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Counter-Discours in Zimbabwean Literature

Counter-Discourse in Zimbabwean Literature is a study of specific aspects of counter-discursive Zimbabwean narratives in English. In discussing the selected texts, my thesis is based on Terdiman’s (1989) the postcolonial concept of counter-discourse.

Tendai Mangena
11 February 2015
Full text available in Leiden University Repository

In Zimbabwean literature challenges to a dominant or established discourse are not just limited to those of the imperial culture, but go beyond to include challenges to the established/dominant discourse in the post independence state. Such other counter-discursive narratives include anti-nationalist, anti-‘patriotic’ and anti-patriarchal narratives.

The study is arranged such that in chapter 1 I trace the history of counter-discursive narratives in Zimbabwean literature in English, in chapter 2, I study Vera, Nyamubaya and Hove’s selected texts as feminist challenges to masculinist narratives of the liberation struggle. In chapter 3, the state-sponsored Gukurahundi is discussed as one of the crimes that, as Soyinka argues, “constantly provoke memories of the historic wrongs inflicted on the African continent by others” (1999: xxiv). In chapter 4, I focus on how Chinodya’s “Queues”, Chinyani’s “A Land of Starving Millionnaires”, Hoba’s “Specialization”, Chingono’s “Minister without Portfolio” and Tagwira’s The Uncertainty of Hope re-imagine the Third Chimurenga in ways that clearly subvert the state discourse on the Third Chimurenga.

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