This paper will talk about the film Faat Kine which was directed by Ousmane Sembene and it will talk about how the movie has depicted the concept of female masculinity that is prevalent in Africa. Adding to that, the discussion will be connected to certain articles like “And She Became a Man”, “Men and Masculinities in Modern African History” and “African Masculinities” to get a better understanding of the whole concept of female masculinity in Africa.
To begin with, it could be seen that multiple diverse factors make up manhood and masculinity in African culture. Now, it is a fact that the two terms that are being mentioned are could be used together, however, it needs to be highlighted that the two do not hold the same definition. Manhood refers simply to being an adult male. On one hand, it could be seen that Masculinity denote both men and women in the African culture, whereas on the other hand it could be seen that manhood simply denotes being an adult male. Therefore, it could be realized that both the terms have different meanings and relevance. This difference gets significantly portrayed in the film, Faat Kine which has been directed by Ousmane Sembene. The protagonist of the film could be identified as the epitome of female masculinity. Faat Kine as a movie has been able to highlight the different factors related to masculinity in the African culture which are the factors such as having multiple wives and parental arrangements. The protagonist of the film, who has been shown as the flag bearer of female masculinity (Kine, 2000), could be seen that she faces several challenges and setbacks that are generally faced by African women.
Apart from that it also enables readers with the fact that Sembene’s view of the twenty-first-century African political aesthetic must take into consideration the upliftment of the African woman so that the society could be reshaped. Sembene’s foregrounding of feminist issues expresses ominously concerning the presence (and also at the same time the absence) of the African male in his critiques (Oscherwitz, 2014). Therefore, it could be said that if the protagonist has been able to highlight the standpoint that the aspects that the women can achieve and the setbacks that they have endured, it has also helped us to understand through the representations of the father in the movie is the factors that the men have significantly failed to achieve and also at the same time the aspects that they have significantly failed to prevent in the current society.
The theme of the movie could be easily connected to the article which goes by the name of “And She became a Man”. This particular article also talks about female masculinity in Africa. To be significantly precise, this article talks about the Female King of Colonial Nigeria. It is the story of a woman, Ahebi Ugbabe. This particular who is being termed as King and not Queen based on the aspects related to female masculinity, it could be seen that she rose from the status of a local girl and also at the same time she was a commercial sex worker to that of a village headman, a warrant chief and a king (Achebe, 2009). The concept of bride price also gets highlighted in the article which is significantly prevalent in Africa.
Similarly, the article “Men and Masculinities in Modern Africa” talks about explication of the early colonialism and how it has affected Eastern Nigeria. The article speaks volumes about masculinity and also at the same time talks about Okonkwo, who was the tragic hero and it could be seen that he killed himself based on the exclusion of the senior men like him from the power position (Meischer & Lindsay 2003). This necessary shift could be seen as an advantage in one aspect, however, it could also be seen how it relates to the theme of the movie.
Therefore, the connection that could be identified about the film and the article is that the roles and the duties that are generally accomplished by the men in the society based on their masculine, quite to the contrary, the movie and the film help us to understand that the roles and the duties are played by the female in Africa and while accomplishing they have to go through significant higher difficulties as compared to that of the men. On a concluding note, it could be stated that the picture that the film and the articles have been able to paint is vivid and it will help the readers to get a better understanding of the same in relevance to future research.
Achebe, N. (2003). ‘And She Became a Man’: King Ahebi Ugbabe in the History of Enugu-Ezike, Northern Igboland, 1880-1948. Men and masculinities in modern Africa, 52-68.
Kine, F. (2000). Directed by Ousmane Sembène. Senegal: Films Doomireew.
Meischer, S., & Lindsay, L. A. (2003). Men and masculinities in modern Africa.
Oscherwitz, D. (2014). The Postcolonial Allegory of La Noire de… and Faat Kiné. Ousmane Sembene and the Politics of Culture, 51.
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