The Struggle for Girl-Child Continues: Reimagining Educational Gender-Equality in South Africa through Lesiba Maphoso’s O iphihletšeng?

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James Seanego


It is widely acknowledged that literary texts serve as the eyes of the society. Texts always reflect on real-life events. Maphoso accomplishes this through his Sepedi radio drama text, O iphihletšeng?  In it, he reflects on the difficulties that a Black (African) girl-child faces in modern times. Rebone, the main character who has just exceptionally passed her matric is being denied educational rights by her father, Mahunela. Her educational denial is due to the fact that she is a girl child. Maphoso therefore fights against the struggle for girl-child education through the barrel of his pen. By textually analysing his play, this paper endeavoured to discuss how a girl-child in African society still struggles to enjoy her educational rights. The study used a qualitative research approach to understand the educational struggle that a girl-child faces in the (South) African context, which was underpinned by a Feminist theoretical perspective. The text was purposively selected due to its relevancy to the topic under discussion. Data which were collected through a document review method were thematically analysed. The findings of this study reveal that Black girl-children are still struggling to achieve their educational rights (dreams) due to societal patriarchalism. It is also heart breaking to discover that a girl-child is still denied her educational rights due to an ancient worldview held by parents who believe that a girl is not for school, but rather for marriage. This paper adds to the ongoing global call for equal quality education for both genders

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