This study investigates the literary portrayal of children as participants of the liberation struggle as illustrated in Ellen Namhila’s The Price of Freedom and Lydia Shaketange’sWalking the Boeing 707. The focus of the study was to investigate how the two Namibian autobiographical texts represent children in the liberation struggle. It examines whether children are portrayed as agents in the liberation struggle or simply objects of pity and victims in the exilic environment.
The study was primarily a qualitative, desktop research whereby two Namibian authored autobiographies were purposefully selected and analysed. This analysis was informed by post-colonial theory as a theoretical framework. Post-colonial theory deals with the reading and writing of literature written in previously or currently colonised countries, or literature written in colonising countries which deals with the colonisation or colonised people. It focuses particularly on the way in which literature by the colonising culture distorts the experiences and realities of, and inscribes the inferiority of the colonised people. On the contrary, the colonised’s attempts is to articulate their identity and reclaim their past which they were robbed of by the colonisers.
The study contributes to the creation and dissemination of knowledge since it addresses contemporary overarching issues such as that of the children of the liberation struggle which appears to be a controversial issue in Namibia today. The study also contributes to the body of knowledge which seeks to acknowledge the efforts of previously disadvantaged people such as children. It also recognises the innovativeness and agency of children as represented in the autobiographical work of Shaketange and Namhila.
The findings in this study revealed that children appear to be active agents and subjects of the liberation struggle, the study debunks the portrayal of children as passive victims of the exilic environment only as it is portrayed in some literary and academic texts. Although at some point they tend to suffer victimisation and the brutality of the struggle, the children characters in the autobiographies have proven agency by taking part in activities that enable them to attain independence, for instance, the maintenance of the camps, working as teachers and material developers, and as nurses. It has further been revealed that children are intelligent and perseverant beings. Implicitly, they are portrayed as compassionate, assertive, full of endurance, as well as heroes of the exilic environment. Through these findings, the study seeks to elucidate the disagreements of the literary representation of ‘children as objects’ in some literary and academic texts. The study then intends to re-vision the representation of children as opposed to the representation already existing in canonised literary texts, and this fulfils the goal of the post-colonial theory. Hence, the study posits that children characters are not as passive as they are assumed to be. It also argues that, issues of child subjectivity in the struggle are rarely foregrounded in Namibian literary studies; hence this study is a platform to interrogate the conventional objectification of children characters in the autobiographical works of Shaketange and Namhila. The study thus, argues that children characters in the selected texts have proven agency in their participation in the struggle.
SSA, R (2021). An Investigation Of The Literary Portrayal Of Children As Participants In The Liberation Struggle As Illustrated In Ellen Namhila’s The Price Of Freedom And Lydia Shaketange’s Walking The Boe. Afribary.com: Retrieved May 13, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/an-investigation-of-the-literary-portrayal-of-children-as-participants-in-the-liberation-struggle-as-illustrated-in-ellen-namhila-s-the-price-of-freedom-and-lydia-shaketange-s-walking-the-boe
Research, SSA. "An Investigation Of The Literary Portrayal Of Children As Participants In The Liberation Struggle As Illustrated In Ellen Namhila’s The Price Of Freedom And Lydia Shaketange’s Walking The Boe" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 27 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/an-investigation-of-the-literary-portrayal-of-children-as-participants-in-the-liberation-struggle-as-illustrated-in-ellen-namhila-s-the-price-of-freedom-and-lydia-shaketange-s-walking-the-boe . Accessed 13 May. 2021.
Research, SSA. "An Investigation Of The Literary Portrayal Of Children As Participants In The Liberation Struggle As Illustrated In Ellen Namhila’s The Price Of Freedom And Lydia Shaketange’s Walking The Boe". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 27 Apr. 2021. Web. 13 May. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/an-investigation-of-the-literary-portrayal-of-children-as-participants-in-the-liberation-struggle-as-illustrated-in-ellen-namhila-s-the-price-of-freedom-and-lydia-shaketange-s-walking-the-boe >.
Research, SSA. "An Investigation Of The Literary Portrayal Of Children As Participants In The Liberation Struggle As Illustrated In Ellen Namhila’s The Price Of Freedom And Lydia Shaketange’s Walking The Boe" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed May 13, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/an-investigation-of-the-literary-portrayal-of-children-as-participants-in-the-liberation-struggle-as-illustrated-in-ellen-namhila-s-the-price-of-freedom-and-lydia-shaketange-s-walking-the-boe