Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Pan-African Studies

Committee Chair

Bani, Mary Esi

Author's Keywords

South Africa; Post colonial; Literature; Apartheid; Africa; South African literature


Authors, South African--20th century; South Africa--In literature; Protest literature, South African (English); Mphahlele, Es'kia, 1919-2008. Down Second Avenue; Dikobe, Modikwe, 1913- Marabi dance; Mda, Zakes. Madonna of Excelsior; Mhlongo, Nicholas. After tears


Through content analysis of Ezekiel Mphahlele's Down Second Avenue, Modikwe Dikobe's The Marabi Dance, Zakes Mda's The Madonna of Excelsior, and Niq Mhlongo's After Tears, this study compares the themes of pre- and post- 1994 South African township novels using a post-colonial theoretical framework to determine how the tradition of Black protest literature has changed since the formal ending of Apartheid in 1994. The study finds that the pre-1994 Black writing tradition of critiquing poverty, corruption, and sexism is continued by Black writers in the post-1994 era. Thus, the findings in this study reveal that South Africa's title of "Rainbow Nation," while projecting South Africa as racially progressive, neglects the other forms of oppression in the country that Black writers continue to discuss in their works. The Black South African novels of post- 1994 also refute the "Rambo Nation" title, with the authors refusing to romanticize the Apartheid struggle.