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The flip side: re-visioning Zimbabwe’s Third Chimurenga land discourse in Lawrence Hoba’s short stories

Oliver Nyambi


In Zimbabwe’s past decade characterised by unprecedented political tensions and ideological ambiguities, creative literature has emerged as a fruitful site to encounter discourses and counter-discourses for and against the state-authored narrative of land and its political significance. While there are literary texts that collaborate with state notions of the land and its significance to contemporary political and economic urgencies, there is a growing canon of imaginative literature that questions the idea and praxis of the government’s post-2000 land reforms. I use Lawrence Hoba’s short stories in his collection The Trek and Other Stories to argue that alongside the (consciously and to some extent unconsciously) pro-land-reform literary works, there are texts possibly classifiable as anti-establishment vis-a-vis their treatment of the land issue. The focus is on the short stories’ potential to subtly engender alternative conceptions of the post-2000 land reforms to that offered by the state’s grand narrative of land.


Third Chimurenga, land reform, child-narrator, nationalism

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The Johns Hopkins University Press

ISSN: 1920-1222

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