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Tydskrif vir Letterkunde

versão On-line ISSN 2309-9070
versão impressa ISSN 0041-476X

Resumo

MAKOMBE, Rodwell. Images of woman and her search for happiness in Cynthia Jele's Happiness is a four-letter word. Tydskr. letterkd. [online]. 2018, vol.55, n.1, pp.110-121. ISSN 2309-9070.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2309-9070/tvl..v.55i1.xxxx.

Over the years, African 'feminist' scholars have expressed reservations about embracing feminism as an analytical framework for theorizing issues that affect African women. This is particularly because in many African societies, feminism has been perceived as a negative influence that seeks to tear the cultural fabric and value systems of African communities. Some scholars such as Clenora Hudson-Weems, Chikenje Ogunyemi, Tiamoyo Karenga and Chimbuko Tembo contend that feminism as developed by Western scholars is incapable of addressing context-specific concerns of African women. As a result, they developed womanism as an alternative framework for analysing the realities of women in African cultures. Womanism is premised on the view that African women need an Afrocentric theory that can adequately deal with their specific struggles. Drawing from ideas that have been developed by womanist scholars, this article critically interrogates the portrayal of women in Cynthia Jele's Happiness is a four-letter word (2010), with particular focus on the choices that they make in love relationships, marriage and motherhood. My argument is that Jele's text affirms the womanist view that African women exist within a specific cultural context that shapes their needs, aspirations and choices in a different way.

Palavras-chave : African culture; sisterhood; male companionship; womanism.

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