Different narration, same history: The politics of writing ‘democratic narratives’ in Zimbabwe

Keywords: history, narratives, oppositional and dominant imaginaries, political autobiographies, Zimbabwe

Abstract

Over the past five decades, Zimbabwe’s political trajectories were characterised by a historiographic revision and deconstruction that revealed varying ideological perceptions and positions of political actors. This article reconsiders the current shifts in the Zimbabwean historiography and focuses on the politics of positioning the self in the national narrative. The article analyses three Zimbabwean political autobiographies written by political actors from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), particularly Michael Auret’s From Liberator to Dictator: An Insider’s Account of Robert Mugabe’s Descent into Tyranny (2009), Morgan Tsvangirai’s At the Deep End (2011), and David Coltart’s The Struggle Continues: 50 Years of Tyranny in Zimbabwe (2016). It also discusses how writing in Zimbabwe is a contested terrain that is bifurcated between oppositional and dominant imaginaries of politics, the revolutionary tradition, and past performances of power.

Author Biographies

Walter Kudzai Barure, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Walter Kudzai Barure is associated with the Department of English at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. 

Irikidzayi Manase, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Irikidzayi Manase is an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.

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Published
2020-09-17
How to Cite
Barure, W. K., & Manase, I. (2020). Different narration, same history: The politics of writing ‘democratic narratives’ in Zimbabwe. Tydskrif Vir Letterkunde, 57(2), 48-56. https://doi.org/10.17159/tl.v57i2.6518
Section
Research articles