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Violence, the occult and the everyday: a Radio Zulu drama of the 1980s

Autor: Liz Gunner
Revista: A Journal of African Studies
Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02533952.2014.984456#.VUeHrSHtlHw

This article explores how the medium of radio through the genre of radio drama enables the exploration of issues of power and violence in a way that is both public and intensely private.

It argues that through the airing of a topic as feared, as secret and yet as pervasively present – or potentially so – as the supernatural and the occult, radio drama can open up for debate areas of modern life around which there is often official silence. The focus is on a double serial drama, single parts of a proverb, Yiz’ Uvalo and Inqobo Yisibindi (“In Spite of Fear, the Victor is Courage”).

I discuss the power of radio to create an interactive community and particular public and the power of this particular drama to harness listeners’ interest, emotions and fears. It had the ability to fascinate and delight and to create a parallel world, which intersected with events but at the same time kept its own internal dynamic which impelled its listeners on with it.
I explore too the particular elements within people’s lives and imaginings with which this drama interacted, and how this contributed to its extraordinary “success.”