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How Worthy Is the Woman of Worth?

Rereading Proverbs 31: 10-31 in African-South Africa


Madipoane Masenya

Colonialism and apartheid have affected the identity and self-definitions of Africans in South Africa (African-South Africa) to a great extent. Given the history of subjugation, suppression, and subordination, the definition of what Africanness means was therefore distorted. Conversely, the history of patriarchal domination in pre-colonial African-South Africa up to now, has distorted what ideal African womanhood should be. As a response to this scenario, Madipoane Masenya (ngwana’ Mphahlele) uses the Bosadi (womanhood) approach to reread the paean of Proverbs 31: 10-31 in a way that will hopefully resuscitate and restore the dignity of many African-South African wo(men) readers of this favorite biblical text.