Cultures of Change in Contemporary Zimbabwe
Socio-Political Transition from Mugabe to Mnangagwa
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This book investigates how culture is used to reflect on change in Zimbabwe, focusing predominantly on Mnangagwa’s 2017 coup, but also uncovering deeper roots for how renewal and transition are conceived in the country.
Since Emmerson Mnangagwa ousted Robert Mugabe in 2017, he has been keen to define his ‘Second Republic’ or ‘New Dispensation’ with a rhetoric of change and a rejection of past political and economic cultures. This multi- and inter-disciplinary volume looks to the (social) media, language/discourse, theatre, images, political speeches, and literary fiction and non-fiction to see how they have reflected on this time of unprecedented upheaval. The book argues that themes of self-renewal stretch right back to the formative years of the ZANU PF, and that despite the longevity of Mugabe’s tenure, the latest transition can be seen as part of a complex and protracted layering of post-colonial social, economic and political changes.
Providing an innovative investigation of how political change in Zimbabwe is reflected on in cultural texts and products, this book will be of interest to researchers across African history, literature, politics, culture, and post-colonial studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The 2017 coup and cultures of change in Zimbabwe (Oliver Nyambi, Tendai Mangena and Gibson Ncube) Part I: Spectacles of change in the Second Republic 1. The patriotic present: The urgency of now in Zimbabwe’s ‘new’ dispensation (Cuthbeth Tagwirei) 2. The spectacle and semiotics of the Presidential scarf in Zimbabwe’s "Second Republic" (Obert B. Mlambo & Ezra Chitando) 3. Mugabeism otherwise? A critical reflection on toxic leadership and Zimbabwe’s "New Dispensation" (Shepherd Mpofu) 4. Theatres of Struggle in post-Mugabe Zimbabwe (Nkululeko Sibanda) 5. Derisive imaginaries of the death and burial of Mugabe and the nascent aesthetics of coercive power in "Second Republic" politics (Irikidzayi Manase) 6. The spectre of Mugabe: land, change and discursive politics of dispensations in Zimbabwe (Oliver Nyambi) Part II: Tropes of ambivalent "transitions" 7. "We must aspire to be a clean nation": Ambivalences of transition in "New Dispensation" metaphors of dirt (Tendai Mangena) 8. Gukurahundi revisited in the Second Republic: trauma, memory and violence in Novuyo Rosa Tshuma's House of Stone (Gibson Ncube) 9. Spectacles of transition: texts and counter-texts in the historiography of Zimbabwe in transition (Muchativugwa L. Hove) 10. A déjàvu of Orwellian ‘proportions’: Re-reading Animal Farm in the context of Zimbabwean politics of change (Thamsanqa Moyo & Esther Mavengano) Part III: Dis/continuing political cultures 11. Narrativising dis/continuities in ZANU PF intra-power politics (Terrence Musanga) 12. A nation burdened by an unappeased ngozi? A ‘folk’ cultural perspective on Zimbabwe’s stagnation (Mickias Musiyiwa) 13. In and out of court: Zimbabwe’s perennial framing of opposition politics as ‘nuisance needing judiciary pacification’ (Edmore Dube) 14. Auxillia Mnangagwa’s ‘Amaihood’ and the cultural politics of the Zimbabwean First Lady in the "New Dispensation" (Umali Saidi)
Oliver Nyambi lectures in the Department of English, University of the Free State in South Africa and is currently a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation hosted by Susan Arndt in The Professorship of English Studies and Anglophone Literatures at Bayreuth University, Germany.
Tendai Mangena is an Associate Professor of African literary and cultural studies at Great Zimbabwe University in Zimbabwe, and a Research Fellow in the English Department at the University of the Free State in South Africa.
Gibson Ncube is an Associate Professor in the Department of Languages, Literature and Culture at the University of Zimbabwe and a Fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study in South Africa.