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Nostalgic Waves from Soweto: Poetic Memories of the June 16th Uprising

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Soweto during the 1970s was riven with violence and brutality, the brunt of which was borne by the young people of that period, who took the lead in the struggle against apartheid oppression. Himself a product of the era, Sol Rachilo turned both to science and to art as he strove to depict the atmosphere and the emotions of the people of those tumultuous times. Not relying solely on his own deeply engraved memories, he spent 18 months researching the events which swirled around the Morris Isaacson High School, a magnet for the activists and intellectuals of the time. The book especially highlights the happenings of 1976 and 1977, two years of strife in this politically charged township which was the home of all the founding fathers of what Sol calls, - our cherished freedom - Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Nthato Motlana, Desmond Tutu, Mothopeng and Sobukwe.

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'Stylistically, Rachilo uses language simply, without relying on a strict formula. He is able to create a strong sense of place, meaning and emotion without being superflous. The poems make their point and import their stories efficiently and economically without overwhelming the reader with unnecessarily sophisticated vocabulary and rhetoric.'-Karabo Kgoleng-SAFM Literature '

Sol Rachilo's poetry in this collection, is a powerful reminder of where we come from as a nation. It is a gripping journey full of pain, a poignant reminder to the new generation of born frees that the freedom they enjoy today locates its genesis to a particular history full of personal sacrifice, pain and desire for justice on the part of those that fought for freedom. Unfortunately, Sol Rachilo's Nostalgic Waves of Soweto, also reminds us of the forgetful nature of human beings. The collection is about Soweto, just as it is about a collective memory of our past and our present.'-Edward Tsumele, Arts, Culture and Entertainment Writer-Sowetan

'This collection is an advocacy for a generation. In his reminisces of a generation that put up a fight against injustices of the apartheid system, Sol puts an urgent agenda forward. Strong metaphors are used throughout his style of prose poetry. In What Change is there, he decries 'freedom that rang from far'. A clear narrative of what went down then, what brought us here? Yet, it is an enquiry. What happens if a dream is deferred? The anger is not hidden, nor is the love for life and people. It is also not just about a generation's disappointment about the times of our lives, it is also about human relationships, about dignity and about love; the longing to love and be loved. There is a lot of emotion in the words and expressions of this man, who implores us to speak out: "Better to be a loose cannon, than trapped in the labyrinth". Sol is less concerned about the rhyme in his verse. In the poetry landscape of today, where the 'word' is 'slammed' to higher levels of abstraction, it is refreshing to traverse the spoken word with eyes wide open. Sol achieves a lot with the simplicity of style.'-Khanyiso Mguni-Xarra Books

Additional Info

Author Sol Rachilo
Publisher African Perspectives Publishing
Place South Africa
Year 2009
ISBN 9780981439808
Binding Paperback
Condition Very Good

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