An Exploration of Elements of Folklore in Ntuli’s Translation of Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom

  • Rose Masubelele


 The telling of stories forms an integral part of human activities. It dominated pre-modern cultures and is still a human preoccupation today. All aspects of human life may be turned into a story, which may take one of many forms. Stories may be original creations in the language and culture in which they are told, or they may be derived—that is, they may be taken from another language and culture. Whatever the case, the people who are telling or retelling the story pattern the language they use in a manner that will arouse interest in their audience. It is against the backdrop of retelling stories that this article examines Ntuli’s use of elements of folklore in his translation of Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom. The elements to be explored in Ntuli’s translation include proverbs and idioms. Gottschall’s notion of The storytelling animal underpins the discussions in this article. Accordingly, the article demonstrates how the use of the elements of folklore helped the translator to adorn his work in order to assert his presence in the text and to relate the receptor to modes of behaviour relevant to their culture.