The School of Interdisciplinary Arts is proud to announce that Dr. Keith Phetlhe has published an English translation and critical introduction to a groundbreaking Setswana-language novel written by T.J. Pheto. Dr. Phetlhe's translation is entitled Botlhodi: The Abomination, A Postcolonial Setswana Novel by T.J. Pheto. Dr. Phetlhe also recently completed his PhD in Interdisciplinary Arts. His dissertation is entitled, "Decolonizing Translation Practice as Culture in Postcolonial African Literature and Film in Setswana Language".
A Postcolonial Setswana Novel by T.J. Pheto and Keith Phetlhe
Botlhodi – The Abomination is a powerful story about British colonialism and its aftermath in Molepolole, Botswana. It is a compelling juxtaposition between Traditional Setswana ways and Christianity. The protagonist, Modiko, finds himself conflicted when both his strict father, a pastor of Motlhaoetla church, and his grandfather, an unapologetic traditionalist, expect him to choose between Setswana tradition and Christianity. Torn between the two worlds, Modiko at the end makes an informed personal decision. The road is not smooth though, as he experiences persecution, bullying, abuse, witchcraft and nightmares along the way. Other characters in the novel engage in some serious conversations that allude to some important historical developments.
In this work, T.J. Pheto presents to his readers a hilarious story pregnant with themes of identity, social change, discrimination, racism, colonialism, love and, ‘tradition’ versus ‘modernity’. This pioneering literary response to British colonialism in Botswana is an outstanding postcolonial fiction of resistance. Pheto’s humor makes the book all the more hard for a reader to put down.