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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Fathers without Amandla? Gender and Fatherhood among isiZulu Speakers
Author:Hunter, Mark
Periodical:Journal of Natal and Zulu History
Geographic term:South Africa
gender roles
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Abstract:The phrase from which the title of this article derives is isiZulu 'anginawo amandla' (I don't have power). In present-day Natal it is being used increasingly to mean that a man does not have the social or material power to pay 'ilobolo' (bridewealth) or 'inhlawulo' (fine/damages for impregnating a woman). The author sets out to investigate the gap between physical paternity and social paternity and the role of Zulu fathers. He points out that men's power in certain spheres, such as the abandonment of women they have impregnated, is linked to men's disempowerment in other spheres, notably economic. Men are enormously frustrated at being able to father children physically but unable to accept the social role being a father entails because of inability to pay 'inhlawulo', 'ilobolo' and acting as provider. This leads to 'ambiguous fatherhood', a situation in which manliness is partly boosted by being able to father children and yet men are deprived of the role associated with fatherhood. The time has also come to re-investigate the stereotype of African men as holding unmitigated power and being irresponsible and promiscuous. Everything should be seen within the socioeconomic setting. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]