Invoking Memories of Legendary African Women: A Reading of Rocha Chimera’s Trilogy Siri Sirini

Wafula Yenjela



This article examines how legendary representations enable reinterpretation of the histories of women in Africa. It shows that ascribing heroic and revolutionary qualities to re-membered African women seeks to significantly transform societal gender perceptions of women as victims of history. Through a critical reading of Rocha Chimera’s trilogy Siri Sirini (2013), I attempt to show that legendary representations transcend victimhood by envisioning women as capable of confronting injustices in a quest to establish a new order where human dignity for allcan be realised. I also indicate that the power of interpretation of histories enshrined in literary texts is vital because this power usually embodies particular political investments with, in this case, regard to gender relations. The article concludes that legendary representations reinterpret, rewrite, and reinvent women’s histories and significantly transform readers’ worldviews in regard to gender relations.

Key words: Gender, Swahili women, Siri Sirini, patriarchy, hypermasculinity.

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