Some new perspectives on the Soweto uprising: H. M. L. Lentsoane’s poem “Black Wednesday” (“Laboraro le lesoleso”)
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The epic poem about the Soweto uprising, “Laboraro le lesoleso”, written in Sepedi (Northern Sotho) by H. M. L. Lentsoane has only recently been translated into English by Biki Lepota as “Black Wednesday” and published in the anthology Stitching a whirlwind (2018). In this article I suggest that, by discarding English, some crucial shifts from the bulk of protest poetry written in English must have taken place. Lentsoane wants to speak directly to fellow mother tongue speakers and not a national or broader African or international ear.