Like a doll made of old cloth : a critical analysis of the influence of the radio programme Khalamdumbadumbane on Swazi discourses of femininity

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This project concerns the way the radio programme "Khalamdumbadumbane" functions as non-formal education and influences discourses of femininity in Swaziland. I have engaged in critical research in an attempt to show how the media (more specifically radio in this context) influence women's perceptions of themselves in a way which sustains the inequality between sexes. I also show how the programme "Khalamdumbadumbane" as a popular and topical programme has become a social institution, exerting its hidden power to ensure· the dominance of males within the Swazi society. Women's experiences have been recorded in transcribed interviews and these have been discussed and analysed for common themes. The following themes are discussed: Power relations, Cultural identity and the Discourse of rights. The first two themes have been further divided into subthemes: Imbalance I inequality between the sexes, patriarchal family system, disregard for women, abusive relationships, Swazi values versus Western values and the religious discourse. From interviews with the host of the radio programme in question and with Swazi women, I show how this programme has influenced women's self perceptions through their acceptance of the problem solving as 'help' and not as ideological propaganda for patriarchy. Bibliography: pages 99-108.