Theme of Apartheid in Alex Laguma’s a Walk in the Night and Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom

Theme of Apartheid in Alex Laguma’s a Walk in the Night and Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom
Theme of Apartheid in Alex Laguma’s a Walk in the Night and Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom

ABSTRACT: This work was on the Theme of Apartheid in Alex Laguma’s a Walk in the Night and Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom. The work revealed the persecutions, exploitation and the pains the blacks went through in South Africa. The study aimed at examining the cruelty of Apartheid laws on the blacks in South African. This indeed was an established fact that wickedness was at high place during apartheid era. In 1953, the education segregation law was passed stating that the non-whites who were considered as the subordinate people should not have access to quality education. Young men who, because of their situation in life, lack of opportunity and colour have been prevented from achieving anything progressive and from achieving any ambitions.

The majority of the native (non-whites) were treated differently from whites. They were forced to live in different areas, go to separate store, churches, work and hospital. The Blacks were hot allowed to interact with the whites. We thank God for people like Alex La Guma, Nelson Mandela etc. who stood their ground to deliver South Africans from the bondage of apartheid.

Theme of Apartheid in Alex Laguma’s a Walk in the Night and Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

Apartheid, an Afrikaans word meaning “A state of being apart” was a system of racial segregation in South Africa, enforced through legislation by the national party (NP) Government, which was the ruling party in South Africa from 1949-1990.

Apartheid had decimate effects not only on the blacks but anyone classified as non-whites in South Africa. Racial segregation has been for centuries but the new policy started in 1948 which was stricken and more systematic.

This policy did not leave any aspect of social life untouched. During this time, existing pass laws were also strengthened. This law required non-whites to carry document to authorize their presence in some areas that were restricted. This experience was so formidable as blacks were to present “a pass” before they could walk freely on the road. Infact, a black man with a pass reported by Fugard in Sizwe is Dead was better than to exist without a “pass” for a life without a pass was worst than dead itself.

In 1953, the Education segregation law was passed stating that the non-whites who were considered as the subordinate people should not have access to quality education.

Blacks were corralled into township, if they could get jobs in the city. If not, their urban shacks often were bulldozed and they were forcibly moved to unproductive “homelands”. This was at the heart of the policy of Apartheid or “separateness”.

Young men who, because of their situation in life, lack of opportunity and colour have been prevented from achieving anything progressive and from achieving any ambitions.

The purpose of the South African Apartheid laws was to force the black community not to mingle with the white community. This ensured that they had to live in separate neighbourhoods, use separate public transport, medical care, and public beaches. It also included the prohibition of marriage between whites and non-whites.

It is on the above crises that this work aimed at examining the Apartheid experiences of Black Africans in Alex Laguma’s A Walk in the Night and Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Apartheid itself was a problem the blacks experienced during that era. The majority of the native (non-whites) were treated differently from whites (including blacks and other minorities and even poor whites) were forced to live in different areas, go to separate stores, schools and hospitals, treated differently at work and were not allowed to interact with the whites.

Michael suffers the same fate in A walk in the Night. He was unfairly fired. He uses alcohol to hell quell his rage. At one point, he is harassed by a police officer. He eventually heads home to face the consequence of being unemployed and only to find himself in the gang just to survive.

The Blacks worked tireless but were badly paid by their white master. Nelson Mandela suffered suit even in his home town. This racial discrimination and segregation become a thing of interest to the researchers as the experienced are shared in the discourse.

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to examine the apartheid in South Africa.

Specifically, the research work will consider the following South African literature:

(i)         Apartheid experience as portrayed in Alex Laguma’s A walk in the Night.

(ii)        Apartheid experience as portrayed in Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom.

(iii)        Nelson Mandela’s A long walk to Freedom.

This study will expose the wickedness of the white against black and the racial segregation.

Theme of Apartheid in Alex Laguma’s a Walk in the Night and Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom

1.4       Significance of the Study

The study will help the readers to understand the ills of the Apartheid Government. The study will help in making the students and society to appreciate literary works as a means of conveying and revealing societal crises and how it would be corrected. Also the knowledge acquired from this study will be very useful to other researchers who may carry further studies in related or similar area.

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