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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.

  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. 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
  3. 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
  4. 'Nothing's Changed' A poem by Tatamkhulu Afrika

    feet are seen treading on the stones, as the same clothes are worn apart from the shoes which are white, the change from man to boy is quite subtle and hardly noticeable to the audience but quite effective because if it is noticed it gives the viewer an idea that the film is going to alternate between man and boy throughout the film like he is looking back on his life. The alternation between man and boy not only continues throughout the film but it becomes more obvious, maybe this is because 'boy again' is not mentioned until the end and instead of just springing it upon us, the director has decided to gradually show it to us.

    • Word count: 2609

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • 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.

    "In conclusion 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' and 'Nothings changed' are similar in the way that they show the problems that can arise when two conflicting cultures meet. The two poems show the problems in different ways. 'Presents from my Aunts in Pakistan' shows this indirectly in the form of a girl opening gifts from her Pakistani relatives. While the poet in 'Nothings Changed' uses a more emotional direct approach to the issue. Brendan Thorne 27/04/07"

  • Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Poet's Use of Language in "Nothing's Changed" and "Two Scavengers in a Truck,

    "To conclude the poem "Two scavengers in a truck, Two beautiful people in a Mercedes", Ferlinghetti describes two classes of people as they stop at a red light. Two garbagemen "on their way home" after finishing their days work, the second set is two high class elegant people "On the way to his architects office." The garbage men's day ends when the young couples begins. The poet compares the two lives and then seems to ask, at the end of the poem - whether America really is a democracy? Tatamkhulu Afrika's poem describes the troubled past of Africa's treatment of colored people, a subject we know the poet fought against. He describes the separation in the past, before 'showing' us the present. He describes how he feels nothing really had changed and his anger makes him want to destroy all the injustice done against colored people."

  • Compare the Ways in which Old Age is Portrayed within "Old Man, Old Man" and "Warning"

    "In conclusion, by comparing these two poems it meant comparing two very different views and ideas of how old aged is portrayed. In 'Old Man, Old Man' old age is like the beginning of the end of life as in 'Warning' Joseph puts the idea that old age is a new beginning for her, and therefore the poem is more optimistic to the reader. There are few comparisons that can be made between the two poems, but there are some in that at old age there is a change of some kind. Graham Conner 11c Miss Kitson"

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