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GCSE: Tatamkhulu Afrika: Nothings Changed

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Tatamkhulu Africa's biography

  1. 1 The poet spent his childhood classified as 'a white' when he was growing up in South Africa. When he was a teenager he discovered he was half Egyptian and chose to be reclassified as 'coloured' under Apartheid.
  2. 2 He was a member of the African National Congress. He was arrested and forbidden to write or publish anything for five years
  3. 3 The poet used to live in a multi-cultural area called ‘District 6’. Under Apartheid the government decreed it was a 'whites only' area. All of the non white inhabitants were evacuated and their houses were burnt down.
  4. 4 He was born in 1920 and died in 2002.

Things you need to know about 'Nothing's Changed'

  1. 1 Nothing’s Changed is autobiographical was written in a time of hope, at the end of Apartheid and shortly after Nelson Mandela was released from prison.
  2. 2 Nothing’s Changed is very tightly controlled and is written in the first person.
  3. 3 There are six stanzas. The sentences can be one stanza or two words long which creates a rhythm.
  4. 4 Imagery includes wasteland, the restaurant and the working man’s café.

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  1. 'Not my Business' by Niyi Osundare compared with 'Nothing's Changed' by Tatamkhula Afrika

    But then, at the end of the first stanza, after all that, comes the last two lines: '...in tall, purple flowering, amiable weeds.' That line can be interpreted as the poet reminiscing about what it used to be like when he was a boy; maybe he found solace when he was away from the segregated areas of his town or village and the weeds gave him a sense of gratification when there was no where else for him to go where he felt that his skin colour played a part.

    • Word count: 2419
  2. Compare 'Nothings Changed' with 'Vultures', Analysing the Political Message Conveyed

    The differences are that in 'Vultures' has described his setting in a simple way, whereas in 'Nothings Changed' the writer has gone into detail. How does the poet use characters? The poet who has written the poem 'Vultures' has used his main characters as animals, which are vultures. He has also added the commandant. I know that the vultures are the main characters because the title of the poem is 'Vultures' and in there he has used sentences such as 'a vulture perching high' and 'Nestled close to his mate'.

    • Word count: 1263
  3. Nothings Changed

    Through this stanza we discovered that district six is kept a shambles "into trouser cuffs, cans, trodden on." This means that no one really cares about it anymore. Another factor mentioned are the purple weeds. The color purple is often referred to as dried blood (hence there must have been a massacre). The scattered rubbish and the purple weeds (in this case symbolizing death) are all ironic because during apartheid people were being killed/ beaten and people treated the place with no respect.

    • Word count: 525
  4. Comparative Essay, How is the theme of 'identity' dealt within the poems 'Presents from My Aunts in Pakistan' and 'Nothing's Changed'.

    She contrasts the beautiful clothes and jewellery of India with the classic English cardigans from Marks and Spencer. There is a slight pun about her aunts 'requesting cardigans from Marks and Spencer's to further explore this shared culture. The 'radiant' clothes are so carefully described to stress their difference to British clothing. When a glass bangle 'drew blood' it is an image of how she is not used to these items of clothing. She is also drawn to the loveliness of these things, but feels awkward wearing them; 'I tried satin-silken top-/was alien in the sitting-room. /I could never be as lovely as those clothes', (lines 16-19).The girl 'longed for denim and corduroy'', (lines 20-21).This shows she wants to 'fit in' so she has to struggle between two cultural identities.

    • Word count: 607
  5. Nothings Changed - Describe the irony of the title of Tatamkhulu Afrika's poem

    "no board says it is by my feet know and my hands..." As we move on in lines 15 and 16 we get the first impressions of the poet's emotions. The lines are very bitter and show his hatred and anger towards the whites. He is furious for some reason and is about to explode as anger is building up inside him. Even though Apartheid has ended, hatred against the whites has not changed. "and hot, white, inwards turning anger of my eyes" In the next stanza the poet talks about a new, posh cuisine. He tells us that a guard stands at the gatepost and it is a whites only inn.

    • Word count: 886
  6. How do Seitlhamo Motsapi and Tatamkhula Afrika portray apartheid in their poems 'Andif' and 'Nothings changed'?

    There was even a ban put on marriages blacks could not marry whites. If a person in a family was black and the rest of the family was white then the rest would count as blacks. The poems that we are going to write about are to do with the apartheid and the effects of the apartheid on the black people in south Africa and how they lived with the oppression that was bought on these people when the apartheid was put into use. In the poem 'Andif' the writer is writing about blood cuts and death he is telling us about all the horrible things that happened to people and the suffering they were going through when the apartheid was in use.

    • Word count: 1569
  7. How do the main characters in the poems "Charlotte O'Neil's Song" and "Nothings Changed" cope with change.

    In stanza two she tells us what a callous and bitter woman her "mistress" was and what differences there are between their life classes: "You dined at eight and slept till late, I emptied your chamber pot. The rich man earns his castle, you said. The poor deserves the gate." Which is saying the rich people deserves what they have earned by getting the castle and the poor only deserve the gate because that's what they have earned. This is also ironic because most poor class people have worked really hard for the money or food they get and the rich are sometimes born into money and are that tight fisted that the no wonder the poor cannot become rich.

    • Word count: 774
  8. What are your impressions of "Nothing's Changed".

    It makes the reader feel like tension is building. The poet tells the reader how he knows he's in district six by "the soft labouring" of his lungs and "the skin" about his bones, also "the anger" in his eyes. Anger and physical tension are very important in this poem. I believe it is mainly what the poem is about. To make the feeling of anger and tension build up more. The poet refers to heat a lot, for example "flaring like a flag." Words like "hot", " white", "burn" and "flaring" are used throughout the poem to keep the anger flowing.

    • Word count: 670
  9. Analyzing Longfellow - The Sound of the SeaBy Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

    The soul is first motivated suddenly towards something, as illustrated when the speaker hears "the first wave of the rising tide." This is a sudden epiphany illuminating the speaker's mind, "a voice out of the silence of the deep," reverberating in the speaker's whole body until it is like the "roar of the winds," making a strong, clear vision to the soul which will inspire it. Longfellow uses a simile (Line 7) for a direct comparison of how suddenly the soul is affected by an inspiration as it springs up "as of a cataract from the mountain's side."

    • Word count: 708
  10. Tatamkhulu Afrika - Nothing's Changed

    There is no sign to show this as there would have been under apartheid, but black and coloured people, being poor, will not be allowed past the "guard at the gatepost". The "whites only inn" is elegant, with linen tablecloths and a "single rose" on each table. It is contrasted with the fast food "working man's cafe" which sells the local snack, "bunny chows". There is no tablecloth, just a plastic top, and there is nowhere to wash one's hands after eating thus, "wipe your fingers on your jeans".

    • Word count: 1307
  11. A Comparison of "Limbo" with "Nothing's Changed".

    There was no actual law abut it but everybody knew it, the black people were forbidden to go where white people went. The poet is expressing his views about how bad the situation is and how much he hates it in this poem. In both poems, they involve white people taking advantage of black people and they both come from the view of black people and tell us how they are treated. However this is not so obvious in the poem "Limbo", it can be spotted by the opinion the African Slave has of the White people in charge of

    • Word count: 1132
  12. How do the poets create a sense of place in 'Limbo' and 'Nothing's changed'?

    and rhythmically patterned stanzas. It is made clear in stanza four and seven that he is onboard a ship, '...and the ship like it ready' or ' long dark deck and the water surrounding me...' and so forth. The opening three words in the first line of stanza nine, long dark deck, suggest that 'limbo' is taking place at night and aboard the deck, with the 'water surrounding...' showing us the environment of which it was taking place. In stanza nine you get the impression that the 'ship' is in actual fact a slave ship, shipping the slaves across to another country, during the night.

    • Word count: 1801
  13. Compare the two poems, "Nothings changed" by Tatamkhulu Afrika with Charlotte O'Neil's song by Fiona Farrell.

    the narrator that he is relaxed and is taking a leisurely walk, "Small round hard stones click under my heels", this statement reinforces what mood he is in as it is describing the way he walks. When he reaches the wasteland of where he used to live, district six we see that he is reliving the anger of what it used to be like when he lived here and his feelings of long ago start to build up again, "District six.

    • Word count: 1171
  14. Did Saltaire change for the better?

    This shows how generous and serious about building his village. He then went on to construct a hospital and a tram shed. The Hospital + Hygiene The hospital was built to give workers and their families medical care, a healthy workforce was an efficient workforce. It started off as two storeys but had a third in 1908, and another extension in 1925 to make a total of 24 beds. Nowadays it is a private rest home. The hospital also gave sickness benefit. If you were 13- 15 you paid 6 pence a month (old currency)

    • Word count: 1660
  15. 'Vultures' by Chinua Achebe, 'Night of the Scorpion' by Nissim Ezekiel, 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' by Moniza Alvi, and 'Nothings Changed' - What are the main ideas in the four poems?

    He describes the different classes whites (upper class) in their elegant restaurants, eating 'haute cuisine', whereas the blacks (lower class) are left in their 'working man's caf�' eating 'bunny chows', which is something of a cheap and filling take-away food eaten mainly by the poor. As he describes what he sees he expresses his anger and states that 'Nothings Changed', also the title of the poem, which concludes what life is still like there. I can understand the anger the boy must feel seeing that life has not changed.

    • Word count: 1309
  16. How Do The Two Poets Show You Something Important About The Cultures They Write About.

    'Imagine the drip of it, the small splash, echo in a tin mug, the voice of a kindly God'. The poet shows how wonderful the sound of water is by describing it as 'the voice of a kindly God'. Imtiaz Dhaker speeds up the tone of the poem in the next verse. By doing this it shows the hurry of the water-starved people in the dry season to get a drop of water. This also makes the reader picture the water rushing out and through the pipes. 'The sudden rush of fortune. The municipal pipe bursts'. 'Silver crashing to the ground' this shows the value of water and how sacred t is because it is described as silver.

    • Word count: 972
  17. Other Cultures.

    The poet in the poem is protesting about the inequality that existed within this situation. The poem starts by showing the poor conditions that the black citizens are expected to live in at, 'District Six'. The poet gives the impressions that this area is run down and is a slum the poet shows this by saying 'seeding grasses' and 'cans trodden on'. The poet also says 'no board says it is' this means that the whites haven't said where the black people should live but everyone knows that is where they are supposed to live.

    • Word count: 990
  18. 'Nothings Changed' and 'Ogun are examples of hymns of protest - Examine the ways in which the poet's views and anger are expressed through the poems.

    Tatamkhulu Afrika was an Egyptian-born, child of an Arab father and a Turkish mother. He was raised as a white South African, but later in life chose to be classified as 'coloured' to show his African identity. His poem also reflects on his identity and race. Edward Kamau Bathwaite wrote his poem 'Ogun' showing his uncle's poverty and criticise the West for making Africans poor by taking their livelihood away from them. His uncle was a skilled carpenter, who lived in the West Indies but could not even manage to survive, as cheap goods were imported from the West.

    • Word count: 1391
  19. How do the writers of Charlotte O'Neill's Song and Nothing's Changed protest about injustice and discrimination?

    (Line 5). This makes the reader aware of all of the chores she was made to carry out, so that they are able to relate to the experiences she went through. It is written in past tense, which makes it look as though working for her master is a thing of the past, and she will not allow such injustice to happen again. In the next stanza, Charlotte O'Neill protests about the discrimination against servants, by comparing her poor status to that of her rich master.

    • Word count: 866
  20. Compare 'Limbo' with 'Nothing's Changed, showing how the poets reveal their ideas and feelings about the particular cultures and traditions that they are writing about.

    This shows that the blacks feel insignificant and are made to feel as though they are below the whites. The slaves also see the whites as 'dumb gods' who are powering over them but are only winning as they are the majority and hold the power. In Nothings Changed the first stanza shows the 'amiable weeds', which is that some of the black people are being forced into believing that they truly are an inferior race. Also, comparisons are made between the standards of living of whites and blacks as the whites have their 'haute cuisine' whilst the blacks are left with 'bunny chows'.

    • Word count: 776
  21. I have been asked to compare two poems. I will be writing about

    It would seem that he does not have good memories of this place. His immediate change of mood as he nears district six seems to show his feelings towards the area. We start to get the feeling that whatever has happened here has affected him deeply and personally. Afrika is outraged by the hidden racism in his country. Even though by law black, white and coloured people are considered equal in practise quite the reverse is true. In the poem he describes a white's only inn.

    • Word count: 2514
  22. "Charlotte O'Neil's Song" and "Nothings Changed".

    Charlotte O'Neil's Song has a lot of repetition in the poem which emphasises certain things. In the third stanza the word "and" is used several times to emphasise that she had to do a number of things. This shows that Charlotte feels that she is unfairly treated and has far too many jobs to do, while her master enjoys parties and an expensive lifestyle. "You dined at eight and slept till late". This shows the lifestyle her master led while she cleaned and scrubbed. She realises this is unfair and does something about it. In Charlotte O'Neil's Song in the first stanza Charlottes feelings are made clear immediately.

    • Word count: 1198
  23. Compare 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' by Moniza Alvi and 'Nothings Changed' by Tatamkhulu Afrika - Comment on the conflict between two cultures in the poem and the way the poets express this.

    This is shown by "Whites only inn" This quote demonstrates the metaphorical barrier between the two cultures. The speaker in 'Nothings Changed' is a black man who returns to district six. In this poem the conflict between the two cultures is caused by the decades of apartheid government in South Africa trying to separate the 'blacks' and 'whites'. "Guard at the gatepost, Whites only inn" This shows the segregation as although apartheid has officially finished guards stand at the doors of many of the restaurants to prevent 'blacks' entering.

    • Word count: 2085
  24. Assessing the poem Nothings changed.

    People obviously thought this was not fair and many protests against this law were put forward, but unfortunately ignored. When this was happening the poet was a young boy, he felt intense anger for this and rage at this cruel injustice. The historical influences provides this poem with what district six is like today compared to what it was like For example The name of

    • Word count: 498
  25. Both Chinua Achebe and Tatamkhulu Afrika explore the dark side of human nature in the poems: "Vultures" and "Nothings Changed" By closely referring to the language and structure of both poems, compare the way the poets present their concerns

    Those words bring about a mental image of a meadow, calm with nothing wrong anywhere. It uses repetition of 's' sounds and gives the entire section a feeling that maybe the poem is going to be calm and serene, showing very 'pleasant' imagery. However as soon as you progress onto the fifth line you start to see that the poem has a darker, more malevolent side to it. The poet used a very good example of onomatopoeia when he uses the word 'crunch' and it gives you much more of a feeling of dread.

    • Word count: 1893

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