Sizwe Bansi Is Dead

by

Athol Fugard

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Nowetu Character Analysis

Sizwe Bansi’s wife Nowetu stays in King William’s Town and takes care of their four children while Sizwe looks for work in Port Elizabeth. Due to limited job opportunities in the rural environs of King William’s Town, Nowetu cannot find work. Though Nowetu does not actually appear in the play, much of the play involves Sizwe narrating a letter he is writing to her, and Sizwe’s desire to provide for her and their children motivates much of the play’s action.

Nowetu Quotes in Sizwe Bansi Is Dead

The Sizwe Bansi Is Dead quotes below are all either spoken by Nowetu or refer to Nowetu. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racial Hierarchies and Wealth Inequality Theme Icon
).
Sizwe Bansi Is Dead Quotes

BUNTU: I’m also married. One child.

MAN: Only one?

BUNTU: Ja, my wife attends this Birth Control Clinic rubbish. The child is staying with my mother.

Related Characters: Buntu (speaker), Sizwe Bansi/Robert Zwelinzima/Man (speaker), Nowetu
Page Number: 174
Explanation and Analysis:

MAN: It will tell you in good English where he stays. My passbook talks good English too . . . big words that Sizwe can’t read and doesn’t understand. Sizwe wants to stay here in New Brighton and find a job; passbook says, ‘No! Report back.’

Sizwe wants to feed his wife and children; passbook says, ‘No.’

Related Characters: Sizwe Bansi/Robert Zwelinzima/Man (speaker), Buntu (speaker), Nowetu
Related Symbols: Passbooks/Reference Books
Page Number: 180
Explanation and Analysis:

MAN: A black man stay out of trouble? Impossible, Buntu. Our skin is trouble.

Related Characters: Sizwe Bansi/Robert Zwelinzima/Man (speaker), Buntu, Nowetu
Related Symbols: Passbooks/Reference Books
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:
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Sizwe Bansi Is Dead PDF

Nowetu Character Timeline in Sizwe Bansi Is Dead

The timeline below shows where the character Nowetu appears in Sizwe Bansi Is Dead. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Sizwe Bansi Is Dead
Racial Hierarchies and Wealth Inequality Theme Icon
Official Identity vs. Personal Identity Theme Icon
Dreams Theme Icon
...he’ll do with the photo. Robert says he plans to send it to his wife, Nowetu, in King William’s Town. (full context)
Documented Reality vs. Lived Reality  Theme Icon
Dreams Theme Icon
...“movie,” that is, a photo of Robert mid-action, pretending to walk home to his wife Nowetu, for instance, so that she and his children can see the photo and look forward... (full context)
Racial Hierarchies and Wealth Inequality Theme Icon
Official Identity vs. Personal Identity Theme Icon
Acting and Truth Theme Icon
Dreams Theme Icon
...photo Styles has just taken. Robert begins to narrate the letter he has written to Nowetu. He says he has something very exciting to communicate: “Sizwe Bansi is, in a manner... (full context)
Racial Hierarchies and Wealth Inequality Theme Icon
Official Identity vs. Personal Identity Theme Icon
Struck by Sizwe’s desire to live, Buntu sits down and questions Sizwe about his wife Nowetu and his children. He learns that Sizwe has three sons and a daughter and his... (full context)
Racial Hierarchies and Wealth Inequality Theme Icon
Official Identity vs. Personal Identity Theme Icon
Alone onstage, Sizwe narrates his letter to Nowetu again, explaining how even mentioning Sky’s place hurts his head, how the place served “first-class... (full context)
Official Identity vs. Personal Identity Theme Icon
Sizwe asks what will happen to his wife, Nowetu, and their children if he’s dead. Buntu says Nowetu can marry the new Robert Zwelinzima,... (full context)
Racial Hierarchies and Wealth Inequality Theme Icon
Official Identity vs. Personal Identity Theme Icon
Dreams Theme Icon
...he finds the walking stick, newspaper, and pipe elsewhere and resumes narrating the letter to Nowetu. He tells her he’ll come home for Christmas, that he’ll bring the family to Port... (full context)