Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Open University of Tanzania
This paper examines how Nagona and Mzingile present Kezilahabi’s overarching vision of a gendered society. The paper argues that through Nagona and Mzingile, Kezilahabi interrogates, challenges and alters the conventional concept of hegemonic masculinity and gender relations in the two novels, and suggests a new way of imagining gender relations in a contemporary world. Through the representation of his female and male characters, Kezilahabi argues that conventional definitions of gender are no longer valid for the contemporary societies because gender is not a static identity. He emphasizes the agency of women in masculinity construction and the importance of recognizing the dynamics of hegemonic masculinity. From his characters’ representation in Nagona and Mzingile, Kezilahabi demonstrates that masculinity and femininity are interdependent concepts because they complement each other. The novels affirm that masculinity is not independent and static. It is constructed within a specific socio-cultural and historical moment and changes accordingly.
Keywords: overarching vision of gender, gender performance, gendered nation, gender complementarity, conventional definition of gender, hegemonic masculinity, contemporary society