UNHU/UBUNTU ANACHRONISTIC? THE MANIFESTATION OF FEMALE AGENCY IN VIRGINIA PHIRI'S HIGHWAY QUEEN (2010)

Barbra Manyarara
2017 Imbizo  
The contemporary relevance of female sexuality as discursive space in fiction is that it reflects current events as it criticises, exposes and illuminates lived reality, such as the HIV and AIDS epidemic, excruciating poverty, homelessness and a general economic meltdown as is the case in Zimbabwe in the first decade of the new millennium. However, the practice of female sexuality may still go against the principles of ubuntu. In Highway Queen Phiri gives agency to the female first person
more » ... first person narrator, Sophie, and also sets out males and females who in their interaction with each other, may or may not promote ubuntu. An analysis of this novel shows that the writer challenges many unhelpful attitudes towards the HIV and AIDS pandemic by exploring the employment of travel and female sexuality as coping strategies for dealing with poverty, HIV and AIDS, and the economic downturn in the first decade of the new millennium in Zimbabwe. However, the well-intentioned female agency fails to hold up in the face of the dire circumstances of poverty and disease and Sophie's urbanised family has to go back to the village for survival under the care of the patriarchal uncles; thus Phiri appears to give a flawed instrumentality to these women.
doi:10.25159/2078-9785/2842 fatcat:qh2utxxgivgb5ew6l22xzalija