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Tungo za kujibizana: `Kuambizana ni sifa ya kupendana´

Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig
Publication Date
  • Swahili
  • Poesie
  • Sansibar
  • Sprechkunst
  • Soziolinguistik
  • Poetry
  • Zanzibar
  • Verbal Art
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Ddc:496
  • Versdichtung
  • Literature


Different labels have been used for marking the reciprocity in Swahili dialogue poetry, varying between the more neutral `malumbano´ or `kujibizana´ and the more marked `ukinzani´ or `mashindano´. By showing a sample from the Zanzibari newspaper Mwongozi (1956) of a poetic dialogue on wife-husband relationships, the paper argues that the poetical form and the strong language used are not a mere expression of what has been called `rivalry´, but instruments in expressing views and opinions that have been observed in other literary devices (mithali, misemo, vijembe) and their usage. At the same time it is demonstrated that different types of poems (tenzi, mashairi, nyimbo) and different styles (plain, metaphoric, riddle) are used side by side. The ambiguity, incompleteness and strength of the language that is used in this poetry, make it all possible to express views on sensitive issues in the society.

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