The Paradox of Freedom and Fear in Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa!




apartheid South Africa, Athol Fugard, colonisation, freedom and fear, protest theatre


The history of South Africa is characterised by fear that stems from violent colonisation by Europeans who had their own interests and neglected the needs of the original inhabitants of the land. The descendants of the colonisers made matters worse with the introduction of apartheid, which saw the implementation of discriminatory policies that included the forced removals of black people from their own land. This article traces and interrogates the fight for freedom by black South Africans against apartheid, a fight that can be described as brutal and accompanied by fear. This fight is nuancedly represented by Athol Fugard in one of his plays, My Children! My Africa! (1989), in which he links fear with the quest for freedom. Applying postcolonial theory to the play, this article argues that Fugard’s representation of apartheid’s oppression of black people complicates understandings of the concept of freedom by making freedom and fear inseparable.


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How to Cite

Simango, John. 2023. “The Paradox of Freedom and Fear in Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa!”. Imbizo 14 (1):16 pages.



Received 2022-10-05
Accepted 2022-11-29
Published 2023-08-11