Doctoral Degrees (DLLS)

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    Transactional sex relationships in fiction: the disintegration of women’s emancipation through the blesser/blessee culture in selected african novels
    (University of Namibia, 2023) Gawas, Emelda U
    The hashtag #blessed started trending several years ago on different social media platforms when women claimed to be beneficiaries of blessers. The latter was what the new hashtag denoted and not the often biblical meaning of ‘blessed’ which is to receive favour from God. The hashtag thus falls under the contemporary phenomenon known as transactional sex relationships, colloquially known as the blessers, blessees, sugar daddies, sugar babies and side-chicks. Since this is a new phenomenon, this study aimed to interrogate the multiple layers of transactional sex relationships in fiction and how they possibly contribute to the disintegration of women’s emancipation. The study which was essentially a qualitative desktop study employed purposive sampling to select and analyse four novels by southern African writers: The Blessed Girl by Angela Makholwa (2018), Bare: #The Blesser Game by Jackie Phamotse (2017), Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi (2016), and The y in yOUR Man is Silent: Book 1 by Yvonne Maphosa (2019). Employing the postcolonial paradigm of Africa writing-back-to-self advocated by Mwangi (2009) and a critique of Lipstick Feminism, the study analysed how the writers aesthetically present literary devices describing the unrefined data about transactional sex relationships. In addition, the study analysed how the transactional sex relationship culture encouraged the possible disintegration of women’s emancipation. The study contributes to the understanding of the self-reflexive catalytic events that lead to transactional sex relationships and their consequences in Africa, without singular attribution to the West. The findings indicate the following: firstly, the authors wrote extensively and without inhibition about transactional sex relationships using visual imagery more than euphemisms whilst presenting a variety of issues that are considered taboo. The following key issues were identified as the primary sources of transactional sex ii relationships: women’s agency, consumerism, modernity, poverty, parental influence or encouragement, peer pressure, gendered norms, grade adjustments to pass, and guaranteed job offers. Depression, trauma, abuse, and isolation were some of the issues found to be the psychological, physical and social consequences of transactional sex relationships. Significantly, the study found that the advancement of Lipstick Feminism towards the application of make-up and women using their sex appeal as empowerment has contributed to the commodification of transactional sex and thus the disintegration of women’s empowerment. The findings of the study corroborate the existing social studies’ findings on the phenomenon and provide vital information for future studies. The study recommends future studies to employ Mwangi’s (2009) postcolonial paradigm of writing-back-to-self to examine the other taboos revealed in this thesis; skin and private part bleaching, depression, indecent public exposure, polyamory, black tax and men who have sex with men (MSM). The study concludes that the transactional sex relationship culture contributes to the disintegration of women’s empowerment.
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    Sexuality in fiction: Exploring the literary portrayal of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) characters in selected African texts: Speak no evil, the interpreters, fairy tales for lost children, i am a homosexual mum, the hairdresser of harare and the oracle of cidino
    (University of Namibia, 2023) Nahole, Martha
    This study explores the literary portrayal of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) characters in selected African texts. The study is based on the following literary works: Speak no Evil by Uzondinma Iweala, The interpreters by Wole Soyinka, Fairy tales for Lost Children by Diriye Osman, I am a Homosexual, Mum by Binyavanga Wainaina, The Hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu, and The Oracle of Cidino by Sifiso Nyathi. The focus of this study was to examine how LGBTQI characters are depicted in the selected literary works as well as explore the sociocultural challenges experienced by LGBTQI people. This is a qualitative, desktop study that focused on six African literary texts which were purposively selected and analysed. Queer theory was used to analyse the literary works. In literary context Queer theory focuses on eradicating the binary oppositions and stereotypes of sexuality and gender within a body of text as well as to break down the use of categories and labels that stereotype and harm those who are in marginalised positions such as the LGBTQI people. The findings of this study reveal that, although literature from different scholars has painted Africa as a homophobic block, this study realises that African people have varying views towards the concept of LGBTQI. Some react with revulsion, vigilantism, extortion, blackmail, hostility and negative stereotypical behaviour, while others react with a sense of empathy, pity, understanding and support. Nonetheless, it is clear that negative reaction amongst others overpowers positivity. This study has also noted with concern that there is no successful story about coming out of the closet, all literary works under study paint the concept of coming out as a devastating and regrettable choice by those who opted for it. Although they have plenty of survival and coping strategies, LGBTQI people are faced with several social challenges and therefore live a burdened life full of pretentiousness in order to fit the ‘norm’. The study recommends universities to consider teaching queer inclusive literature in their courses to enhance understanding regarding LGBTQI matters. Finally, researchers should consider engaging in social justice research, as this may help to sensitise the public on the danger of homophobia.
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    The feminisation of poverty and victimhood in Dangaremba's print oeuvre: Cyclical evocations of nervous conditions, survival, and agency
    (University of Namibia, 2022) Midzi, Penelope T
    Feminisation of poverty is a term that was coined by Diana Pearce in 1976 after observing an increased concentration of income poverty among women in America (Peterson, 1987). This term was applied in the analysis of Tsitsi Dangarembga’s oeuvre, mainly focusing on the victimhood, cyclical evocations of nervous conditions, survival strategies and agency that Zimbabwean women experienced and are still experiencing. This dissertation employed a qualitative desktop literary in the examination of four novels, Nervous Conditions (1988), The Book of Not (2006), This Mournable Body (2018) – which make up a trilogy spanning up to 30 years; and She No Longer Weeps (1987). The researcher employed Africana Womanism, STIWANISM, and Nego-feminism literary theories to underpin this study, from examining the complex position that African women face in the light of detrimental effects of colonisation and its impact and legacy as it integrates with traditional patriarchal structures as articulated in Dangarembga’s novels. Africana Womanism as a concept was used so as to accommodate the characteristics of the African society which are unique and different because of its cultural, political, historical and social backgrounds, as other feminisms are peculiar to their place of origin. STIWANISM understands the female struggle from the perspective of African feminism which is entirely dependent on the commitment from both sexes, and not a woman affair as emphasised by other feminisms. Nego-feminism places both genders side by side as men and women to try and negotiate their places in life and establish a harmonious co- existence, with the negative patriarchal structures melting away. The study analysed how the author used the novels to expose issues related to post- colonial conditions, gender inequalities, cultural limitations, female self- definition and struggle for survival. The study found that the women in the Shona society are presented diversely depending on the socio- cultural background. Dangarembga strategically captured a world before and after independent Zimbabwe (1980s), where her main theme were her two protagonists’ struggles to reshape women’s heterosexuality and femininity in a religiously conservative society adopted in a colonial era. The shared themes of womanhood that are depicted in all the texts are the need for a shift of women from the margins of the society to becoming priorities economically, socially, and culturally. This is the recurring theme whether the setting is in the 1980s or the 2000s, rural or urban; Shona women are still victims of the nervous conditions surrounding them.
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    Literary archives of conflict, the decoloniality of materialities and resilience in selected narratives of genocide in Namibia
    (University of Namibia, 2021) Kandemiri, Coletta M.
    The 1904-1908 Conflict has not received much attention as other genocides such as the Holocaust or the Armenian Genocide and with some scholars even arguing that it was not a genocide but just a colonial war. During this period in question, the natives of the then German South West Africa were stripped of both materialities and immaterialities. The extermination order issued by German General Lortha van Trotha meant to annihilate a nation as its instruction was to execute any native found by the Schutztruppe (German troops) as reflecting in the selected fictional texts for this study. The study explored the decoloniality of materialities and resilience in the selected genocidal fiction in Namibia’s 1904-1908 Conflict. Additionally, the study was informed by secondary sources that facilitated more understanding on the topic of genocide and an expansion of knowledge regarding historical events in Namibia. Moreover, it was a qualitative desktop research and employed content analysis where the selected novels: The Lie of the Land by Utley (2017); The Weeping Graves of Our Ancestors by Tjingaete (2017); The Scattering by Kubuitsile (2016); Parts Unknown by Van Den Berg (2018); and Mama Namibia by Serebrov (2013), were the reference material. Three theories namely: Trauma and Resilience supported by Ecocriticism and New Historicism framed the study. The findings of the study reveal literary evidence that the 1904-1908 Conflict is a genocide. Also, the dislodgment of the Hereros found them wanting of home, social set ups meddled, religion, culture and tradition invaded as well as sacred places pried on. The study also found that there exists a thin line between fictional historical novels and history proper and as such they could be used as perfect substitutes of each other, though an argument not readily accepted by some historians. The pragmatic disposition of these selected novels is promising and certain as the imaginary may naturally be transmuted into reality. Moreover, all the texts under study employ the selected art forms but in different ways considering the different backgrounds and motivations of the authors. The selected novels conjure literature’s nearness to recreate some critical arguments that are still unsolved even in present day Namibia about the general wellbeing of the people with the conundrums still concomitant to a nation’s past. With the genocide still making headlines in the contemporary media (newspapers), it is inevitable that there are unsaid issues that are still unsolved such as the reparations that are still to be attended to, meaning ‘the show isn’t over’. Additional to the findings, revenging and fighting back as well as the conscientising and mobilising amongst the Hereros and Namas emerge as forms of resilience in some of the novels. The study recommends for future studies that there may be need to merge fictional and nonfictional works on the 1904-1908 genocide and establish the link between the two. Also, like other genocides, the 1904-1908 genocide should have a representation of the epoch in film form to increase awareness of its existence and also be studied as part of human history. Lastly, there may be need to introduce genocide studies at the University of Namibia.
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    The confluence of rhetoric and science: A rhetorical enquiry of climate change publications in Namibia
    (University of Namibia, 2020) Sindano, Gerson
    The thesis explored the dynamics of the rhetoric of the language of science on climate change publications. The arguments presented in this study were drawn from a theoretical framework that saw rhetorical arguments, texts and general discourse as instruments of communication of science publications on climate change in Namibia. Thus, Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) was used in this study. The theoretical framework of the study was extended to incorporate the Aristotelian rhetorical theory. The study aimed at making a consequential input to an ongoing debate about climate change in Namibia and the world over; the use of rhetorical devices in the construction of knowledge about climate change; analysis and exploration of rhetorical elements employed by science researchers. The research was inspired by the study of rhetoric. As such the study looked at the progression of persuasive methodical arguments and facts, as a result providing clear understanding of how scientific publications influence government policy on climate change. The study adopted a qualitative approach. By employing the qualitative approach the emphasis was to discover and understand the epistemological dynamics of rhetoric of science. Rhetorical interpretations of science publications seemed complex, and as such required a research design that enabled such complexity to be analysed and explored. Against this background, this study used the qualitative methodology of desktop research. As a desktop study, the researcher analysed existing climate change sources or publications. The study found that different rhetorical moves and strategies were used by the authors of the analysed documents to try and influence policy makers and the public. The study revealed the frequent use of scare tactics by the authors to try and persuade the public regarding climate change. Moreover, the study exposed the presence of language forms that seemed to rely on perpetual persuasive techniques in order to persuade the current and future generations. Extraordinarily, the analysed publications made known how writers use visual images in a dramatic fashion to appeal to their peers, followers, and mostly the general public. The study developed a new language filter model of science interpretations because the existing models seem to be effective only in dealing with large information; they, however, lack the epistemological and ontological interconnections between science and public interest.
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    Herstory, subjectivity and the public sphere in female narratives of the liberation struggle in Namibia: The case of Ndeshi Namhila, Lydia Shaketange, Libertine Amathila and Tshiwa Trudie Amulungu
    (University of Namibia, 2019) Simataa, Agnes A.
    This study was an exploration of the autobiographical representation of the experiences of four Namibian women who participated in the country’s liberation struggle. The premise of this study was to interrogate how the autobiography genre was used to depict ‘herstory’, subjectivity and the public sphere in these female narratives. Herstory in this study portrays autobiography as a tool of narrating women’s personal history, analysed from the postcolonial-feminist perspective; subjectivity depicts how these women represented themselves as makers of history, taking cognisance of the fact that each individual is unique. Though they all participated in the liberation struggle, they exclusively narrate herstory as individuals through experience, memory, identity, space, and embodiment; as the material/ physical body of the narrator, “the body is a site of autobiographical knowledge, as well as a textual surface upon which a person’s life is inscribed (Smith & Watson, 2001, p. 37) and agency. The study was premised on the postcolonial-feminist and autobiography theories. These two theories helped in critiquing the distinctiveness of each narrative analysed in this study. The study employed a qualitative, desktop research design, whereby four Namibian female autobiographies were critiqued. The selected autobiographies were; The Price of Freedom by Namhila (1997), Walking the Boeing 707 by Shaketange (2009), Making a Difference by Amathila (2010) and Taming my Elephant by Amulungu (2016). The purposive sampling procedure using the criterion sampling technique was employed to select the four autobiographies analysed in this study. These works were chosen firstly, because they best informed the research questions presented in this study. The works tell ‘herstory’ during and after the colonial period. Also, through purposive sampling, the researcher was able to select autobiographies that provided the richest information as these autobiographies were most nteresting and manifested the characteristics that were closely related to the topic of the study. Critical concepts and issues in the works were identified and interpreted using the postcolonial feminist and autobiography theories. The theory of postcolonial feminist provides a useful account of how women from third world countries make a strong case against the general Western feminist theory that had for a long time attempted to exclusively advocate for experiences of all women in the world. The autobiography theory is also relevant to this study because the development of women autobiography in general and the African women autobiography in particular challenges the classical conceptualisation of the genre of autobiography as proposed by Gusdorf (1956). The findings of this study revealed that human agency is ubiquitous because despite the different places that the authors lived in during the apartheid era, their human instincts for survival led them into exile in the quest for Namibian independence. The narrators successfully negotiated the public sphere despite the challenges that sometimes overwhelmed them in their private spheres. It was concluded in this study that women tend to portray their identities as relational to others. Therefore, the analysed autobiographies’ ‘I’ is not only personal but it tends to be inclusive of all significant others in the life experiences of the narrators. Consequently, the personal lives of the narrators are exposed to the public through the autobiography genre which eventually finds its way into the public domain. This study concluded that autobiography was used as a powerful tool to articulate herstory, subjectivity and the public sphere by the narrators of the selected autobiographies in order to claim their places in the liberation struggle of Namibia and nation building thereof.
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    Women and subjugation: An evaluation of feminist rhetoric in selected novels by Mary Karooro Okurut, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Unity Dow, Elieshi Lema and Kaleni Hiyalwa
    (University of Namibia, 2019) Mwetulundila, Rauna
    This study is an examination of feminist rhetoric in selected novels by African women fiction writers namely The Official Wife by Mary Karooro Okurut, Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Screaming of the Innocent by Unity Dow, Parched Earth by Elieshi Lema and Meekulu’s Children by Kaleni Hiyalwa. The focus was to evaluate women fiction writers’ perspectives on social, economic and political subjugation of women and how they employ persuasive tools in their writing to persuade the readers. The study was primarily a qualitative, desktop research where a total of five novels were purposefully selected and analysed. The analysis used Aristotelian proofs of persuasion and invitational rhetoric theories. The Aristotelian theory is used to show how the selected novels employ persuasive arguments in articulating the social, economic and political oppression of women. Invitational rhetoric theory assists in determining how the novels promote the idea of equality, immanent value and self-determination in dialogic contexts. This study contributes to the understanding of feminist rhetoric, and recognises the presence of women rhetors who in history, have been ignored. Based on the findings of the selected novels, it is revealed that patriarchal settings are the reasons for women’s subjugation in different societies. Male dominated institutions make it challenging for women to make their contributions as they desire. It is shown that women characters in the selected novels are conscious of the oppression they undergo, but some allow it to advance due to economic reasons and fear of breaking cultural norms. Others are not deterred by societal conventions, but rather are strong challengers of patriarchy. Remarkably, the study found out that even as women are striving for self recognition, they are willing to work together with male counterparts. The study further indicates that women employ persuasive techniques in articulating their plights. Women characters provide evidence to support the validity of the arguments made in voicing the injustice of patriarchal societies. The logical proofs presented evoke emotions when the audience learns the kind of hardships they face at the hands of their male counterparts. Furthermore, the study concludes that women characters in the selected novels adopt strategic agency to combat patriarchal settings that oppress and silence them and this makes their deportments credible, manifesting Aristotle’s proofs of persuasion. It has also been found that education seems to be the key to economic, political and social freedom to women and that without it some women tend to depend on their spouses and in return give them hegemonic power to subjugate them further. In addition, this study reveals that invitational rhetoric promotes equality, immanent value and self determination of both genders. The study recommends that future studies use the same theoretical frameworks in combination with the reader-response theory to examine feminist rhetoric to determine how readers are impacted by novels. Future studies should be conducted to underscore the importance of employing invitational rhetoric in conversations to enhance equality, self-determination and immanent value of all participants in conversations.
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    Assessing students in English for Academic Purposes: The role of alternative assessment tools in writing instruction
    (2018) Hamakali, Hafeni P.
    This study aims to investigate the assessment of students in the English for Academic Purposes course at the University of Namibia Language Centre. There has been increasing criticism of standardised test and examinations and it has brought into question the value of other indirect approaches to language assessment (Reeves, 2000; Sharifi, & Hassaskhah, 2011; Tsagari, 2004). The study draws its theoretical foundation from the constructivist’s view of education (Canagarajah, 1999; Schunk, 2009; Vygotsky, 1962). The study embraces the interpretivist approach to research which tends to be more qualitative, and is open to diverse ways that people may understand and experience the same non-manipulated objective reality. The participants in this study are students and lecturers of the English for Academic Purposes course at the University of Namibia Language Centre. The study employs a qualitative research design, along with triangulation, where qualitative data was collected through lecturer interviews, lesson observations, multiple intelligence inventory, and student focus groups discussions. The study adapted the thematic approach of data analysis where the data were analysed and presented under themes derived from the research questions of the study. The findings indicate that, there was a limited stock of assessments that suits the classification of alternative assessment, namely: checklists, student-lecturer question techniques, and academic essay. The findings reveal some factors that influence the integration of alternative assessment in academic writing instruction, such as: lecturers and students’ knowledge of assessment, students’ assessment preferences, authenticity, classroom setup, and feedback. The findings also showed that the assessment practices that were used by the lecturers did not seem to fulfil the ideologies advocated in Gardener’s (1984) theory of Multiple Intelligences. However, the study found that the students and lecturers’ attitude which was skewed towards the positive direction may be an indication that there could be hope for success in attempts to integrate alternative assessment in academic writing instruction.
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    The role of English for specific purposes in enhancing workplace literacies for graduates employed in the commercial sector in Windhoek
    (University of Namibia, 2018) Mungongi, Fillemon
    Contemporary tertiary institutions and workplace organisations face a raft of challenges in coping with competing demands and rapidly changing environments. Today’s challenging economic situation indicates that it is no longer sufficient for a new graduate to have knowledge of an academic subject; increasingly it is necessary for students to gain those language competencies and literacies which will enhance their productivity and prospects of employment after completing an ESP course. With such demands and changes come the need for tertiary education to skill young graduates adequately to meet these challenges both now and in the future. There is a growing concern in Namibia that tertiary education is not meeting the needs of employers and the workplace, such as occupation specific knowledge, generic skills and competencies, as well as language specific competencies. This study investigated the role of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) in enhancing workplace literacies for graduate employees in the Namibian commercial sector in Windhoek. The study mainly looked at the language literacies and competencies that new graduates in the commercial sector in Windhoek had in their repositories which could enable them to operate effectively in that sector. The sample was purposively selected, and the investigation was conducted in ten public and private sector institutions that employ graduates from three tertiary institutions, namely the University of Namibia, the Namibia University of Science and Technology and the International University of Management, in Windhoek. A mixed-methods design was adopted where survey questionnaire and interview protocols were employed. The questionnaire instrument was a rating scale that required participants (young graduates) to rate their level of agreement to a specific issue. The data from the survey were computer analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Information was then coded according to the survey questions and cross tabulations and frequency information were determined. An interview protocol was administered to employers and representatives of tertiary institutions. The recorded interviews were transcribed and subjected to a preliminary analysis shortly after completion of the interviews. After several close readings of the transcribed texts, an open coding process was conducted. The employers and lecturers’ responses in the transcripts were highlighted according to the different units of meaning that could be discerned, and then grouped together in categories. The findings of this study reveal that graduate employees were lacking in the language competencies of oral, reading, written and non-verbal language communication, as well as non-technical skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving, which are valuable in any workplace. Furthermore, it appears that tertiary institutions were not providing courses related to English for Specific Purposes for this particular commercial sector; but appeared to be content with the current offerings of language courses by centres and units. The study reconceptualised the meaning of workplace literacy in the Namibian context, and found that workplace literacy could not be regarded as a skill, but rather as what is done or performed in a given context, such as the workplace. Based on the findings, the recommendation is to formulate clear policies to guide curriculum development in courses, such as ESP, in tertiary institutions to ensure that these curricula are aligned to the language literacies typical of various workplaces. Due to the identified shortcomings in the tertiary education offerings of English language ESP courses, a ‘narrow-angled’ ESP and ‘competency’ models for tertiary institutions in Namibia are proposed.
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    Identity as ethical responsibility: A manifesto for social change in Toni Morrison's fiction
    (University of Namibia, 2017) De Voss, Vida
    Reading Morrison’s fiction at the hand of Bakhtin and Levinas, as well as considering her own non-fiction, led to the conclusion that sufficient evidence exists to argue Morrison’s novels present identity as ethical responsibility that can advocate for a manifesto for positive social change. Analysis focused on the investigation of identity construction in Morrison’s The Bluest Eye (1970), Tar Baby (1981), Paradise (1997), and A Mercy (2008). Through her fiction Morrison can be argued to construct identity in a fashion similar to the philosophies of Bakhtin and Levinas, which present the subject’s identity as an ethical responsibility for the other/Other. Morrison’s non-fiction, such as her Nobel lecture, her academic writing, her social commentary and interviews provide further support to strengthen the aforementioned claim.An investigation into the subject’s identity construction indicates it is always-already in relation to other people. The notions Self, other and Other are thus used throughout this study. The Self, should be understood to refer to the subject, the I. The lower case “other” should be understood as referring to any “other” person who is not the Self, while the capitalised “Other” refers to the marginalised, the binary opposite of the Self. This study is comprised of three components of analysis. The first component concerns the Bakhtinian theory of dialogism. Analysis of the acts of looking, seeing and naming demonstrates the Self’s identity is constructed in relation to the other/Other. The second component of analysis involves viewing the four novels through the Levinasian notions of responsibility and infinity. Revealingly, all four novels deal with the theme of responsibility and stylistically portray a grappling with infinity. Applying the concept of answerability, which functions in the theories of both Levinas and Bakhtin, further demonstrates Morrison’s focus on responsibility as signified by the pariah figures, function of community and her stylistics that invite reader responsibility. The contribution of this study is in having articulated the humanity and commonalities the exploiting and abusing Self shares with the exploited and abused other/Other, in order to demonstrate it is in the Self’s interest to value the other/ Other.
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    Neo-colonial elitism and its influence in Kenya: A case study of Ngugi wa Thiong'o's petals of blood, Devil on the cross and Matigari
    (University of Namibia, 2018) Sitwala, Josephine Ntelamo
    This study is an analysis of Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s portrayal of neo-colonial elitism and its influence in Kenya in his postcolonial novels, Petals of Blood (1977), Devil on the Cross (1982a) and Matigari (1989). The study employed a content analysis approach where the three novels were read and studied in depth before emerging themes, relating to neo-colonial elitism in Kenya, were unpacked. The analysis was informed by two theoretical frameworks, namely the Postcolonial and Marxist literary theories. The Postcolonial theory, as used in this context, deals with literature produced in countries that were once colonies of other countries. This theory assisted in examining the relationship between the colonisers, the British, and the Kenyan elite in the new government. The Marxist literary theory postulates that emancipation of the masses from exploitation, oppression, discrimination and inevitable linkage between the privileged people and the miserable ones can only come from the struggle by the exploited and disadvantaged group. The Marxist literary theory assisted in analysing how the masses are trying to defend themselves against their exploiters, the ruling elite. An example is how the ex-freedom fighter, Matigari, mobilises the workers and the masses in the search for truth and justice in Kenya, which leads to the wrath of the Government. The findings of this study show that the most persistent concern of Ngugi’s literary work is exploitation generated by colonial injustice and perpetuated through unaltered colonial structures and policies. There is a complex linkage between colonial exploitation and violations of the rights of the masses in postcolonial Kenya. Furthermore, the study revealed that there is a continuous struggle for freedom from the ruling elite by the masses. Finally, the study concluded by indicating the possibility of a new political revolution that will bring a new Kenya It can be concluded that the masses are aware of the cunning of their leaders, and they see a light at the end of their economic and social struggle. Another possible conclusion is that the people are aware of the acts of their rulers and they are planning a revolution to free themselves from the claws of the elite. This study contributes to the body of knowledge on Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s literary works, as well as the contribution literature makes in conscientising the masses regarding their plight. It, furthermore, offers possible solutions to their political and socio-economic woes, not only in Kenya, but also elsewhere in the world.
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    Speech acts and their rhetorical purposes in the Namibian parliamentary discourse, 2015-2016
    (University of Namibia, 2018) Amakali, Justina M.
    The use of rhetoric is essential to verbal communication between politicians who debate pro et contra (for and against) to win arguments and persuade their audience. In this study, parliamentary rhetoric in the Namibian parliamentary discourse for the period 2015-2016 was analysed. This is a qualitative research study. The Hansard was used as a source of information, while observation and audio recordings were used as instruments to collect data. The data were purposively sampled by selecting the desired information from ten volumes of the Hansard within the period of March 2015 to March 2016. The study applied Discourse Analysis research design by identifying speech acts based on Searle’s five classifications of speech acts and explaining how they were persuasive. Three theoretical frameworks informed this study. Austin’s speech act theory contributes to the speech acts, especially performative acts uttered by parliamentarians. Further, Aristotle’s theory of rhetoric is important to the persuasive intentions that Members of Parliament (MPs) demonstrated. Burke’s theory of identification is important to the persuasive acts that MPs demonstrated in an attempt to identify with their audience and vice-versa. The major findings of this study show that assertive, directive, commissive, declarative and expressive speech acts were used by MPs. These speech acts were used to persuade the audience to believe the assertions, get things done, give hope, change the statuses and circumstances, and show solidarity, respectively. Further, some MPs used ‘unparliamentary’ expressions, such as interruptions, provocations and abusive language to mock, downgrade and irritate others to win debates. Rhetorical devices such as, code-switching, address and titles, parallelism, sarcasm euphemism, antithesis, buzzwords and exordium were employed by MPs in attempt to define situations, give recognition, produce good sounding words, create humour, create benevolence, give effect of balance, gain trust, and praise, respectively. This study contributes to new knowledge by unraveling rhetorical strategies for parliamentary discourse especially those that are demonstrated in the Namibian parliamentary setting. It informs the followers of parliamentary proceedings of tactics used in parliament to win debates. The study also contributes to the literature on parliamentary rhetoric. In conclusion, two key recommendations arose from this study. First, further studies on parliamentary rhetoric in the Namibian National Assembly should be carried out to narrow the literature gap and enrich the body of knowledge in Parliamentary rhetoric. Second, a parliamentary communication etiquette that will guide MPs and improve their skills in effective communication and persuasion is essential.
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    The role of drama in teaching English: Towards the enhancement of students' communicative skills at the University of Namibia
    (University of Namibia, 2016) Namundjebo, Elizabeth Q.
    The purpose of this study was to explore the role of drama in teaching English to enhance students’ communicative skills at the University of Namibia. The discussions of the research focused on assessing the benefits of using drama in the teaching of English to increase students’ motivation and self-confidence, as well as meeting the aims of integrating drama activities in the teaching of the English Access Course at the University of Namibia or in any other English language teaching elsewhere. The mixed method of qualitative and quantitative research methods were used for this study. This was a classroom based research involving a class of 45 students enrolled for the English Access Course (EAC) at the University of Namibia. To collect data, the researcher employed entry and exit questionnaires, focus group interviews, researcher’s reflective notes and participants’ portfolios that comprised of participants’ views, thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, values and perceptions towards English learning and teaching. Furthermore, the data was collected during teaching hours because the researcher was simultaneously the English Access course lecturer. The researcher with the help of the participants integrated drama activities in the English Access Course curriculum with the purpose of enhancing students’ communicative skills for the whole second semester in 2014. Data obtained through the entry and exit questionnaires was analyzed using descriptive statistics of percentages while the data from the participants’ portfolios researchers’ reflective notes and interviews were transcribed, organized, and coded according to the steps of qualitative data content analysis listed in Creswell (2003). Research findings revealed the effectiveness of drama oriented English lessons to the benefit of students’ speaking skills, motivation, self-esteem and confidence in their abilities to communicate in English. In addition, the findings revealed that drama activities aided students develop a community and foster group cohesiveness, which helped in building students’ confidence when speaking English in front of their classmates. Moreover, the results repeatedly revealed that motivation is linked to self-confidence as the drama activities accorded students the opportunity to use the target language in real life situations. Based on the research findings it could be concluded that drama plays a crucial role in enhancing ESL students’ communicative skills. The findings are conclusive, in that drama activities can be successfully implemented in the English Access lessons and coordinated to reinforce the regular curriculum. Finally, these research findings provide an opportunity for the English Access Course (EAC) and English courses curriculum designers in the Language Center at the University of Namibia and elsewhere to gain insights of the possibilities to incorporate drama activities in ESL lessons with the aim of enhancing the students’ communicative skills.
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    Lecturers' and students' perceptions and preferences about ESL corrective feedback in Namibia: Towards an intervention model
    (University of Namibia, 2016) Mungungu-Shipale, Saara S.
    This study investigated tertiary lecturers’ and students’ perceptions and preferences on the provision of corrective feedback in the English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom at the Namibia University of Science and Technology. The study focused on students’ speaking and writing skills in the English course, Language in Practice. This study used a triangulation design for data collection and analysis. Numerical data were obtained through closed-response items on questionnaires, while text data were collected through face-to-face interviews and class observation. The data analysis was mainly informed by two theoretical frameworks – Skill acquisition theory and Conversational theory. Skill acquisition theory contributes critically to corrective feedback especially in the context of practice that leads students from conscious thinking to more spontaneous use of ESL. Conversational theorists believe in collaboration and interaction between learners to actively engage in conversations with other speakers of the L2. The findings of this study reveal that corrective feedback is perceived by both lecturers and students as an essential aspect of developing ESL productive skills. Students preferred more correction than their lecturers provided. Both lecturers and students concurred that providing corrections to English errors, accompanied by comments, is the best practice. Students had high expectations to receive explicit correction with metalinguistic explanations. However, lecturers mostly provided explicit corrective feedback with no metalinguistic explanations. Lecturers identified time constraints as an obstacle preventing them from providing detailed corrective feedback with comments. Both lecturers and students indicated that the common practice for corrective feedback on students’ ESL written work is underlining errors. Lecturers concentrate more on form than accuracy when providing corrective feedback in ESL. Students preferred immediate corrective feedback for their spoken errors, while lecturers advocated delayed corrective feedback. Corrective feedback on students’ spoken errors is either provided explicitly or is being ignored. The findings of this study oppose the claims of some scholars who argue that the majority of students are depressed by corrective feedback in L2 learning and use their argument to oppose the ESL corrective feedback practice. Based on the synergistic findings of this study and other empirical studies on corrective feedback, explicit correction was frequently practised in ESL classes; recasts were well suited to communicative classroom discourse. However, this study maintained the notion that corrective feedback practice cannot solely and rigidly focus on any single standardised corrective feedback strategy due to the multidimensional and cultural nature of language classrooms. Recasts, that correct students explicitly without announcing it, are multifaceted, so they should be applicable across all ESL instructional settings. The contribution this study makes is a ten-stage Intervention Model that works towards the effectiveness of ESL corrective feedback at tertiary level in Namibia. The major recommendations are that lecturers should carefully scrutinise the specific ESL target language features; practise a variety of suitable corrective feedback techniques; and cater for individual students’ specific needs and preferences.
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    A study of language related factors impeding the English reading comprehension of Namibian first year university students
    (2013) Murray, Cynthia
    This study was motivated by the pervasive difficulties which Namibian learners and students experience in reading and understanding English texts, and which impact negatively on the academic progress of these learners and students. The research was aimed at identifying specific language-related properties of English texts which might impede the English reading comprehension of students in Namibia entering university, as well as possible elements in the language background of these students which might contribute to the challenges they face in processing English texts. Although a great deal of research has been done on second language reading, relatively little of this research focuses on non-English speaking readers in Southern Africa, particularly in Namibia. The main thrust of the research, therefore, was to identify and explore the views and theories of as many researchers as possible in the field of second language reading in general, and of reading in English as a second language in particular, and to investigate the extent to which these views and theories pertain to native speakers of languages used in Namibia. The first component of this study, namely secondary research in the form of an extensive review of available literature related to reading and reading comprehension, yielded a vast array of language-related factors thought to influence second language reading comprehension and the processing of English texts by second language readers. In the empirical component of the study, for the purpose of determining the relevance in the Namibian context of the language factors identified in the secondary research, a study was conducted involving 86 students enrolled for Foundations of English Language Studies, a first year English course in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Namibia. The empirical research was conducted in three phases. In Phase 1 of the study, qualitative data was generated through a questionnaire exploring the language background and experience of participants. In Phase 2 of the study, since vocabulary was prominently highlighted in the literature as a significant factor in reading comprehension, participants completed a vocabulary test. In addition, on the basis of linguistic properties most prominently identified in the literature as influencing English reading comprehension, ten linguistic properties were selected as being potential sources of English reading comprehension difficulty for students in Namibia. A set of twelve English texts was then selected and analysed, using Coh-Metrix 2.1, a text analysis software programme which is sensitive to properties such as cohesion relations, world-knowledge and language and discourse characteristics, and statistics were generated with regard to the ten properties identified for this study. The twelve selected texts were also manually analysed to check for other possible linguistic impediments to reading comprehension not identified in the computer analysis. Study participants were encouraged to engage with the twelve selected texts by completing a short comprehension exercise, the results of which yielded a general impression of the accessibility of the texts, and of potential problem areas to be investigated further in focus group interviews. In Phase 3 of the study, structured focus group interviews incorporating think-aloud protocols were conducted to explore the views of the students themselves with regard to underlying causes of difficulty in reading English texts. A comparison was then made of potential sources of difficulty reflected in the Coh-Metrix 2.1 measurements and the manual analysis with difficulties perceived by participants themselves. Data from both the questionnaires and the interviews were also analysed for evidence of the possible influence on English reading comprehension of the language background and reading practices of the readers. While the results of this study confirmed the significant role played in English reading comprehension by a number of linguistic properties discussed in the literature, there was also evidence that these did not adequately account for comprehension difficulties among tertiary students in Namibia, and that there was a need to explore less obvious sources of difficulty which may be of specific relevance to speakers of other languages used in Namibia, and may thus offer an important and novel avenue for further research.
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    The political rhetoric of Bishop Kleopas Dumeni in the pre-independence era in Namibia
    (2014) Mbenzi, Petrus A.
    This dissertation is a rhetorical study of the speeches of Bishop Kleopas Dumeni of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia. The main purpose of the study was to analyse Bishop Dumeni’s selected speeches based on the five canons of Aristotle, namely, invention, arrangement, style, delivery and memory, and his three modes of persuasion of logos, pathos and ethos. This study examined the English and Oshiwambo speeches which Bishop Dumeni delivered at meetings locally and internationally from 1979 to 1988. The study also examined the responses of interviewed and audiovisual taped audiences to the speeches of Bishop Dumeni and translation techniques used by Bishop Dumeni to get the message across to his target audiences, since some of the speeches were translated from English into Oshiwambo or vice versa. Twenty sampled speeches were analysed to obtain information on the use of the five Aristotelian canons and his three modes of persuasion within the framework of the Aristotelian theory. This theory was supplemented by other theories such as Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), semiotic theory and Nida’s theory. The CDA deals with an oppositional study of structures and strategies of the discourse and their cognitive and social conditions as well as the discourses of resistance against such domination. The semiotic theory was used to interpret the non-verbal behaviour and Nida’s theory was used to examine the translation techniques used by Bishop Dumeni. In addition, interviews were conducted with thirty respondents drawn from three groups: the supporters of colonial authorities, ordinary people and pastors to obtain further information on the responses of the audiences to the speeches of Bishop Dumeni. The study revealed that Bishop Dumeni effectively used the five Aristotelian canons. Invention was used to formulate arguments and opinions on the speeches. Arrangement was used to organise the speeches in a particular manner to make them appealing to the audiences. Style was intended to maximise the correctness, clarity, appropriateness and ornament of the messages to achieve the greatest level of acceptance by the audiences. The canon of delivery helped the speaker to present the speeches in a way that was most effective for the audiences. Memory was employed to help the audiences retain the messages in their minds. This study further revealed that Bishop Dumeni successfully used the three modes of persuasion, i.e., ethos, pathos and logos, to persuade the audiences to support the liberation of Namibia. The study also revealed that Bishop Dumeni used a combination of epideictic (ceremonial) rhetoric, to either praise his supporters or blame the colonial authorities; deliberative rhetoric, to exhort or persuade the audiences to promote good and avoid the harmful; and, to a lesser extent, forensic rhetoric, with specific reference to the verdict of the International Court of Justice on the Namibian question. The researcher also found that Bishop Dumeni mostly used the formal equivalence type of translation with some elements of dynamic equivalence type of translation, and free translation, which affected the intelligibility of the speeches. Based on the findings of the study, the researcher made recommendations directed at training institutions in Namibia for further research to improve the standard of speech writing and delivery. This study is a great contribution to the study of rhetoric in Namibia, which is in its infancy stage.
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    Exploring the literary representations of urban survival and coping strategies in selected contemporary Zimbabwean fiction in English from 1999 to 2009
    (2013) Mlambo, Nelson
    This study is an exploration of the literary representation of survival and coping strategies during times of socio-political and economic crisis as presented in selected contemporary Zimbabwean fiction in English. The main purpose of the study was to investigate how fiction, particularly the short story, manages to capture the various innovative and resilient ways used by the people inhabiting the city during tempestuous and trying times, and how they manage to live with hope and positivity. The study was primarily a qualitative, desktop research where from a total of nine short story anthologies, nineteen short stories and one novel were purposefully selected and analysed. This analysis was mainly informed by three theoretical frameworks - the resilience theory, trauma theory and the chronotope theory. Resilience theory is a literary interpretation of texts that puts emphasis on people’s strengths which enable them to survive and cope with challenges they meet in life. The chronotope is a theory which elucidates the fictional connectedness of temporal and spatial relationships that are artistically expressed in literature. Resilience theory assisted in investigating the capacity for successful adaptation and socio-cultural innovation as presented through the characters in the selected fictional works. Trauma theory in literary studies refers to the literary presentation of a person’s emotional response to an overwhelming event that disrupts previous ideas of an individual’s sense of self and the standards by which one evaluates society. The chronotope theory helped in contextualising the study and amplifying the period of extreme socio-political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe’s history (1999 to 2009) as a special case for scrutiny. The study contributes to the creation and dissemination of knowledge on literary theory, particularly in its espousal of theoretical frameworks which cohere with practical issues faced by Zimbabwean people. The study also contributes to the body of knowledge which seeks to recognise the creative potential of disadvantaged people, as it recognises the innovativeness and agency of the ordinary people as represented through fiction about the Zimbabwe crisis. The findings in this study revealed that human agency is ubiquitous and that Zimbabwean ordinary people are able to innovatively face their challenges with varied measures of success. The characters in the Zimbabwean short stories explored in this study courageously and resiliently reconstruct the city space to make it a liveable place of their own. The utilisation of city spaces for urban informalities helps the characters to negotiate space and thereby survive. It has further been revealed that in order to survive and adapt to new situations, the characters in the Zimbabwean literary fiction reflect what was really happening during the crisis, had to resiliently change their cultural identities and transform into protean beings. Furthermore, the study revealed that one way of negotiating crisis times is through migration. Through an analysis of metaphors of migration in Zimbabwean fiction, the study highlighted the role of diaspora and remittances as a critical coping strategy to survive catastrophic economic collapses. Moreover, the fictionalization of resource politics, which is how writers present the people’s claim on the natural resources, also revealed the democratic ways of surviving hegemonies and also building a peaceful ethos for a better future. Based on the findings of the study, it can be concluded that human agency abounds in many forms and survival is still an option, in spite of the challenges faced by the ordinary people as presented by the characters in Zimbabwean fiction. It can also be concluded that the women characters as presented through the fiction are better able to cope with dystopian and crisis times than their male counterparts. Coping strategies demonstrate that the ordinary people are innovative, resilient and capable of exploiting opportunities at their disposal and manage change.