SOAS University of London

Africa Section, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Darryl Nel

BA (Rhodes), BA (Hons), BEd (Hons)(Unisa), MA Ed (Open), HED (Unisa)
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Darryl Nel
Mr Darryl Nel
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Thesis title:
The 'Tokoloshe' and cultural identity in post-Apartheid South Africa
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PhD Research

The Tokoloshe is a supernatural entity rooted in traditional belief in southern Africa, acknowledged in the day-to-day rituals and practices of contemporary South Africans, and exploited in the mediums of popular culture. It has its origins among the Cape Nguni, and has since become a recognisable figure in the collective mythology of the peoples of South Africa, with representations in literature, on stage and screen, in the charts and in the popular press.  The deconstruction of Apartheid has provided a unique socio-historic context in which this mythology continues to thrive, producing a new folklore that is simultaneously enigmatic and familiar. In my research I would like to explore representations of the Tokoloshe in popular culture in South Africa as indicators of an emerging common, national identity in post-Apartheid South Africa.