The stereotypical portrayal of female characters in the drama Mahlo ya Nkwahle by OR Chauke
The aim of this paper is to examine the stereotypical portrayal of female characters in Xitsonga literature with special reference to Mahlo ya Nkwahle. The drama was written in the late 20th century. The main focus of Mahlo ya Nkwahle is on how three women influence one another to enrich themselves by killing their husbands with the primary aim of claiming insurance payouts. They are nicknamed “The Big Three” because of their wayward behaviour. After receiving their insurance payouts, they go out and enjoy themselves with their concubines. Their dishonest and deceptive way of defrauding the insurance companies comes to an abrupt end when one of the three friends shoots her police husband with his service pistol. The wounded husband is taken to hospital and he manages to explain how he was brutally shot and wounded. Unfortunately, he dies because of his injuries. After the arrest of the late policeman’s wife, all their evil deeds are exposed. They are all arrested and given lengthy jail sentences. The paper will, inter alia, expose the sexist attitudes that the male authors have towards females. Furthermore, the paper will counteract the view that the male authors have that the image of women is the image created by men to suit themselves. This is a feminist enquiry aimed at exploring feminist literary criticism as a reactive discipline to expose the oppressive ways and falsehoods created by men to portray women as less important beings.
Keywords: Culture, Feminist, Rights, Oppression, Freedom