Imbizo https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/Imbizo <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 8pt;"><strong>Hybrid Open Access</strong></p> <p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 8pt;"><em>Imbizo : International Journal of African Literary and Comparative Studies</em> is a scholarly and peer-reviewed journal of the department of English studies at the University of South Africa. The journal aims to foster critical debates on African Literary Theory, cultural studies, history and popular culture. The journal publishes original research articles, review articles and important conference proceedings on theoretical and practical perspectives that expand knowledge on discourses on the Africanisation of the processes of Africa's literary creations.</p> Unisa Press en-US Imbizo 2078-9785 “One Does Not Do That to a Human Being”: Reading A Man of Good Hope (2015) as a Testimonio of Human Rights https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/Imbizo/article/view/13796 <p>Human rights are central to South Africa’s nationalist struggle and imaginings of a democratic dispensation. Amongst other institutions, the Human Rights Commission, the South African Constitution, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Freedom Charter have historically been tasked with enshrining human rights in processes, relationships and moralities defining South African democracy. However, over the years, conceptions of who is entitled to human rights and protection have continued to shift, especially in the wake of increasing numbers of migrants seeking different forms of refuge in South Africa. This article turns to literature as a site to encounter contemporary discourse on migrant human rights in the country. Using Jonny Steinberg’s biography <em>A Man of Good Hope</em> (2015), the article explores how the biography’s styling as a testimonio allows it to critically engage the question of human rights and (in)justice in relation to migrants. Focusing on the protagonist’s witnessing of migrants’ violated lives and themes of victimhood, suffering and dehumanisation, the article examines the ethics of human rights and justice in <em>A Man of Good Hope</em>.</p> Nonki Motahane Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo 2024-03-04 2024-03-04 16 pages 16 pages 10.25159/2663-6565/13796 Resistance to Heteronormative Laws and Homophobic Religions in Selected Short Stories from Sub-Saharan Africa https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/Imbizo/article/view/13592 <p>This article explores the resistance exhibited by queer characters against homophobic legislation and religious norms within the framework of gender performativity in selected short stories from Sub-Saharan Africa. The analysis focuses on narratives from diverse regions, including Stanley Kenani’s “Love on Trial” and “In the Best Interests of the Child” (Malawi), Monica Arac de Nyeko’s “Jambula Tree” (Uganda), Davina Owombre’s “Pelican Driver” (Nigeria), Emil Rorke’s “Poisoned Grief” (Zimbabwe), and Dolar Vasani’s “All Covered Up” (Tanzania). The article argues that the queer protagonists featured in the chosen short stories actively resist societal pressures towards compulsory sexuality and assigned gender roles. Within the sociopolitical contexts of the characters, laws and religious doctrines prescribe and enforce a heteronormative framework that homosexual characters are compelled to adhere to. The theoretical framework guiding this analysis draws from Judith Butler’s gender performativity, which challenges the assumption of a direct alignment between biological sex and gender identity. According to Butler, being biologically male or female does not dictate one’s gender identity, and the same principle applies to sexuality. The article examines how heteronormative laws and homophobic religious doctrines contribute to the construction of mandatory sexuality and assigned gender roles. Through the lens of characterisation, the article analyses how queer characters in the selected stories actively challenge and denounce the homophobia perpetuated by these legal and religious structures. This exploration sheds light on the nuanced ways in which gender performativity theory manifests in the lived experiences and narratives of queer individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa.</p> Ben de Souza Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo 2024-03-04 2024-03-04 15 pages 15 pages 10.25159/2663-6565/13592 Guilty at Law: Analysing Simon Chimbetu’s and Paul Matavire’s Memoirs from Prison https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/Imbizo/article/view/11219 <p>A prison is limiting, dehumanising, isolating, stressful and dismembering. Such experiences are expressed through different sites of expression including but not limited to novels, poetry, autobiographies and even music. Zimbabwean musicians Simon Chimbetu and Paul Matavire are some of the artists who served jail terms having been found guilty at law and then decided to recount their experiences through music. Against that background, this article critically engages Simon Chimbetu’s and Paul Matavire’s music within the context of their attitude towards prison. Emerging in the exegesis of the songs is that in terms of attitude, Simon Chimbetu largely laments the horrendous experiences that involve entrapment, loss and angst, while Matavire deliberately mocks the prison itself to the extent that he is not as disillusioned as Chimbetu. He adopts an approach that helps him regain strength, confidence and agency in the midst of incarceration. It is the vision(s) of the artists that is of keen interest in this critical dialogue. It is apparent in Chimbetu’s lyricism that a prison is a dehumanising and depersonalising entity that generates pain, envy, grief, denial and in turn dislocates, disorients and decentres, while Matavire tends to mock his handlers in a subtle but powerful manner. He transcends victimhood and adopts a perspective in which the prison is viewed as a site of rehabilitation, reformation and human factor development. Our analysis is guided and oriented by the reformative theory of criminal justice.</p> Charles Tembo Allan Maganga Shereck Mbwera Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo 2023-11-20 2023-11-20 16 pages 16 pages 10.25159/2663-6565/11219 Retraction Notice: “Queer Sexualities and the Reconstruction of Alternative Modes of Being in Kenyan Society in the Film Rafiki” https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/Imbizo/article/view/15831 <p>We, the Editors and Publishers of&nbsp;<em>Imbizo: International Journal of African Literary and Comparative Studies</em>, have retracted the following article:</p> <p>Mokaya, Gloria Kemunto, and Charles Kebaya. 2022. “Queer Sexualities and the Reconstruction of Alternative Modes of Being in Kenyan Society in the Film <em>Rafiki</em>”. <em>Imbizo</em> 13 (2): #11120. <a href="https://doi.org/10.25159/2663-6565/11120">https://doi.org/10.25159/2663-6565/11120</a></p> <p>Following its publication, it was brought to our attention that this article contains significant overlap with the following thesis:</p> <p>Eils, Marc Sebastian. 2020. “Queer Kenyan Cinema: An analysis of the films Stories of Our Lives (2014) by Jim Chuchu and Rafiki (2018) by Wanuri Kahiu.” Master’s thesis, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. <a href="https://doi.org/10.18452/22918">https://doi.org/10.18452/22918</a></p> <p>We have been informed in our decision-making by our policy on publishing ethics and integrity and the COPE guidelines on retractions. The cover page only of the retracted article will remain online to maintain the scholarly record, but it will be digitally watermarked as “Retracted.”</p> The Editor Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo 2024-01-22 2024-01-22 10.25159/2663-6565/15831 The Secret Lurking in the Shadow https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/Imbizo/article/view/15319 <p class="Abstract"><span lang="EN-GB">In this short story, a young girl is sexually assaulted by a family member. She struggles to come to terms with the violence and the trauma that speaking up could cause.</span></p> Zinhle Selane Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo 2023-11-28 2023-11-28 3 pages 3 pages 10.25159/2663-6565/15319 My Brother's Protection https://unisapressjournals.co.za/index.php/Imbizo/article/view/15300 <p>This short story exposes sexual violence against women by family members. It follows Mahlodi, a nine-year-old girl who finds herself unaware of the harm done to her by her brother, Ofentse. Coupled with a mother who will do anything to protect her son, Mahlodi is left ill-protected.</p> Lehlogonolo Maditse Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo 2023-11-20 2023-11-20 5 pages 5 pages 10.25159/2663-6565/15300