Gift an article

REVIEW | Struggles of the January women laid bare in Nozuko Siyotula's novel Christopher

Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Loading, please wait...
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Author Nozuko Siyotula. (Photo: Supplied)
Author Nozuko Siyotula. (Photo: Supplied)

BOOK: Christopher by Nozuko Siyotula (Jacana).

Vuyo Aitken (née Fani) is a descendent of the legendary Theodore "Groot Pa Katjie" January, the prodigal grandson of the Miya clan. Theodore's grandfather was a younger twin who was meant to be smothered, according to custom, in order to avoid inheritance disputes. Instead, his mother arranged for him to be smuggled away to Makhanda, where he was raised by a coloured woman named Constance January.

When Theodore was 16, he journeyed to his grandfather's people, where he was able to prove his identity. His grandmother, Ma Miya, had deteriorated mentally, and because her son had not sired any boys, no one remained to take care of her and bury her upon her death. This gave the chief reason to allow Theodore to set up a home on his ancestral land along the Thina River, where he married Mam' Bhele. His descendants were allowed to carry the Miya name along with January.

Read this for free
Get 14 days free to read all our investigative and in-depth journalism. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed.
Already a subscriber? Sign in
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.