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Ndeutala Hishongwa’s Marrying Apartheid: women as part of the struggle for liberation

Pablo Rubio Gijón


Being the first novel in English written by a black Namibian woman, Ndeutala Hishongwa’s  Marrying Apartheid (1986) represents a turning point within the history of Namibian literature. This novel shows new and important aspects in the Namibian women’s liberation struggle, for Hishongwa presents a black woman as the protagonist who suffers the double effect of apartheid and domestic violence. But Marrying Apartheid also functions as an unequivocal political statement against the injustices of the South African colonial rule and its infamous contract labour system; its ultimate goal is the freedom and independence of Namibia. By fusing autobiographical and fictional elements, Marrying Apartheid is pulling away from the political biographies of those who assumed the leadership of the liberation movement such as John ya-Otto’s Battlefront Namibia and Dennis Mercer’s Breaking Contract: The Story of Vinnia Ndadi, and is thus paving the way for Namibian fiction.

Key words: Namibia, Women, apartheid, struggle, literature