Feminization of the Ugandan Nation in John Ruganda's The Floods, The Burdens and Black Mamba

Chris J.C Wasike


This paper seeks to tease out the extent to which John Ruganda's three plays are part of the literary feminization of the Ugandan nation of the 1970's and early 1980's in which political decline is captured through the iconography of a 'troubled motherhood'. Drawing from critiques of the Mother Africa figuration in post independence African literature, the article demonstrates how Ruganda's use of this trope in his plays is in fact a rereading of the Ugandan nation, not just as a 'troubled mother' but a resilient and subversive one who rides through all the tumult and turbulence with enviable stoicism. With focus trained on his construction and deployment of female characters, the article hopes to illustrate how Ruganda attempts to frame his sometimes stereotypical female characters as subversive symbols of femininity, who consciously or otherwise, seek to affirm and dismantle the seemingly contradictory Mother Africa trope even as they symbolize the Ugandan nation.


Mother trope, femininity, nationalism, Uganda

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