n Journal of Educational Studies - "The paradox of luselo-lufhanga metaphors" : African women defining leadership for social justice

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 1680-7456



This article uses black feminist theory to explore the lives of principals in South Africa. It takes as a foundation the metaphor of "luselo", a Tshivenda word which describes an interwoven African tray, related to the multilayered and multiplied burdens of oppression experienced by women in South Africa. The study uses biographical narrative and phenomenological methods to collect data from six principals identified by their colleagues and communities as individuals working for social justice. The women leaders have a multiple burden that is evident in the interactions between their personal and professional lives and the social and cultural frameworks within which they work. The foundation of power for the women is perceived to be grounded on the ability to form relationships and networks and thus work for social justice and to create new definitions for educational leadership as they strive to own their voices.

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