Polygamy in Africa has being in existence before the advent of religion, western education and colonization. Once upon a time, polygamy had numerous advantages, so much so that the benefits superseded the disadvantages. But this is not the case today. Over the years, scholars from different fields of knowledge have contributed to the discourse of polygamy, while trying to investigate its necessity in the lives of the each individual in the family. While most were against it, few were in support of it. Bâ explores the problems of polygamy, patriarchy and female oppression in the context of African and Western cultures. She critiques polygamy by exploring its cons in the lives of women. This essay looks at the contribution imaginative literature has to offer to this discourse. Hence, this essay examines the portrayal of polygamy as it relates to female subjectivity in Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter; especially how religion and society contributes to the oppression of women and children in a polygamous relationship.
Citation: Kehinde, Kemi Rebecca (2022) Female Subjectivity: A Re-reading of Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter, European Journal of English Language and Literature Studies, Vol.10, No.5, pp. 50-55
The African Family and the Multifaceted Human Toll Exacted By the Time-Honoured Practice of Polygamy cum Unbridled Male Promiscuity: An Examination of the Official Wife by Mary Karooro Okurut (Published)
Using the Official Wife as a stepping-stone, we set out in this research paper to tackle the issues of polygamy and male promiscuity with a view to highlighting their attendant human ravages on the African family. The article argues that, unlike what conventional wisdom believes, polygamy comes in many forms, all of them having the potential for wreaking flat out untold havoc on the structure of a family. Women in polygamous unions or bonded to philandering husbands are prone to be on the receiving end of attachment injury which, oftentimes, culminates in excruciating mental disorders. Yet they are no slough when it comes to devising coping strategies against all the odds. The paper further suggests that children are not immune to the physical cum psychological downsides of the trauma injury experienced by either parent. In the event of a divorce or estrangement, there is a realization that the fact of the uncoupled partners maintaining some level of ‘civil’ physical contact might go some way towards allaying hostility between them, for the benefit of their children.