Introduction [to the book "Thuthula: Heart of the Labyrinth" by Chris Zithulele Mann]

Wright, L.S. (2005) Introduction [to the book "Thuthula: Heart of the Labyrinth" by Chris Zithulele Mann]. In: Thuthula: Heart of the Labyrinth / by Chris Zithulele Mann. Pan Macmillan, Johannesburg, pp. 5-14. ISBN 1869170318




There are certain stories, the world over, that stir our hearts and minds to imaginings richer and deeper than the bald facts of history can easily satisfy. Such is the legend of Thuthula, the young Xhosa girl whose beauty and grace won the heart of Ngqika, chief of the Rharhabe Xhosa; the woman who was later married to his uncle Ndlambe, and then taken by Ngqika to become his wife. The events took place in or around the years 1806 and 1807 in what is now the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Prior to the central episode treated in the play, legend has it that Thuthula was out collecting firewood one day with her friends when she knelt at a spring to drink. Startled by the sudden appearance of a hunting dog crossing the stream below the spring, she looked up and saw a handsome young hunter chasing behind the dog. She was struck by his charm and good looks. Teasingly, as any young girl might do, she called her friends round her and challenged the young man to choose his favourite from among them. Amid much flirting and laughter, the object of all this girlish attention was pushed into making a choice. Inevitably, given her beauty, his playful decision fell on Thuthula. This was the first meeting of Thuthula, daughter of Mthunzana, with Ngqika, son of Chief Mlawu.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:This piece introduced the published version of Chris Zithulele Mann's play, Thuthula: Heart of the Labyrinth, which premiered at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in 2003. The play was published in 2005. The introduction is written simply and directly in order to make the complex issues treated in the play accessible for younger readers. Professor Laurence Wright is Director and Head of the Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA), Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords:Thuthula; Chris Mann; Ngqika; Ndlambe; Mthunzana; Mlawu; Phalo; Gcaleka; Rharhabe; Gcaleka Xhosa of the Transkei; Rharhabe Xhosa of the Ciskei; Xhosa; J.H. Soga; chieftainess Hoho; J.J.R. Jolobe; Helen of Troy; Menelaus; King of Sparta; Illiad; Homer; izinyanya; Charles Brownlee; John Brownlee; Thomas Philipps; Hinrich Lichtenstein; Van der Kemp; Nxele; Ntsikana; Great Hymn; Hulutshe; Sol Plaatje; John Dube; Nelson Mandela; Robert Sobukwe; Chris Martin Thembisele Hani; Chris Hani; Ciskei; Transkei; South Africa
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Research Institutes and Units > Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA)
ID Code:1362
Deposited By: Prof Laurence Wright
Deposited On:13 May 2009
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:20
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