Lauretta Ngcobo


It is of great significance that there is such a presence of African women writers at this conference. Women have always played vital roles in our oral literature, but the written form has tended to ignore the women. Until recently, it was a male preserve and women featured in this literature as cardboard characters that answered to the images that male writers have of their mothers on the one hand, and their wives on the other. It is true that Africa holds two contradictory views of woman — the idealised, if not the idolised mother, and the female reality of woman as wife.



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