Mofolo, Thomas Mokopu


Mofolo, Thomas Mokopu

▪ Mosotho author
born Dec. 22, 1876, Khojane, Basutoland [now Lesotho]
died Sept. 8, 1948, Teyateyaneng, Basutoland

      the first important writer from what is now Lesotho, who created the first Western-style novels in the Southern Sotho language.

      After graduating in 1898 with a teacher's certificate from the missionary training college at Morija in Basutoland, Mofolo worked at the Sesuto Book Depot there for more than a decade as a manuscript reader, proofreader, and secretary. He also taught elsewhere in Basutoland and in Cape Colony, S.Af., and he contributed to Leselinyana (“The Little Light”), the Sotho-language mission newspaper in Morija.

      Mofolo began his career at a time when Sotho writers were deeply influenced by two works that had been translated and widely distributed by European missionaries: the Bible and John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Mofolo's first novel, Moeti oa Bochabela (1907; The Traveller of the East), is an allegory in which a young African in search of truth and virtue journeys to a land where white men help bring him to Christian salvation. Mofolo's second novel, Pitseng (1910), is also a Christian fable, but in this case his young hero understands that white people have betrayed the promise of their religion. Mofolo's third and last book, Chaka (1925), became the classic on which his reputation rests. A historical novel about the Zulu king Shaka, it presents its hero not as an allegorical figure but as a fully realized tragic character that some critics have likened to Macbeth.

      The publication of Chaka was delayed for 15 years by missionaries at the Sesuto Book Depot who were disturbed by Mofolo's failure to condemn pagan tribal customs. Discouraged by such misunderstanding, Mofolo gave up writing and worked at various business ventures. Eventually reduced to financial straits by business losses, Mofolo suffered a stroke in 1941 from which he never fully recovered.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mofolo — Thomas Mokopu Mofolo (* 22. Dezember 1876 in Khojane bei Mafeteng in Basutoland, heute Lesotho; † 8. September 1948 in Teyateyaneng in Basutoland) war ein afrikanischer Schriftsteller. Leben Thomas Mofolo wurde als zweiter Sohn des christlichen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Mofolo — Mofolo,   Thomas Mokopu, lesothischer Schriftsteller, * Khojane (Distrikt Mafeteng, Lesotho) 2. 8. 1875, ✝ Teyateyaneng (Lesotho) 8. 9. 1948; verfasste 1912 mit »Moeti oa Bochabela« (in Sotho; englisch 1934 unter dem Titel »The traveller of the… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Thomas Mofolo — Thomas Mokopu Mofolo (* 22. Dezember 1876 in Khojane bei Mafeteng in Basutoland, heute Lesotho; † 8. September 1948 in Teyateyaneng in Basutoland) war ein afrikanischer Schriftsteller. Leben Thomas Mofolo wurde als zweiter Sohn des christlichen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Thomas Mofolo — Thomas Mokopu Mofolo (December 22, 1876 September 8, 1948) is considered to be the greatest Lesotho writer. He wrote mostly in the Sesotho language, but his most popular book, Chaka , has been translated into English and other languages.… …   Wikipedia

  • Lesotho — /leuh sooh tooh, soh toh/, n. a monarchy in S Africa: formerly a British protectorate; gained independence 1966; member of the Commonwealth of Nations. 2,007,814; 11,716 sq. mi. (30,344 sq. km). Cap.: Maseru. Formerly, Basutoland. * * * Lesotho… …   Universalium

  • South Africa — Republic of, a country in S Africa; member of the Commonwealth of Nations until 1961. 42,327,458; 472,000 sq. mi. (1,222,480 sq. km). Capitals: Pretoria and Cape Town. Formerly, Union of South Africa. * * * South Africa Introduction South Africa… …   Universalium


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