Memory, Gender and Narration: Reconstruction of Subjectivity in Makeba’s My Story and Masekela’s Still Grazing

  • Nonhlanhla Dhlamini


South African literary texts, whether published in the apartheid or post-apartheid period, have been subjected to a variety of readings depending on the fashionable theoretical and philosophical wave that has swept the academies. There have been readings that have subjected literary works to the major historical periodisations such as apartheid and post-apartheid. Since these two auto/biographies are on different locations of this “convenient categorisation”, I will read both as post-colonial texts that deal with postcoloniality and its questioning of discourses on white supremacy, its effects on the psyche of non-whites and the positioning of the black “other” in the social realm which leads to a double consciousness, a la W.E.B. DuBois. Using the concepts of memory and the reconstruction of apartheid s past through narratological designs, this article explores the activist/musician/exilic, self/nation/state frames through which Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela construct their subjectivities. As Ross (2003), Krog (1999) and Brock (1999) put it, truth and testimony have a gendered dimension. I posit that the sexuality/gender of the musician narrator plays a vital role on the manner in which memory recalls past events which leads to selective remembrance/amnesia.


Bodily Experience Popular Music White Supremacy Walk Away Liminal Space 
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© Nonhlanhla Dhlamini 2014

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  • Nonhlanhla Dhlamini

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