Jan Blommaert

A shaba Swahili life story:

Text and translation.

Dokumente und Dateien


Bitte nutzen Sie beim Zitieren immer folgende Url:


Kurzfassung in Englisch

This paper presents an edited version of a handwritten text in Shaba Swahili and French, accompanied by an English translation. The original text was written in ballpoint by a Shaba Zairean ex-houseboy, and sent to his former employer in Belgium. It provides an account of his life, with special focus on the period after his Belgian employers left Zaire in 1973. It documents the conditions of hardship in the life of a semi-educated Zairean and provides a detailed account of the migrations he has to undertake in order to find means to support himself and his family. The author wrote the `recit` at the request of the former employer`s wife, as a symbolic way to repay the debt he had incurred over the years in which he had received money and other goods from the Belgian lady. The text was sent to me by the former employer, who asked me to translate it into Dutch. The former employer granted me the permission to edit and publish the text in its totality. For reasons of privacy, we decided to alter the names of the people mentioned in the text. Thus, for instance, the employer is named Andni Deprins, his wife (who is the central addressee of the text) Helena Arens, and the author of the text is identified as Julien.

weitere Metadaten

Erschienen in Swahili-Forum - 2.1995
Swahili, Literatur, Shaba
Swahili, Literature, Shaba
SWD SchlagworteSwahili, außereuropäische Literatur
DDC Klassifikation496
Beteiligte Institution(en) 
HochschuleMemorial University of Newfoundland
ProfessurHenrietta Harvey Research Professor
HochschuleUniversität zu Köln
FakultätInstitut für Afrikanistik
Erstveröffentlichungjahr der Druckausgabe1995
Veröffentlichungsdatum (online)15.10.2012
persistente URNurn:nbn:de:bsz:15-qucosa-95224
QuelleSwahili Forum; 2 (1995), S. 73-103

Hinweis zum Urheberrecht

Diese Website ist eine Installation von Qucosa - Quality Content of Saxony!
Sächsische Landesbibliothek Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden