Abstract

ABSTRACT:

Dr. Samuel Nujoma's autobiography, Where Others Wavered: My Life in SWAPO and My Participation in the Liberation Struggle, documents his life as a pivotal figure in the Namibian war for independence leading to his tenure as the first president of Namibia (1990–2005). Nujoma, known as the "Founding Father" of Namibia, occupies a larger-than-life sphere within the public imagination through monuments, public photographs, placards, and street names. Nujoma's autobiography prescribes a certain type of national citizenship that entails a specific construction of masculinity for Namibian men. This paper analyzes his autobiography, arguing that Nujoma constructs a hegemonic masculinity based on four key features: 1) leadership, 2) initiation to manhood, 3) the use of physical strength, and 4) strictly defined gender roles. This literary analysis will enter a broader discussion as to how, in the face of global economic shifts and the introduction of neoliberal structural adjustment policies, Nujoma's masculinity remains unattainable for many male youths today who struggle with a lack of employment opportunities and rapid urbanization. The shifting of hegemonies from a white Afrikaner masculinity to a nationalistic black masculinity points to the changing nature of expectations for masculinity and further highlights intergenerational discontent that arises in light of changing global economic planes.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2044
Print ISSN
0034-5210
Pages
pp. 21-34
Launched on MUSE
2020-07-17
Open Access
No
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