We are republishing select pieces from Selves: An Afro Anthology of Creative Nonfiction, curated by Basit Jamiu and introduced by Otosirieze Obi-Young. Here is Mapule Mohulatsi’s “The Nervous Conditions of the Mother Tongue.” DOWNLOAD: Selves: An Afro Anthology of Creative Nonfiction * “I know nothing that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and look at it, until it begins to shine.” —Emily Dickinson. 1. I WAS BORN on the edge of South Africa’s national freedom—it was on the 4th of December 1993 at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. This hospital, my first (not so humble) abode on earth, was opened in 1942 as an Imperial Military Hospital for the black population after the Second World War. It became known as the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in honour of Chris Hani, a former leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP), after his assassination, also in 1993. It is the largest (and probably the bloodiest) hospital in Southern Africa. In the enigmatic year of my birth, the Sunset Clause: South Africa’s peaceful Walk to Freedom, was already in motion, introducing an oncoming and negotiated democracy. By then, the tabula rasa of what constituted African literature… Read full this story
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