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Being a ‘good’ Zulu woman? an investigation of female UKZN students’ self-perception of ‘Zuluness’.

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In this study, the researcher was interested in understanding and exploring what female Zulu UKZN students on the Howard College and Pietermaritzburg campuses felt made a ‘good’ Zulu woman. The objectives of the study were to explore academic literature, which outlines the role of women in Zulu culture with the intention of finding out how female UKZN Zulu students reacted to these ideals. Researchers all seem to agree that in order for a Zulu woman to be considered ‘good’ she has to have certain characteristics and attributes that derive from Zulu culture. These include being kind, humble and nurturing. The findings of this dissertation reinforced some of these characteristics as participants felt that a Zulu woman needs to perform domestic chores, maintain the household and bear children for her husband. However, there were also a number of findings, which highlighted confusion from participants as to what was expected of them as Zulu women, often attempting to justify normative gender identities in combination of independence and individuality outside of the traditional Zulu home.


Master of Art in Media and Cultural Studies. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg 2017.


Theses - Media, Visual Arts and Drama.