Women Writing Africa: Volume 1: The Southern Region / Edition 1

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The first of four volumes in the Women Writing Africa Project, this landmark collection presents two centuries of texts by African women and reveals a powerful cultural legacy. Ranging from communal songs and folk tales to letters, diaries, poems, -fiction, -interviews, court records, and other documents, the texts offer a vivid picture of African women’s lives. Their work and families, their experiences of the cruelty of colonialism and war, and their struggles for civil rights are described in voices young and old, of diverse racial and ethnic identities. The volume includes Urieta Kazahendike, an early convert to Christianity, and Queen Regent Labotsibeni of Swaziland, as well as writers and activists such as Bessie Head, Doris Lessing, Nadine Gordimer, Sindiwe Magona, and -Winnie Mandela.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558614079
  • Publisher: Feminist Press at CUNY, The
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Series: Women Writing Africa Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 592
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Table of Contents

A Note on the Women Writing Africa Project
Introduction 1
Nineteenth Century
Song of the Afflicted 85
Testimony 86
Letters and Land Submission 91
God's Peace and Blessing 96
Account of Cape Town 98
A Mother Praises Her Baby 105
Unanana-bosele 106
Affidavit 109
What the Maidens Do with Rooi Klip 111
Letter to Miss Mackenzie 113
The Story of Ngangezwe and Mnyamana 115
The War in Zululand 120
Two Lions Who Changed Themselves into People and Married Two Herero Girls 124
Leaving the Farm 125
Portrait of Louisa 128
Penelopa Lienguane 131
Testimony of a School Girl 134
1900 to 1919
Journal of the War 139
Moliege's Vengeance 144
Ominous Weather 147
Court Record 152
Women's Petition: Domestic Unhappiness 155
Letter from Karibib 157
Petition of the Native and Coloured Women of the Province of the Orange Free State 158
Africa: My Native Land 161
A "Little Woman's" Advice to the Public 162
Baster Affidavit 165
1920s to 1950s
Address to the Resident Commissioner 171
Going to School 173
Listen, Compatriots! 176
Letter to the High Commissioner 180
Inheritance: Two Letters 182
Speech to the Bangwaketse 187
Bantu Home Life 189
Social Conditions Among Bantu Women and Girls 195
The Story of Nosente 200
UMandisa 205
Nation Is Going to Ruination 209
Flight of the Royal Household 212
Letter from Keetmanshoop 219
Meeting of Herero Women 221
The Case of the Foolish Minister 225
Though I Am Black, I Am Comely 229
Song of King Iipumbu 231
Women's Charter 236
Presidential Address to the African National Congress Women's League, Transvaal 240
Two Songs 245
African Women Do Not Want Passes 246
The Widows of the Reserves 248
It's Gotta Be Cash for a Cookie 252
Aunt, Stretch out the Blanket 254
1960s and 1970s
The Girl Aga-abes 259
Diary of a Detainee 263
Past and Present 268
Bus Journey to Tsolo 271
Three Court Statements 283
The Widow and the Baboons 285
Ballad of Nomagundwane 287
For "Napoleon Bonaparte," Jenny, and Kate 290
What of the Future? 303
I Drift in the Wind 306
I am a Wailing Fool 308
Murmurs in the Kutum 309
Tobacco, Sugar Alcohol, and Coffee: These Things Have Turned Us into Slaves 315
A Man Hides Food from His Family 316
Fall Tomorrow 333
The Old People Give You Life 335
Emergency Call from the Women of Namibia 337
Women Are Wealth 339
Poem for My Mother 343
Detention Alone Is a Trial in Itself 344
The Basking Lizard 346
Working on the Mail 348
The Rending of the Veil 357
The Haunting Melancholy of Klipvoordam 363
Return Journey 372
Arrested for Being Women 375
Crossroads 377
Kandishiwo - I Don't Know 380
The Woman 385
Citizenship: An Open Letter to the Attorney-General 386
I, the Unemployed 390
The Letter 392
Our Sharpeville 397
Our Government Is a Glowing Ember 398
For Willy Nyathele 400
Jesus Is Indian 402
Children of Namibia 411
Praise to Our Mothers 413
T.M.T. [actual symbol not reproducible] T.B.M.G. 415
1990s and 2000s
Another Story 419
War from Within 430
Krotoa's Story 433
Stella 438
Giraffe Song 442
Nhamiwa's Magic Stick 444
"Lend Me a Dress": Testimonies on Education 446
A Broken Family 448
Two Dream-Miracle Stories 453
Praise to Mbuya Nehanda 455
A Noble Woman of Africa 457
Swazi Wedding Songs 461
Izisho Zokusebenza - Work Songs 463
April 27: The First Time 467
Before the Beginning 470
The Price of Freedom 471
Ngonya's Bride-Price 476
Testimony: Truth and Reconciliation Commission 479
We Will Be Leasing for Ourselves 484
Writing near the Bone 488
African Wisdom 491
War Memoir 494
The Birth of This Country's Language 500
Bojale - Setswana Initiation Songs 506
Intonjane - Xhosa Initiation Songs 507
Mutondo - Nyemba Initiation Songs 510
Setswana Wedding Songs 513
Good as Dead 515
Caring for the Dying 520
Generations 522
Contributors 525
Permissions Acknowledgments and Sources 537
Authors Listed by Country 549
Index 551
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