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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Mythicized selves: constructions of political self-identities in Joshua Nkomo's 'The story of my life' (1984) and Edgar Zivanai Tekere's 'A lifetime of struggle' (2007)
Author:Javangwe, Tasiyana Dzikai
Periodical:African Identities (ISSN 1472-5851)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
About persons:Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo (1917-1999)ISNI
Edgar TekereISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/14725843.2015.1102704
Abstract:The concept of 'self' is only imaginable through the processes of social construction that is ever constituting and re-constituting that self to suit desired images and circumstances. Essentially, therefore, there is never a single, stable self, but selves that complement each other to give one an identity. The capacity for self identity to reinvent itself according to need and circumstance is, however, premised on some historico-cultural relevance that strives toward giving self identity a semblance of stability. In the construction of political identities in life narratives, this paper will argue, myth is the foundational resource upon which significant self identities whose destinies are tied to the national or group fate aspire toward stability. Focusing on Joshua Nkomo's 'The story of my life' (1984) and Edgar Zivanai Tekere's 'A lifetime of struggle' (2007), the paper argues that more than simply rendering the subjects' exploits in their political carriers, the life narratives present mythicized self identities as a strategy to centrally position the subjects in the liberation discourse in Zimbabwe as well as entrench their legacies. The paper also argues that the idea of a constant self in itself is ever a myth that is only concretized through performance as the subject seeks to represent the self in certain desired ways. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]