Thematisations of Child Abuse by Xitsonga Music Composers




child abuse, Xitsonga music, phyisical abuse, psychological abuse, violence, contestations


Abuse in its multifarious manifestations, for example, physical, sexual, emotional, economic, verbal and psychological abuse, as well as harassment, stalking, and property vandalisation, is currently treated as both a global and national crisis. This malady permeates a variety of spaces. It is notable that even musicians devote their creative outputs’ thematic foci to confrontations and agentive contestations against abuse. Some Xitsonga music composers in particular have been adamant in vocalising their objections to child abuse through songs, an area which is yet to receive broad scholarly attention. This article employed a qualitative approach and discourse analysis to reflect on three purposely selected Xitsonga songs that thematise child abuse in its varied forms. This article employed literary theory to analyse song lyrics. The songs are analysed based on a predetermined set of themes, namely, notions of child abuse, condemnations of child abuse, conscientising society about child abuse, and the selected musicians’ proposed remedial interventions against child abuse. The article contributes a contrastive dimension to the ongoing discourse on abuse in general and child abuse in particular from the perspective of Xitsonga musicians. The article recommends, with heavy reliance on the sampled songs, the ways through which the malaise of child abuse can be best addressed and possibly even eradicated in society. 


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How to Cite

Mapengo, Tintswalo. 2022. “Thematisations of Child Abuse by Xitsonga Music Composers”. Southern African Journal for Folklore Studies 32 (2):11 pages .



Received 2023-02-07
Accepted 2023-07-24
Published 2023-08-16