Hove Presents A Foil To Janifa's Motherhood?

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Hove presents a foil to Marita’s motherhood in the form of Janifa’s biological mother. Unlike Marita who put the needs of Janifa and her son above her own desires, Janifa’s mother was controlling and saw Janifa as a means toward a better life. This began with her disapproval of Janifa’s relationship with Marita. “My mother says women without children are bad worms, without wings to fly...My child, do not talk to much with Marita. She has holes in her stomach. She is barren land that cannot make seed become restless. The seed her belly dries up and weeps to its death” (Hove 89). In Janifa’s mother’s eyes, barrenness was the ultimate curse of a woman. She did not want Janifa to have anything to do with Marita because she did not want Marita’s…show more content…
She partnered with Menyapo’s cook Chisaga who unsuccessfully tried to seduce Marita but turned his gaze on Janifa after Marita’s death. According to Elizabeth Schmidt’s article “Patriarchy, Capitalism and the Colonial State in Zimbabwe” this was not an uncommon occurrence. The daughters of rural farm workers were a means of acquiring wealth for their family. They were often pulled out to school at a young age to marry much older men so their family could collect a bride price and increase their wealth (749). Chisaga was such a man for Janifa. He was relatively wealthy and could effort to give Janifa’s mother an elaborate bride price. He approached Janifa and tried to persuade her that since Janifa inherited the physical manifestations of her womanhood, her kitchen, that Janifa also inherited Marita’s role in fulfilling his sexual desires. However, Janifa did not love Chisaga and turned down his advances (Hove 84-86). This leads to Chisaga forming a more violent plan to satisfy his lust for…show more content…
She even goes far enough to say that Janifa actually enjoyed it, and that she invented the rape because she was confused. The police believe Janifa’s mother, and do not investigate the rape further. Later in the text, Janifa’s mother’s motives become clear. Janifa’s mother knew Chisaga had wealth and could provide a significant bride price for Janifa. She was more concerned about the wealth Janifa could bring rather than her daughter’s safety and happiness. “Mother says I must get married so the cattle can come to her house while she still has good teeth to eat them” (Hove 98). She could care less about Janifa emotional heath or development into adulthood. Janifa was her way out of poverty, but only if she married Chisaga. The ends justified the means even if those means involved orchestrating her daughter’s
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