By Zulumathabo Zulu © 2015
Realtime writing is a form of writing that records events of interest from the unique perspective of the recorder as they happen. These writings are captured in a diary, journal or unsent letter. This type of writing is characterised by concurrency of event and pen. Since such a journal entry captures an event with respect to the timeline, it becomes a historical account with more fidelity with respect to the events of the day.
Motivation for Keeping a Journal
While growing up as a shepherd boy in the Eastern Free State and QwaQwa, I frequently heard the word Leruwaruwa in African mythology from the griots of Matamong. I queried the raison detre of this monster and was told it was a big fish that fed the village when caught but ate the children who didn’t obey the rules and show respect to the wisdom keepers of the cohesive village.
Since historical questions coursed through my veins, I took African History at a Canadian University where I discovered the value of historical diaries. One of the diaries I read was that of Vasco Da Gama. I really wanted to know the truth about what he wrote when he circumvented our seashores and rivers in 1497 during his first voyage. Da Gama wrote on November 8 about the African natives of South Africa who ate whales, among others. This journal entry filled in the blanks and confirmed what the storytellers of Matamong had been saying about this Leruwaruwa during the hunting expeditions of the ancestors of long ago.
Excerpt from the booklet Historicity of Realtime Chronicles