U Kondelela by Mbedzi Nyelisani
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Publication Date: November 2019
WINNER OF THE SILVER TSHIVENDA YOUTH LITERARY SANLAM AWARD 2019.
A new youth novel written in Tshivenda, one of South Africa's minority languages.
When Lion, the ruler of the jungle, dies, its successor is not its own offspring but an animal with no royal bloodline. Maemu takes up the throne and does a good job. He gains the trust of the animals, which helps him when Lion's son (Nemashango) makes a sudden return in the hope of taking the throne.
Sankambe and Ndou (a rabbit and and elephant) are introduced as friends that are up to no good, particularly Sankambe who is involved in shady dealings constantly. The pair are banished from Dzimaule for plotting to kill Maemu in order to make room for a leader of their own liking.
But Nemashango shocks all the animals by being submissive to Maemu's rule and instruction.
The story has a lot to say about greed, desire, and backstabbing and how tradition and norms can be overthrown by a community's desire to live better lives without these things. It also shows the massive impact rule by the people can have with central and concentrated leadership roles.
Mbedzi Nyelisani is 24 years old and a Computer Science student completing his third year of studies at the University of Limpopo in Polokwane in 2019. He is from Thohoyandou, Limpopo.
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