Rethinking Nadine Gordimer and the Prophecy of a Non-Apartheid South Africa

Stephen O. Solanke PhD


Apartheid, from its inception to its demise spanning nearly a century, was a socio-political racial problem to the world. It created enemies between families, nationalities and nations. It dehumanized humanity and took lives in high number, especially in its country of origin, South Africa. One of its enemies, through the creative writing world, was Nadine Gordimer. This paper examines a few of her works through which, she, as a white liberal, spoke up for racial unity and respect while winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. The paper, done on a pedagogical position, examines the texts’ thematic foci, their imports and effects on the apartheid struggle. Gordimer’s works, as discovered by this work, served as a predictive and prophetic lever that apartheid would one day be gone and the colours would live together peaceably as the country is now (even as represented in the country’s present national flag). This paper avers that literary works, like Gordimer’s, not only serve as archival to past and present situations but that they also become prophetic to future happenings which are unconsciously predicted through the textual lenses of concerned, humane and balanced writers like Nadine Gordimer.


Nobel Winner, South Africa, Apartheid, Nadine Gordimer, pedagogy

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