This dissertation focuses on the praise poem, Chief Molefi K. Pilane which appears in the following texts namely Boka Sentle (1970) which is a collection of poems by Seboni and Lekhela and Praise Poems of Tswana Chiefs (1965) by Schapera. The poem by Seboni and Lekhela discusses some of the events which are to a larger extent discussed in Schapera's poem, known as Molefi Kgafela. This is the reason why the investigation highlights specifically Schapera's poem which is broadly elaborated. The message of this poem focuses on the implementation of law and order within the Community. Although it is one of the oldest traditional praise poems, no detailed investigation has been made with regard to this poem except for a few comments by Schapera. The aim of this investigation is to focus on three levels of text. The topic concept is indicated in line 7 - 12 which highlights on the theme of this poem. There are however other extracts from the poem that are used as examples. This. investigation also focuses on the narratological model, which states that a text work has three levels namely content, plot and style. The concepts, narrative poetry, epic, ode, ballad, sonnet and praise poem also receive attention. Content is also examined. When the content is summarised to the minimum then one refers to the topic. Topic is therefore important in literary work. The four elements of the plot structure namely exposition, development, climax and denouement are discussed. Techniques employed in exposition are viewpoint, conversation, symbolism and apostrophe. These techniques focus on the message carried by this poem. Repetition is used more often in the development stage of this literary work to emphasise lack of law and order in Molefi's Community. The techniques, namely apostrophe and conversation, are employed in the climax. They are also of value as they highlight the message of the poem. Techniques employed in the denouement are elision, synecdoche and exaggeration. Their importance is shown to be their relevance to the message of the poem. The following elements, are also examined: characters, events, time and place. The characters in the plot are described in relation to specific functions which reveal both -their good and bad behaviour. Their importance is explained to be due to their responsibility with regard to the continuation of events. The events are described in such a way that the conflict between the antagonist and the protagonist is revealed and time and place are discussed to highlight the events of the poem. The third level of this literary work deals with style and meter. Style highlights the author's mood and intention. The mood in this poem is related to the advice given to Molefi with regard to good leadership. Meter is discussed on the basis of two rules namely the rule of division and the rule of symmetrical harmony. The rule of division deals with metrical devices known as pause and caesura while the law of symmetrical harmony is concerned with the number of syllables, the number of penultimate summits and repetition. In the poem, Molefi Kgafela there are stanzas and words which have similar meanings. The poem, though being a traditional poem, is characterised by a modem instrument, which is writing by using meter. Meter is therefore important in this literary work.
Dissertation (MA (Setswana))--University of Pretoria, 2006.