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Heinemann, 1981 - Fiction - 168 pages

This novel is the first of many works of literature that takes the great Zulu leader, king, and emperor as its subject. The story is well-known, partly due to Mofolo but also to the works of literature by Badian, Senghor, and Mazisi Kunene. O.R. Dathorne has said, "The historical Chaka is only the impetus for Mofolo's psychological study of the nature of repudiation." Mofolo presents it as a study of human passion, of an uncontrolled and then uncontrollable ambition leading to the moral destruction of the character and the inevitable punishment.

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Nandi chooses Chaka
Senzangakhona disowns Nandi
Chaka kills a Lion

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About the author (1981)

Mofolo is not only the father of literature in his native Sesotho language, but is also widely considered to be the father of modern black South African writing. Educated in Protestant mission schools, Mofolo worked as a teacher in the mission school system and regarded his writings as an instrument for the propagation of the Christian faith among the Sotho-speaking people. He is best known for his ostensibly biographical, but largely fictional, narrative Chaka (1925). The novel presents a satanic image of the great Zulu general of that name, reflecting his adherence to traditional Zulu magic. Mofolo also wrote three other works that are deeply rooted in Christian morality. Moeti Oa Bochabela (Traveller of the East) (1907) presents a romantic journey to the East in a quest for the truth, reminiscent of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. L'Ange Dechu (The Fallen Angel), which remains unpublished, was written in reaction against the effusive sentimentality of popular romances. And Pitseng (In the Pot) is an autobiographical account of Mofolo's own school days.