Mass Neurosis, Entrapment, Closure and the Race’s Race of Life in Masango Mavi(1998) and Mapenzi (1999).
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This paper critically analyses the projection of the African image and the condition of the African race as depicted in Emmanuel Chiwome’s Masango Mavi (1998), and Ignatius Mabasa’s Mapenzi (1999) in the broad context of popular images in Zimbabwean literature written in Shona and English. The condition is that of a trapped people who are irretrievably wallowing in mass neurosis, closure and entrapment. We praise what is praiseworthy and dispraise what is not praiseworthy. In this connection, we advance the argument that, in as much as these works are concerned with highlighting the problems bedevilling Zimbabwean Africans today, the images they create are simultaneously subversive and disempowering. It is unfair for our writers to institutionalise pessimism and nihilism while condemning philosophies of motivation and futurism to the backseat.
This paper was presented at a Seminar held in the Department of African Languages, University of Zimbabwe on 8 May 2006.