Urban Youth unemployment in Zimbabwe: An African-centered literary-based critique of Tsitsi Dangarembga's The Book of Not (2006), Valerie Tagwira's The Uncertainty of Hope (2006) and Petina Gappah's An Elegy for Easterly (2009).
Mangosvongwe, Ruby; Nyamende, Abner
The article analyses Zimbabwean post-2000 black female-authored novels' depictions of urban youth unemployment against the backdrop of the socio-economic crises culminating from the post-2000 economic melt-down. The analysis uses an African-centred approach drawing from trajectories of the youth represented in Tsitsi Dangarembga's novel The Book of Not (2006), Valerie Tagwira's The Uncertainty of Hope (2006) respectively and Petina Gappah's short story collection, An Elegy for Easterly (2009). These female-authored literary narratives form an essential socio-historical record of the experiences constituting the bedrock of urban
youth unemployment. Critical attention concerning the period under review has
mainly focused on political polarisation and the economic meltdown, overshadowing
the worst affected demographic group of Zimbabwe's population ' the urban
unemployed youths. The socio-economic and historical accounts of the period under
question in Zimbabwe's embittered post-2000 experiences have also been
mainly male-dominated. Thus, making it imperative to interrogate how femaleauthored fictional narratives as critical socio-historical imaginings of the same
socio-economic and historical environment depict how post-independence Zimbabwe
nurtures its youths for a sustainable future. In situating both texts and their
criticism within the context in which they are generated and developed, this article
adopts an African-centred approach in its critique. It draws mainly from Molefi
Kete Asante's Afrocentric 'Location Theory'. The theory urges appreciation and
analysis of writers' creativity, including their motifs, meaning, language, attitude,
direction and vision within the cultural and historical experiences of a people.
Cognisant of Zimbabwean history and Zimbabweans' aspirations, it is envisaged
that this article will enhance understanding, sharpen insights and encourage
readers to self-introspect on why African youths constitute the hardest-hit demographic group in terms of urban unemployment, an aspect that authors selected for this article partially focus on.
Urban youth; Unemployment; Zimbambwe
University of Namibia
Type of publication|
Magosvongwe, R., & Nyamende, A. Urban Youth unemployment in Zimbabwe: An African-centered literary-based critique of Tsitsi Dangarembga's The Book of Not (2006), Valerie Tagwira's The Uncertainty of Hope (2006) and Petina Gappah's An Elegy for Easterly (2009).Journal for Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, 3 (1&2), 189-212.
Windhoek - University of Namibia
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