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The Empowered Native

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The Empowered Native is a fictional account based on the most vivid encounters of the period leading up to the June 16 1976 student uprisings. Written in the humorous language of South Africa, it is a well-researched embracing novel that accommodates different cultural and economic experiences through the main character, Lerumo Sekhukhuni. A 16-year-old young student activist in Soweto in 1976, Lerumo like his fellow students goes into the streets of Soweto to protest against Bantu Education and the use of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in schools.
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After suffering continued police harassment and threats of life-imprisonment, Lerumo is forced into exile through the harsh life of refugee camps in Botswana and Zambia until he is offered a bursary to study in Russia where he qualifies as a mechanical engineer. He is deployed by the liberation movement to London where he holds a vigil, waiting for the liberation of his country. He returns to South Africa two years after the release of Nelson Mandela. At the ripe age of 32, he was finally ready to lay down his spear and pick up the scattered pieces of his life.

Though an entertaining novel, the book gives glimpses of local cultures and history while it examines the roles played by freedom fighters and their partners during the struggle for freedom. This insightful book dares to deal with contentious issues of the present.

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