Bleeding from One Generation to the Next: The Media and the Constructions of Gukurahundi Postmemories by University Students in Zimbabwe

Mphathisi Ndlovu*, Lungile Augustine Tshuma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In 1983, the Zimbabwean government unleashed terror upon civilians in Matabeleland and Midlands provinces that led to the death of at least 20 000 Ndebele-speaking people. The memories of the Gukurahundi genocide remain heavily guarded by the government that perpetrated these atrocities. Although there is literature on the role of the media in preserving memories of this genocide, little scholarly attention has been paid to how the descendants of the survivors of genocide are inheriting memories of this violent past event. Drawing upon Marianne Hirsch’s concept of postmemory, this research examines how Gukurahundi memories are being inherited by the generation in Matabeleland and Midlands born after these horrific events. Through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions held with selected National University of Science and Technology students in Bulawayo (Matabeleland), this research explores how the post-generation uses the media to adopt and inherit memories that preceded their births. Although social media such as Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook serve as mechanisms of postmemory, the young generation are primarily relying on their family members as credible and authoritative sources of knowledge on the genocide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-396
Number of pages21
JournalAfrican Studies
Volume80
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • genocide
  • Gukurahundi
  • Matabeleland
  • Ndebele
  • post-generation
  • postmemories
  • social media

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