Walter Sisulu University lecturer publishes Xhosa novel

APRIL 1, 2016

A Walter Sisulu University educational sciences lecturer has contributed to efforts aimed at preserving, protecting and promoting vernacular languages after recently launching her debut Xhosa novel in Mthatha.

South African Translators Institute (SATI) – professionally accredited IsiXhosa lecturer Yolisa Madolo’s novel, titled “Akakhalelwa uzenzile”, hit the shelves earlier this month after massive support and assistance from the provincial arts and culture department who helped fund the publishing costs.

Madolo eloquently narrates in IsiXhosa a tale about the tragic consequences of a young girl succumbing to peer pressure and, in so doing, having to make a decision that could impact the rest of her life.  

“This is a story about social issues that are happening in and around us, especially in our black communities. It’s a story that seeks to create awareness amongst our communities about how to overcome these ills, and what better way to do that than to write the story in a language our people will understand” said Madolo.

She said she started writing the book in 2006 as a way to impact and contribute to society after steadily observing a decline in the value system and a perturbing incline in the moral decay of society.

Madolo advocates for vernacular literature as a critical tool in effectively promoting African languages and rescuing the dignity of indigenous languages.

“African literature written in African languages harbours great potential to influence the recapturing of the imagination of the indigenous peoples, and so doing start the process of promoting indigenous language use.  Through this, we’re optimistic that we can inspire a lot more people to start writing vernacular,” she said.

Born in the village of Bhencuthi in the rural town of Qumbu, Madolo credits a lot of influence in her writing to her rural background and its impact on her outlook and perceptions.

Madolo has also two published children’s books to her name, a drama published in 1998 as well as a short stories edition published in 2003.