Greener Journal of Social Sciences

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Masinire et al

Greener Journal of  Social Sciences Vol. 3 (2), pp. 075-083, February 2013

  ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2011 GJSS

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 011213366


Unpacking the Eurocentric Indictment of Pre-colonial African Socio-political Institutions in literary works; Pfumo Reropa and Gonawapotera


1Masinire Sam, 2*Mudzanire Benjamin and 3Mapetere Kudakwashe


House No. 2629 Manhede Street Mucheke, Masvingo, Zimbabwe, Great Zimbabwe University


Corresponding Author’s Email: bmudzanire @ yahoo.


This study examines the reliability and utility of Chakaipa and Zvarevashe’s old world novels;Pfumo Reropa and Gonawapotera respectively as historical novels. The novels were examined with the view to making an academic interrogation of how chieftainship, law courts and polygamy institutions which formed the soul of the Shona people’s culture in pre-colonial Zimbabwe are portrayed. An afro-centric analysis of the disparity between novels and other researches was done and it revealed a glaring distortion of the Shona people’s culture in pre-colonial Zimbabwe. The study therefore, argues that Pfumo Reropa and Gonawapotera are far from pleasing when it comes to their historicity, authenticity of psycho-social thought and philosophy of the Shona people on the practices of chieftainship, law courts and polygamy. The article maintains that not all novels that are regarded as historical are really historical. There is therefore, need to be critical about the novels that are selected for use in Zimbabwean schools so that children are exposed to quality literature that helps them to appreciate that the Shona people had a systematic and elaborate system of role relationship, conflict resolution, social, economic and political control from which lessons can be taken to build confidence in our cultural heritage.

Keywords: Chieftainship, Afro-Centrism, Communalism, Oral Literature, Euro-Centrism.

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