Bantu Knots || By Lebo Mazibuko

Year of Publication:2021
Genre:Contemporary Fiction
Disclaimer:This book was sent to me by NB Publishers for review purposes.

In her debut novel, Lebo Mazibuko holds a mirror up for black South African society to view and assess the impact of their lifestyles and chosen forms of discipline.

The story follows late-teenage girl, Naledi, and through her life’s journey we get to see how our upbringing and communities play an unshakeable role in who we become.

Lebo explores themes such as religion, mother-daughter relationships, discipline, fear, identity, township life, love, and self actualisation in this book packed with so much of post-apartheid, modern-day democratic South African scenery and commentary.

As she tries to weave a place for herself in society, Naledi finds her voices, something not many are fortunate to discover at her age, and pursues her purpose. Naledi is a lot of South African youth who are hungry to break free not only from societal shackles, but also from the expectation and fear that is groomed in them at home.

Bantu Knots was an easy read. Many may critique this style of writing, which often comes through in South African literature by black South African authors, however, I truly believe that literature, and more especially the aspect of it that allows a reader to follow, imagine and comprehend a story, should be accessible. This is most important in countries where literacy levels are low, it makes literature inclusive.

I think Lebo delivered well in her effort to tell ‘our’ stories and bring the gaze back to the township post apartheid, highlighting some of the ailments still plaguing the black family and community even in present day.

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