n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Reconciliation without justice? Experiences of white and black youths in (1989), (2010) and (1998)

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1727-7140



The aim of this article is to explore the idea of reconciliation, healing, rehabilitation and restitution in the everyday social praxis of white youths and their depiction in Zimbabwean and South African fiction. The question is: In the process of representing new narratives on everyday modes of communitarian reconciliation, healing, rehabilitation and restitution, how do we know that what the creative writers authorise as authentic discourses of reconciliation are embedded different forms of [in] justices? A potentially constructive way to approach this literary puzzle is to problematise the notions of reconciliation, justice and representation. Zimbabwe is gripped by a groundswell of narratives of healing, rehabilitation and reconciliation authorised by the state, church, youth, academics and creative writers all who speak in the name of the people and justice in light of the country's recent history recent history of political struggle for land justice. However, there is paucity of critical works that explore the white youth's experience of reconciliation and [in] justice in post-colonial Zimbabwe. The article explores one novel , and two white youth narrative stories from a collection of narratives entitled (2010), and another novel (1998) by a South African author. The article compares the literary models of reconciliation suggested in the novels and uses the equally profound but illusive theoretical insight by Derrida which is that "true forgiveness lies in the capacity to forgive the unforgivable" (2001: 1) in assessing the creative visions of the authors from two different African countries that experienced two different processes of transitional justices in the process of gaining independence from their former colonisers. The article argues that reconciliation without justice not realised in spiritual and material benefits to the aggrieved party is not only empty but also a pernicious apologia for forces of social domination.

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