An Analysis of Gender Based Violence in African Literature

Dr. Muriungi, C. K

Abstract

Individuals in a society often witness, or experience specific societal practices as they grow up in their respective communities. As such, literary writers cannot be separated from their societal experiences. Many literary writers in Africa therefore utilize fiction as a mirror to reflect on the culture of their communities, and as a window through which other cultures can be viewed. Our aim in this paper is to demonstrate how Henry Ole Kuret uses fiction to explore gender based violence among the Maasai in Kenya through his text, Blossoms of the Savannah (2008). Kuret creates female characters that help the reader understand the factors that cause violence on women, especially in certain African societieswhere patriarchy was/is rampant. We argue that African literature is a conduit through which African culture can be appraised. Towards the end of the paper, we demonstrate that education for the girl child in Africa is one of the tools that Kuret proposes for challenging gender based violence in the contemporary society.

Key Words: Maasai, Africa, Gender-based violence, literature, Women, Women liberation. 

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