Construction of Gender Identity in Two Kiswahili Short Stories

Amiri Swaleh, Rayya Timammy


This paper analyzes the construction of gender identities in two Kiswahili short stories-Wasia wa Baba (A Father‟s Counsel) by A. Kipacha and Usia wa Mama (A Mother‟s Advice) by Fatima Salamah from the anthology Kunani Marekani? na Hadithi Nyingine edited by P.I. Iribemwangi. Gender criticism is the approach used and is an unprejudiced tool for the interrogation of how both female and male identities are constructed in literary works. It was found out that, in Wasia wa Baba positive cultural traits and religious teachings are able to construct positive self and gender identities of both male and female characters. In Usia wa Mama too, positive attitudes, education and cultural traits are tools with which young girls construct positive self and gender identities in spite of pressure from parents.

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