n African Performance Review - Feminism and representations of gender in Zulu Sofola's

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1753-5964


This paper examines gender roles in Zulu Sofola's and how these constitute an Afro-centric representation of feminist aesthetics in contemporary African theatre and performance. The paper argues that the play can be seen as having some degree of feminist potential through Zulu Sofola's logic of placing women at the heart of the narrative. It also highlights the playwright's vision for an African feminist aesthetics which draws from traditional African philosophy that places premium on the role of women in the society, and which in turn produces a healthy perspective on issues of gender and sexuality. Drawing on , one of Zulu Sofola's seminal plays, this paper argues that traditional African theatre and performance offer ample recognition to women, evidenced in the importance and relevance attached to feminine roles within that tradition. Conversely it is with the advent of the literary theatre tradition, derived from Euro-American theatrical traditions that African women began to lose prominence in the domain of performance. This paper therefore contends that it is this incongruity in contemporary African theatre and performance that Zulu Sofola tries to address in most of her plays.

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