story is really entertaining and if seen through the lens of the 19th century, there is nothing wrong with it. The story tells of events as they ought to be in the then Zulu society.
A careful look at the history of Shaka shows that he had a troubled childhood which made him to be fearless in life.
Shaka is also said to be emotionally attached to his mother who was his Chief adviser and her early death later led to his erratic behavior few years before he was killed by his half-brothers.
Although he could be described as merciless, he had soft spot for his brothers which was his undoing.
Almost all the authors agree that Shaka between the ages of 12 and 18 had battled hyenas and lions and emerged victorious while his age mates were yet to venture into the wilderness on their own.
Although where the narratives differ from the various authors is not too worrisome they basically agree that he was a war genius. He could be described as cruel, sadistic or tyrannical .It is like telling an Arab slave trader in the 9th century that what he is doing is evil.
While E A Ritter, Joshua Sinclair and Luke Molver have some similar approach in there narratives, Diane Stanley, Lyn Bedford Hall and Carolyn Hamilton styles are a bit different as their writeup range from the political system to modern interpretation of what happened in the 19th century.
The novels on King Shaka no matter who is the author remains one of the best narratives of African story telling ranging from the moonlight styles of traditional societies to entertain new ways of story telling by using illustration and films.
I will recommend lovers of African literature to read any of the versions that catches their fancy.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Social/Kiddies

My Advice To Other Children

Published

on

Children are blessings  to their families, they are the joy of mothers because no mother wants to be barren.
When God blesses a man with children, He gives duties and responsibilities to both parents and their children.
First and foremost, children are to obey their parents in the Lord for this is right. And also honour their father and mother and people in the society, school and church.
Children are expected to perform their duties to their parents  by helping them in house chores, running errands for them and accord them respect.
Children should learn to keep away from bad influence in the society and at school because evil communication corrupts good manners.The bible says,” show me your friend and I will tell you who you are”.
As a child, your life is in your hands,you are 100% responsible  for how your life turns out.Therefore, feed your mind with good thoughts about your future. Think big and think well.  You should always strive to be the best person you can be. Never shake a person’s hand while sitting down or using your left hand.
Children should form the habit of reading their books and studying their books rather than  surfing the internet for things that are not edifying, chatting, playing video games and watching different kinds of movies, that is why children, especially teenagers should put a stop to all these activities because the time they use in doing all these at least they might have used it to read books and do well in examinations with flying colours and become  leaders who will lead Nigeria into becoming a better place in the future.

By: Flourish Christopher
Flourish Christopher is a Senior Secondary student of Methodist Girls High School, Harbour Road, Port Harcourt.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Social/Kiddies

‘Robots Can Be Used To Assess Children’s -Mental Wellbeing’

Published

on

Robots can be better at detecting mental wellbeing issues in children than parent-reported or self-reported testing, a new study suggests.
Robots can be better at detecting mental wellbeing issues in children than parent-reported or self-reported testing, a new study suggests.
A team of roboticists, computer scientists and psychiatrists from the University of Cambridge carried out a study with 28 children between the ages of eight and 13, and had a child-sized humanoid robot administer a series of standard psychological questionnaires to assess the mental wellbeing of each participant.
The children were willing to confide in the robot, in some cases sharing information with the robot that they had not yet shared via the standard assessment method of online or in-person questionnaires. This is the first time that robots have been used to assess mental wellbeing in children.
The researchers say that robots could be a useful addition to traditional methods of mental health assessment, although they are not intended to be a substitute for professional mental health support. The results will be presented today (1 September) at the 31st IEEE International Conference on Robot & Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN) in Naples, Italy.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, home schooling, financial pressures, and isolation from peers and friends impacted the mental health of many children. Even before the pandemic however, anxiety and depression among children in the UK has been on the rise, but the resources and support to address mental wellbeing are severely limited.
Professor Hatice Gunes, who leads the Affective Intelligence and Robotics Laboratory in Cambridge’s Department of Computer Science and Technology, has been studying how socially-assistive robots (SARs) can be used as mental wellbeing ‘coaches’ for adults, but in recent years has also been studying how they may be beneficial to children.
Source: University of Cambridge.

By: Ibinabo Ogolo

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Social/Kiddies

Workshop Participants Task Govt On Adolescents’ Needs

Published

on

Young people in Rivers State have urged the government to be more sensitive to their needs by providing enabling environment in the health centres and more enlightenment programmes to curb drug abuse, cultism, violence and other vices in the state.
Speaking in separate interviews to The Tide on the sideline of a workshop Monitoring of Priority/Annual Implementation Plans  of Adolescents organised by the Rivers State Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Port Harcourt  recently, some adolescents who attended the workshop noted that a greater attention to the needs of adolescents and young people will aide societal development.
Mr Okwua Ezekiel stated that the three health facilities at Orogbum, Ozuoba and Mgbudunku that were visited during the adolescent programme had very limited free space and no easy access for young people to receive counselling or treatment since they would want their privacy to be maintained.
Ezekiel, who is a youth champion of the state Ministry of Health  representing Port Harcourt Local Government Area further noted that government should help create adolescent free space in these health centres so that more adolescents will be willing to visit these centres to receive treatment and counselling.
He also noted that the health care providers in these centres should be young, friendly and accommodating unlike the elderly ones who oftentimes are harsh in their attitude towards adolescents, adding that the centres only concentrate  in teenage pregnancy, conception and rape cases, no counselling for drug abuse, cultism and services for their male adolescents and access fee of N800 for card/folder may not be affordable by adolescents.
He however pleaded that government should maintain the building provided for adolescents by the Charlton Adolescent Health Initiative at the Orogbum centre which has been converted to family planning back for adolescent use.Also,rehabilitation centres for male adolescents that are into drug abuse and cultism should be provided nusy like the one for rape cases for female adolescents.
He also tasked government to do more with information dissemination to adolescents in schools, both government and private schools on the consequences and effects of these vices which adolescents indulge in, adding that, government can partner with brand companies, especially during festive seasons to talk to adolescents about these vices.
According to him, “the ministry should concentrate action in the Diobu axis and other sensitive areas of the state that have high rate of cultism and substance abuse among adolescents and youths. Also, the Police should be trained not to abuse adolescents, especially around Mile One area. He noted  that the actions of the Police sometimes drive these young boys into  joining cults”, he said.
Another youth, Miss Catherine Dasosi said that, there is urgent need for government to reduce the incidence of substance abuse by adolescents which is the basis of crime and violence in the state.
Dasosi, who is also a youth champion representing Gokana L.G.A also pleaded with bodies such as the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to help the adolescents more by providing funds to reach out to these young ones.
She also noted that, “parents were part of the problem as some don’t  have time for their children, they don’t know how to take care of them or even advise them”.
She also tasked religious bodies to devote more time to educate adolescents in their fold on everything they need to know, including sex education.
Dasosi, however expressed satisfaction with what the state Ministry of Health was doing concerning adolescents, though they need to do more to help the young ones.
She explained that as a youth champion representing the ministry in Gokana, L.G.A, she counsels young people from ages 13-24 in the three wards in Bodo city and Gokana.
“I go to churches on Sunday’s or youth days/programmes. By 2pm I visit student’s social clubs or elite groups. On Monday’s and Wednesday’s, I go to schools in the area for counselling to talk to them on abstinence from sex, issues of STI s, gender based violence, conception, family planning methods, cultism, alcoholism and drug abuse.

By: Ibinabo Ogolo

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending