New translation of life story

2010-07-21 00:00

A NEW book, Liyoze Line Nangakithi, is being launched this week by the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press. This is the Zulu translation — by the author — of William Zulu’s award-winning autobiography Spring Will Come, which first made its appearance in 2005.

Zulu was born in the apartheid years in Emondlo, near Vryheid. As a child, he suffered from tuberculosis of the spine, and a botched operation at Baragwanath Hospital when he was 18 years old left him paralysed and confined to a wheelchair.

It would have been enough to ­destroy many people, but Zulu is a fighter and a man of strong religious faith. He went to the art school at Rorke’s Drift and became a successful linocut artist who has exhibited both in South Africa and overseas. He also became an outspoken champion for disabled people everywhere, but ­particularly in rural areas where the problems all those with disabilities face are made worse by bad roads and communities who are often ignorant about disabilities. But Zulu is determined to make people take notice of him and what he has to say.

Lizyoze Line Nangakithi is important, partly because very few auto­biographies are written in Zulu — life stories tend to be written in English because the perceived readership is bigger. Zulu has deliberately tried to form a bridge between the traditional and contemporary Zulu worlds, making it accessible to the younger modern generation while preserving the authentic language.

He does this by combining the “deep” Zulu spoken by the older generations, with the use of popular slang, showing that language constantly changes and develops because it is spoken by people in a changing world. He has adapted the story from the English so that it is suited to the interests of a Zulu readership, and on the cover he uses his Zulu name first — Ndabayakhe W. Zulu rather than William N. Zulu.— Books Editor.


• Lizyoze Line Nangakithi by ­Ndabayakhe W. Zulu is published by UKZN Press.

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