Pelong ya ka

  • Publication Date: Oct 2021
  • Dimensions and Pages: 185 x 120mm Extent: 128pp
  • Paperback EAN: 978-1-77614-043-5
  • eBook EAN: 978-1-77614-534-8
  • PDF EAN: 978-1-77614-044-2
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 180.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): 20

With an introduction by Mike Mahase.

Pelong ya ka is a volume of twenty essays and stories written by Sophonia Machabe Mofokeng  and first published in 1962 in the Bantu (later, African) Treasury Series by the University of the Witwatersrand Press. In his short life Mofokeng, an expert on African folklore, was also regarded as a gifted exponent of African languages, in particular Southern Sesotho, and this assessment is still valid today.

The essays and stories in this collection are largely autobiographical, with the author being both the writer and the main character in them. Their style is in turn meditative, descriptive, narrative and polemic, and the tone of voice of the narrator is characterised by melancholy, humour and satire. The themes span a wide range of human experiences, and reflect Mofokeng’s deep personal convictions and passion for freedom, as well as his Christian beliefs . As he says in ‘Nako’ (‘Time’), ‘we are worried because we want to live for a long time, as if the most important thing is to live for many decades, but the fact is that we must live our life to the fullest’.

His descriptions of his time spent in hospital are filled with insights into the experiences of the patients, doctors and workers he met there, and reflect his gift for observing the details of everyday life, and recounting them with both depth and simplicity.

Nhlanhla Maake says of this collection that ‘Mofokeng’s essays fuse simplicity with depth’. It is a classic worth revisiting, not only for its rich content but also for its value as an educational resource.

Pelong ya ka is part of Wits University Press’ African Treasury Series.

Chapter 1 Pelo
Chapter 2 Botho
Chapter 3 Bodutu
Chapter 4 Lefu
Chapter 5 Reisisi
Chapter 6 Tsela-tshweu
Chapter 7 Phetoho
Chapter 8 Nako
Chapter 9 Metswalle
Chapter 10 Pampiri
Chapter 11 Hlahlobo
Chapter 12 Noka
Chapter 13 Ho kganna motorokara
Chapter 14 Lewatle
Chapter 15 Sepetlele
Chapter 16 Dimela
Chapter 17 Tjhelete
Chapter 18 Lenyalo
Chapter 19 Boqheku
Chapter 20 Qetello

Sophonia Machabe Mofokeng (1923-1957) received a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, for his research on African folklore. His works reflect a deep knowledge of Sesotho language and culture, his experience of ill health, and his Christian faith.

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