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Question: Analyse the poem Wrapped Up by Malika Ndlovu. Hanging out with my bra Somme chooning about the way South Africans are We took a trek across the nation To sort of S-A-B-C the situation You see, between bunnychow and boerewors Between melktert and breyani There’s a flavour that’s our own Between phutu and samosas There’s a taste we can call homegrown Ag, with a chommie, beer and skyfs Even Hillbrow’s not a bad place There’s mos a space for every face We stopped to have a chitchat With a bunch of Buddhists on a mat We checked some happy-clappies Jussis, even they are lekker chappies Then there was this auntie Now she was on a different plak Standing on the corner in a mini-skirt Gesuip, but still trying to push her luck By now our beetle was sounding kronk So we pulled in at a Trek to have our tjorrie checked By a man dressed like a quagga Who thought we were soeking dagga So I got out and pulled up the hood And then he understood Back on the road it somme just clicked That whether it’s Savuka or R.E.M ‘Nkosi sikelele or Die Stem This division is mos kak en palaver Just makes us agro to each other There’s no reason to be stressed This pot-pourri means we’ve been blessed.
Wrapped Up by Malika Ndlovu is an engaging and multi-faceted exploration of South African identity and culture. This analysis will focus on the poem’s use of language, themes, and symbolism. Language/ Dialect: Ndlovu uses South African slang and Afrikaans phrases to construct an authentic South African voice. Words such as 'bra' 'chommie', 'lekker', 'gesuip' and 'kak' are slang mainly used in the South African context, and their incorporation adds to the local flavor of the poem. Also, ndigenous food mentioned like 'bunnychow', 'boerewors', 'melktert', 'breyani', 'phutu' and 'samosas' reflects the diverse South African culinary traditions and stand as a metaphor for the diverse cultural makeup of the country. Theme of Unity: One of the central themes of the poem is unity in diversity, a sentiment encapsulated by the phrase "there’s a taste we can call homegrown." Despite the variations in food, language, and experiences, Ndlovu suggests that there is an inherently South African flavor that unifies the nation’s people. This theme is extended in the mention of the national anthems 'Nkosi Sikelele' and 'Die Stem', symbolising the synthesis of the country's past and present, and the coming together of different racial and cultural communities. Element of humor: Humor is a vital aspect of Ndlovu's writing. Her depiction of different types of people, and the humorous encounter at the car repair shop, add a layer of light-heartedness while subtly addressing the underlying tensions and stereo types in the society. Challenging Stereotypes and Prejudices: Ndlovu doesn't shy away from addressing negative aspects of society, subtly challenging prejudices and stereotypes. The mention of the auntie in a mini-skirt 'pushing her luck', the suspicion of the man who thought they were 'soeking dagga' (looking for marijuana), and the assertion that division is 'kak en palaver' (nonsense), all address societal issues. Meaning of unity and blessing: The concluding lines signify a message of unity amid diversity and the beauty in the 'pot-pourri' of cultures. Ndlovu celebrates the diverse nature of South Africa and calls it a 'blessing', as opposed to a source of division or strife. In conclusion, "Wrapped Up" by Malika Ndlovu is an experimental blend of language, cultural elements, and societal critique, creating a unique South African narrative that is both humorous and poignant in its delivery. Through this piece, Ndlovu encourages the reader to beyond societal tensions and celebrate South Africa's cultural diversity.
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