Botlhodi: The Abomination
208 Pages
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Botlhodi: The Abomination


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Learn more
208 Pages


Botlhodi � The Abomination is a powerful story about British colonialism and its aftermath in Molepolole, Botswana. It is a compelling juxtaposition between Traditional Setswana ways and Christianity. The protagonist, Modiko, finds himself conflicted when both his strict father, a pastor of Motlhaoetla church, and his grandfather, an unapologetic traditionalist, expect him to choose between Setswana tradition and Christianity. Torn between the two worlds, Modiko at the end makes an informed personal decision. The road is not smooth though, as he experiences persecution, bullying, abuse, witchcraft and nightmares along the way. Other characters in the novel engage in some serious conversations that allude to some important historical developments. In this work, T.J. Pheto presents to his readers a hilarious story pregnant with themes of identity, social change, discrimination, racism, colonialism, love and, �tradition� versus �modernity�. This pioneering literary response to British colonialism in Botswana is an outstanding postcolonial fiction of resistance. Pheto�s humor makes the book all the more hard for a reader to put down.



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Published 25 March 2019
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EAN13 9789956550807
Language English
Document size 1 MB

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BOTLHODI: The Abomination A Postcolonial Setswana Novel by T.J. Pheto
Translated with a Critical Introduction By Keith Robert Phetlhe
BOTLHODI The Abomination Translated with a Critical Introduction By Keith Robert Phetlhe A Postcolonial Setswana Novel by T.J. Pheto L a ng a a R esea rch & P u blishing CIG Mankon, Bamenda
Publisher:LangaaRPCIG Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group P.O. Box 902 Mankon Bamenda North West Region Cameroon Distributed in and outside N. America by African Books Collective
ISBN-10: 9956-550-55-8
ISBN-13: 978-9956-550-55-5
©T.J. Pheto 2019
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical or electronic, including photocopying and recording, or be stored in any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher
‘We went to their church. Mubia, in white robes, opened the Bible. He said: Let us kneel down to pray. We knelt down. Mubia said: Let us shut our eyes. We did. You know, his remained open so that he could read the word. When we opened our eyes, our land was gone and the sword of flames stood on guard. As for Mubia, he went on reading the word, beseeching us to lay our treasures in heaven where no moth would corrupt them. But he laid his on earth, our earth.’ Ngugi wa Thiong’o,A Grain of Wheat I dedicate this work to the author of the Setswana novel T.J Pheto for being among the first writers to write this fiction of resistance that chronicles Botswana’s anti-colonial crisis. I also thank him for granting me permission to translate this work into English. This novel is a remarkable literary response to British colonial presence and its aftermath on Bakwena of Molepolole in Botswana. Also, to Prof. Ngugi wa Thiong’o who did the same in East Africa.
Tiroentle Bafana Pheto
Table of Contents Acknowledgements ................................................ ix Preface .................................................................... xi Translator’s Profile ................................................. xv Critical Introduction .............................................. xvii The Abomination ................................................... 1
Acknowledgements I would like to give my sincere thanks to all those who made this work possible. First and foremost, I thank the author, Tiroentle Bafana Pheto, for giving me a very warm welcome during my unannounced visit to Molepolole and for granting me a permission to translate his novel into English. I acknowledge Pula Press for publishing this novel in Setswana in 1985. And to my friend Dr. Joel Magogwe who drove with me to Molepolole to Rre Pheto’s house. Although he was not expecting us, he gave us his time. My family back home in Botswana who went through a long period of an absent sibling, father, and uncle. I say a special thank you to my beloved daughter Maya who had been born a few months before I left on my self-imposed academic exile. And to you Annah Diundu my love, thank you for taking care of my daughter and loving me unconditionally; I love you. In a long list of mentors and friends, I start by thanking Professor Ghirmai Negash for offering direction and advice throughout; and his expertise and criticism which has always challenged me to the limits but also made me a better researcher and translator. I also thank him for helping me regain confidence in postcolonial African literatures. At the University of Botswana’s African Languages & Literature, I thank Drs. R. Nhlekisana and P. Seloma for believing in me. I also thank the Government of Botswana and African Studies Program at Ohio University for sponsoring my studies. While I cannot thank and mention all individuals involved in the project by name, I would like also to thank Dr. Steve Howard, formerly the Director of Center for International Studies who directed the African Studies Program for almost three decades. And to Bose Maposa, the assistant director of African Studies Program as well as Mr. Master Baipidi of the Embassy of Botswana to the US in Washington D.C. I say thank you for your valuable advice and support. Pula! I also would like to thanks my colleagues at Ohio University, especially Lassane Ouedraogo, James Fisher and Spencer Cappelli. I am grateful to David Lawrence for the cover design.