Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 5(5), pp. 365 - 374
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2017.050505
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Literary Artists and African Witchcraft: The Unending Search for Solutions

Simiyu Kisurulia *
Department of Languages, Linguistics and Communication, School of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Kabianga, Kenya


Humankind is the most rational and manipulative being. Men and women will always look for solutions to problems and issues affecting them. This search for solutions is at the first instance located within the natural sphere. When nature fails to provide adequate answers, human beings often turn to the spiritual sphere for answers. Witchcraft also referred to as sorcery or black magic, falls anywhere between the natural and the spiritual or supernatural. The practice is an age-old one and, according to anthropological studies, cuts across all the continents of the world. This paper concerns itself with the rendition of the practice from a Swahili literary perspective. The analysis aims at attempting to understand the existence of the practice, its social effects and reasons for its persistence in the society. We analyse the practice of witchcraft as depicted in two Swahili works of art namely Kisima cha Giningi/The well at Giningi (Abdulla, 1968) and Hatimayanguniipi?/What is my destiny?(Chipeta, 2010). These two novels present the practice in two different ways thus attracting the attention of the reader to curiously and critically interrogate the whole practice. The two have been purposively selected as they depict the practice and have been subjected to content analysis to unearth the inherent belief concerning witchcraft and the artist's point of view concerning the same. The analysis is guided by realism and social dynamic theory. It is baffling that even with the advancement in science and technology, and even with the more practical solutions offered by major religions of the world, such a vicious practice that simply escapes human understanding still persists. As such, this analysis widens our perception of the practice of witchcraft as a persistent social practice.

Witchcraft, Literary Art, Swahili, African, Sorcery, Effect

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Simiyu Kisurulia , "Literary Artists and African Witchcraft: The Unending Search for Solutions," Linguistics and Literature Studies, Vol. 5, No. 5, pp. 365 - 374, 2017. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2017.050505.

(b). APA Format:
Simiyu Kisurulia (2017). Literary Artists and African Witchcraft: The Unending Search for Solutions. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 5(5), 365 - 374. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2017.050505.