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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Heroes of the road: race, gender and the politics of mobility in twentieth century Tanzania
Author:Grace, Joshua
Year:2013
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Volume:83
Issue:3
Pages:403-425
Language:English
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:drivers
automobiles
roads
women
mobility
Link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/africa_the_journal_of_the_international_african_institute/v083/83.3.grace.pdf
Abstract:This article follows the careers of two African drivers in social environments that circumscribed their movement and access to technology. It begins with Vincent Njovu, whose memoir, 'The first driver of Tanganyika' (Dereva wa kwanza Tanganyika, 1981) describes the driver's ability to navigate racial hierarchies of movement and technology, including the unlikely circumstances in which he fell in love with an ideal colonial machine. It then explores post-colonial cultures of gender and modernization by using the unpublished memoirs of Hawa Ramadhani, a woman who used automotive skills learned among nuns in the 1940s to become Tanzania's most respected driver. Paired together, the life histories of these drivers challenge historical narratives in which movement and technology (roads and motor vehicles, in particular) are used to discuss Africa's marginalization and decline. Instead, they show how transgressive practices of mobility can be used to challenge social and political orders and inspire new ways to think and act at uncertain historical junctures. Roads in these narratives are defined less by their danger than by their potential to turn unlikely individuals into heroes. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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