Neverous Conditions, Franz Fanon, native intellectual, female intellectual, postcolonialism, Tsitsi Dangarembga


African Languages and Societies | English Language and Literature | Other English Language and Literature | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Women's Studies


This paper examines—through a post-colonial lens— Tsitsi Dangarembga’s novel Nervous Conditions. In particular, this paper analyzes the characters of Tambu, Nyasha, and Maiguru and how their Western education allows them to fit into their roles as “native intellectuals.” Imposing Franz Fanon’s phases of becoming a “native intellectual” onto these strong, educated female characters greatly complicates his term and process. The idea of the native intellectual is most often applied to men. However, in terms of Dangarembga’s work, it is the female characters that rise to this title. In this acquisition of education the female characters are truly “between two worlds” as they battle both the colonizing culture and the intense patriarchy of their own.

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