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> en-US (Naomi Epongse Nkealah) (Lucky Madikiza) Fri, 11 Aug 2023 08:09:06 +0000 OJS 60 The Paradox of Freedom and Fear in Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa! <p>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, <em>My Children! My Africa!</em> (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.</p> John Simango Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo Fri, 11 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Cleansing Rites: An Erstwhile Practice or an Imperative? A Revisit of the Novel Umshado (The Wedding) <p>The custom of mourning and cleansing is neither new nor unique to South Africa. It is a longstanding practice that exists in many African countries. This is a custom that has been handed down from one generation to the other. Every widow is expected to mourn a loved one for a year. This article intends to interrogate the mourning rites as practised in the novel authored by Nelisiwe Zulu titled <em>Umshado</em> (The Wedding). The question to be asked is, should women shun some of the beneficial rites that have been handed down from generation to generation in the name of women’s emancipation? Scholars like Gumede and Mathonsi have conducted research on the novel <em>Umshado</em>. They applied a feminist approach in the analysis of the novel. In this article, I build on that scholarship but argue that feminism should not be used to disrespect some of the cultural practices that are held in high esteem by society, such as the cleansing ritual. Neglect of such important practices may uproot society from the cultural mores that stabilise it.</p> Norma Masuku Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo Fri, 11 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Niger Delta Subaltern Agency and Resistance in Obari Gomba’s The Ascent Stone and Stephen Kekeghe’s Rumbling Sky <p>This article applies the theoretical positions of some scholars from the Subaltern Studies Collective to the reading of poetry by Niger Delta writers. I argue that the Niger Delta people are subaltern in the Nigerian national space due to their disadvantaged sociopolitical position as well as the resource conflict that has left the region at the mercy of the state and its agents. With insights from the writings of Ranajit Guha, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Gyan Prakash, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Partha Chatterjee, I read the subaltern themes of agency and resistance in Obari Gomba’s <em>The Ascent Stone</em> and Stephen Kekeghe’s <em>Rumbling Sky</em>. In adopting this framework, I draw from Guha’s original theorisation of peasant insurgency and the structure of power as well as later theorisations of relational power discourse and subaltern agency. My close reading of selected poems reveals the figure of the Niger Delta subaltern as the architect of their own destiny and whose resistance haunts the dominant discourse of the nation. The notions of insurgency, the nation and its fragments, failed revolutions, and relational power discourse are deployed as hermeneutical strategies. My adoption of this theoretical approach recovers its insights for the reading of literary works by writers from minority groups.</p> Mathias Iroro Orhero Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo Fri, 11 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Religious Meditations and Mediation in Selected Plays of Wole Soyinka <p>Major critical inquiries into the theatre of Wole Soyinka agree that his plays draw inspiration from two basic levels. One, which is a purely mythic consciousness perceptible in his early plays such as such as <em>The Road</em> and <em>A </em><em>Dance of the Forests</em>, presents his etherealisation of African spiritualities and their interpolations with modern existence. The other is a social or political consciousness which deploys those mythic forms from ancestral memory (especially that of Ogun) as intervening tools on the conditions of dystopia in the postcolonial Nigerian landscape mirrored in his plays. By focusing on his plays <em>The</em> <em>Trials of Brother Jero</em>, <em>Death and the King’s Horseman</em>, <em>Requiem for a Futurologist</em> and <em>Alapata Apata</em>, this article argues that these two thrusts are harmonised in Soyinka’s mimesis on spiritualities or religion in his dramaturgy. The article locates the ambivalences in Soyinka’s refractions on spiritualities which anchor on the polarities of meditation and mediation and recognises that while meditation gives allowance for the playwright to engage on the locus of spiritualities, mediation is inspired by the crises of “modern” spiritualities which is one of the malaises in Soyinka’s hybridised postcolonial space. The conclusion of the article is sceptical about Soyinka’s prescription of hybridised spiritualities as panacea to the crises of religion but sees the need for continuous dialogue as precursor to mutual understanding and cohabitation between adherents of diverse spiritualities in the pluralised communities.</p> Kayode Afolayan Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo Fri, 11 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Subtle-Radical Female Subversion as a Means of Self-Empowerment in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions and Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood <p>In this article, we use two African literary texts written by African women to demonstrate ways in which women use very subtle but radical ways to circumvent patriarchal norms. We re-read Tsitsi Dangarembga’s <em>Nervous Conditions </em>and Buchi Emecheta’s <em>The Joys of Motherhood</em> to demonstrate subtle-radical ways in which women subvert patriarchal expectations. We utilise African radical feminism as a literary theory to frame our analysis. Furthermore, we problematise the ideology of using radical means as a way to survive and argue that women ought to survive and live a meaningful, free life post survival. To do this, we bring to light the subtle-radical ways in which characters such as Tambudzai, Lucia, and Adaku subvert gender role expectations in order to emancipate themselves from the shackles of patriarchal expectations. We find that women who use conventional radical resistive ways tend to have the full force of patriarchy’s weight clamped down on them, while those who use subtle-radical means tend to get their freedom and succeed.</p> Mishumo Nephawe, Olufemi Abodunrin Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo Fri, 11 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Inverted Disillusionment in Postcolonial African Literature <p>This study introduces the concept of inverted disillusionment as a new conceptual framework for reading African literature of the postcolonial era. It is conceived to philosophically account for the collective complicity of the people in their predicament in postcolonial Africa. It thus re-examines the concept of post-independence disillusionment of postcolonial theory, which blames postcolonial-era realities of disillusionment on African leaders and, consequently, places disillusionment and indifference to development in a broader context of human features everywhere. Achille Mbembe’s version of postcolonial theory and Derrida’s deconstructive operation are adopted as a framework, while textual evidence is drawn from selected literature to authenticate the ideological standpoints conceived as indices of the study. Theoretically and philosophically conceived, inverted disillusionment is foregrounded as an alternative engagement paradigm in reading African literature of the postcolonial era. It sits at the crossroads of postcolonial African literature and criticism as it advocates the extension of the frontiers of disillusionment in African Literature.</p> Oyewumi Olatoye Agunbiade Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo Fri, 11 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 The Negative Portrayal of Women in Francis Nyamnjoh’s A Nose for Money as a Challenge to Male Oppression <p>African female critics in general oppose negative portrayals of female characters in African literature and advocate for more positive depictions of these characters. Even though women’s rights are more widely recognised today, patriarchy still adversely affects women’s lives. It is therefore not surprising that African male-authored texts would reflect this situation. This article thus draws on African feminist theory to examine Francis Nyamnjoh’s negative portrayal of female characters in his novel <em>A Nose for Money </em>(2006). It focuses on the protagonist’s four wives and their relationships with their husband and each other. It argues that African male writers can use negative portrayals of female characters to highlight women’s predicaments in order to stir change in society. The article concludes that the negative portrayal of female characters in the novel serves a positive purpose given that it challenges male oppression.</p> Édith Félicité Koumtoudji Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo Fri, 11 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Being “Woman” and Zimbabwean in Zimbabwe: Reading the (Un)Mournable Bodies in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s This Mournable Body <p>There is a growing interest in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s last sequel that critiques Zimbabwe as a failed state. In this article, I analyse the representation of black female bodies in postcolonial/neoliberal Zimbabwe. My argument centres on the effects of the second-person narrative perspective and explores how this narrative perspective as Dangarembga’s preferred storytelling method recalibrates with the idea of shared urgency in Zimbabwe. In my reading, I argue that the narrative perspective prioritises the idea of being humane as a need to re-make Zimbabwe’s homeliness, particularly for “women.” In this way, I explore Dangarembga’s other modes of being human/woman that identify with the concept of <em>unhu/ubuntu</em>. I argue that the idea of being humane, or a new world-sensing, and the narrative strategy create urgency in being Zimbabwean, and being a “woman” in Zimbabwe. I argue that Dangarembga’s writing about pain, betrayal, and false hopes in <em>This Mournable Body</em> is her way of simultaneously writing against the Empire and neoliberal Zimbabwe—a way of pushing back and resisting Zimbabwe’s sociopolitical and patriarchal capitalistic order.</p> Ndumiso Ncube Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo Fri, 11 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Crossover Babatunde Fagbayibo Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo Fri, 11 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000 Fatima Meer: Choosing to be Defiant, by Rajendra Chetty Jaspal Kaur Singh Copyright (c) 2023 Imbizo Fri, 11 Aug 2023 00:00:00 +0000