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GCSE: Tatamkhulu Afrika: Nothings Changed
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Tatamkhulu Africa's biography
- 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 He was a member of the African National Congress. He was arrested and forbidden to write or publish anything for five years
- 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 He was born in 1920 and died in 2002.
Things you need to know about 'Nothing's Changed'
- 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 Nothing’s Changed is very tightly controlled and is written in the first person.
- 3 There are six stanzas. The sentences can be one stanza or two words long which creates a rhythm.
- 4 Imagery includes wasteland, the restaurant and the working man’s café.
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
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
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
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