Understanding the Meanings Represented in Ditolobonya Songs: Basotho Women’s Experiences and Realities

 Author(s): Ntsoaki Teresa Mokala 

Abstract: For a very long time, women have been silenced in expressing their feelings and talking about their experiences in their societies dominated by patriarchal ideologies. For this reason, Basotho women use ditolobonya songs (through pitiki) in an effort to deal with the abuse, ill-treatment and all the hardships they go through in their relationships and marriages. This study is necessitated by the discovery I made while listening to these songs that somehow they portray what Basotho women go through in their lives ranging from issues of love, appreciation of a partner, problems they encounter in their relationships, more especially their marriages, to how they are ill-treated by their in-laws as well as their own husbands. As a result, this triggered me to analyze ditolobonya songs to understand what Basotho women go through and how they express their feelings through these songs. The aim of this study therefore is to investigate the extent to which Basotho women use ditolobonya songs to narrate their life experiences. The present study therefore, is premised qualitatively on an Africana-feminism as its base for theoretical framework. For the purpose of this paper, I use Africana womanism as critiques came up on feminism for failing to address the experiences and realities of Africana women. I purposely selected five songs centered on the focus of my study and analyzed them using content analysis.  The findings of the study indicate that Basotho women use ditolobonya songs to narrate the challenges they encounter in their marriages and advise one another. 

Keywords:  Ditolobonya songs, pitiki, African feminism, content analysis 
Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Copyright: © 2020 Al-Kindi Center for Research and Development
DOI: https://doi.org/10.32996/ijllt.2020.3.3.15