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A Deconstructionist Analysis of the Sesotho Folktale, Ngwana Ya Kgwedi Sefubeng

Rosalia Moroesi Nakin


The article is a deconstructionist reading of women oppression as depicted in the Sesotho folktale, Ngwana ya Kgwedi Sefubeng (“The Child with the Moon on the Chest”). The article argues that folktales embody some intriguing gender and power dynamics, particularly in settings where polygamy is practiced. The article also highlights the dynamics of power among women in a polygamous set up, as well as the contentious subject of gender oppression. The pre-eminence of binary features of good/evil and strong/weak, observed in Ngwana ya Kgwedi Sefubeng justifies the operationalisation of the deconstructionist paradigm. The folktale highlights the struggles and conflicts which women face in their marriages on a daily basis. The selected folktale demonstrates how women oppress each other. In this regard, the folktale not only deconstructs popular and dominant feminist perspectives, but also uses language and orders experiences in a manner that necessitates the use of the deconstructive approach. The selection of this folktale is deliberate. While there are many folktales in this category, Ngwana ya Kgwedi Sefubeng provides us with various ways to interrogate, not just society, but theory as well.

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