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

  • Pablo Rubio Gijón United States International University Kenya


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

Author Biography

Pablo Rubio Gijón, United States International University Kenya
Pablo Rubio Gijón Holds a PhD  from the University of British Columbia (Canada). He is originally from Spain and teaches at the United States International University – Africa (Kenya) as an Assistant Professor since January 2017. He specializes in Spanish and Latin American film and literature of the 20th century with broad experience. His most recent project research focuses on crime fiction films produced in Francoist Spain and Peronist Argentina between 1945 and 1955. In addition, he has published a book on Alan Pauls’ detective fiction. This Argentinian author makes use of parody and distortion to explore the relation between order and abjection, thus allowing his fictions to become a critique of totalitarian structures and a thorough reflection on the failure of modernization. Other research interests include Namibian literature before independence,, topic on which he has written a monograph.  Further areas of interest include Spanish science-fiction literature and travel writing in Spain.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1998-1279