2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Crowd Psychology in Zululand: Managing the Multitudes in Thomas Mofolo’s Chaka
Andres R. Delgado
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Thomas Mofolo’s Chaka (1925) focuses on a mythological telling of the birth and governance of the Zulu empire in South Africa at the turn of the eighteenth century. In Mofolo’s epic novel, the birth of the mighty Zulu nation comes about as the direct result of the actions of a powerful warrior named Chaka. Chaka’s rise from pariah to emperor and his homeland’s rise from nation to empire are facilitated by the help of three shamans who use medicine and occult study to carry out functions that today are delegated to governmental departments to accomplish via technology, psychology, and organization. This paper examines Mofolo’s approach to the management of large crowds in the context of the governmental models available to him at the time, to illuminate and clarify his metaphors for the psychology that unifies and moves the crowds that dominate Chaka’s life.

Keywords: Chaka, Thomas Mofolo, Crowd Psychology, African History, Government, Zulu

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 42-5
Location: OP 2115
Time: 2:15 pm

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