Professor Rodwell Makombe

UK Host Institution: University of Oxford
Project status

On the Postcoloniality of the Everyday in Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe: Social Media, Satire, and Humour

This project, part of an envisaged monograph on the intersection of satire, humour, politics and everyday life in Zimbabwe, explores how selected comic skits by Zimbabwean comedian, Sabhuku Vharazipi (aka David Mubaiwa) use satire and humour as aesthetic tools to contest official narratives, reflect on everyday life and imagine alternative futures in the context of an ongoing economic crisis. I draw on Boehmer’s (2005) theorisation of nations/empires as “textual exercises”, Bhabha’s (1994) “third space” and Mbembe’s (2001) notion of the Postcolony and necropolitics to explore how comic texts (re)write the nation and contest hegemonic narratives. Our collaboration will focus on exploring how postcolonial theoretical concepts and reading frameworks often applied to read literary texts can apply to the reading of subversive and satirical comedies circulated on social media platforms. These theories and reading approaches are important because they explain how narrative is instrumental in the discursive constitution of nations.

Outputs and media

'On the Zimbabwean post-colony post-Mugabe: the politics and poetics of social media comedy'

Presentation at the University of Oxford Postcolonial and World Literatures Seminar - February 2024

'Interview with Professor Rodwell Makombe, Visiting British Academy Fellow'

Published by the University of Oxford, Faculty of English - February 2024

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