Verbal art beyond categorization: inductive and aesthetic approaches to Remmy Ongala's songs

Verbal art beyond categorization: inductive and aesthetic approaches to Remmy Ongala's songs

Author: 
Gaudioso, Roberto
Place: 
Oxon
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis Group
Date published: 
2021
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
Journal of North African Studies
Source: 
Journal of Eastern African Studies, Vol. 15, No. 4, 2021, pp. 645-662
ISSN: 
0305-7070
Abstract: 

This article focuses on the textual aesthetics of the Congolese-born (later Tanzanian naturalized) Swahili singer-songwriter Remmy Ongala. In the first part, I argue that a textual approach is also important for songs. The theoretical discussion is mainly based on the studies by Karin Barber, which offer a fundamental perspective on these issues. On this basis, I propose a more literary perspective, related to the ideas of the father of aesthetics Baumgarten (1714-1762), the American writer Susan Sontag (1933-2004) and the Swahili writer Euphrase Kezilahabi (1944-2020). Since Ongala belongs to different textual traditions, Congolese and Tanzanian, I use texts from these traditions for a comparative analysis of style and thought. On the Congolese side the comparison is based on elements of oral literature, like folk tale and song, both in relation to the proverb Kipendacho roho hula nyama bichi (A soul in love eats raw meat), while on the Tanzanian side the comparison is based on Swahili literature of that time.

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CITATION: Gaudioso, Roberto. Verbal art beyond categorization: inductive and aesthetic approaches to Remmy Ongala's songs . Oxon : Taylor & Francis Group , 2021. Journal of Eastern African Studies, Vol. 15, No. 4, 2021, pp. 645-662 - Available at: http://library.au.int/verbal-art-beyond-categorization-inductive-and-aesthetic-approaches-remmy-ongalas-songs