Fictional Dreams and Harsh Realities

Linking Joseph Diescho’s Born of the Sun, Kaleni Hiyalwa’s Meekulu’s Children, and Neshani Andreas’ The Purple Violet of Oshaantu to the Current Namibian State

In: Matatu

Abstract

This paper looks at the novels by Joseph Diescho (Born of the Sun, 1988), Kaleni Hiyalwa (Meekulu’s Children, 2000), and Neshani Andreas (The Purple Violet of Oshaantu, 2001) with a special focus on the access to education and land, but also problems such as Gender Based Violence and poverty. By comparing how an independent Namibia is imagined during South African apartheid rule, during the Liberation Struggle, and post-independence, the novels open up perspectives that empirical studies may overlook or decide not to emphasise. Furthermore, this comparison also allows for a linear, yet non-chronological, view on how the literary visions evolve with concepts such as nation and liberation, but also modernity and nationalism as they ‘enter’ into the characters’ every day. With the protagonists deeply involved in the make-up of their respective villages, they can also be considered prototypical Namibians in their value systems and networks. Through their eyes, it is possible to trace how political promises that were envisioned and imagined prior to 1990 are either realised or disappointed.

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