From Cultural Labyrinths to Social Transformation: Young Women’s Struggles in Sahndra Fon Dufe’s Yefon: The Red Necklace

Eleanor Anneh Dasi


Women in Africa are negatively affected by cultural practices which impede their social participation and identity formation. Set in the form of defined gender roles, these practices, which are designed to maintain social cohesion, are far from ensuring protection and participation particularly for women. This paper explores, from this background, the intricate journey of young women as they navigate the dual realms of tradition and modernity in Sahndra FonDufe’s (2016) novel, Yefon: The Red Necklace. Central to this exploration is the protagonist’s struggle for identity formation, set against a backdrop of cultural norms and the burgeoning influence of modern ideas. The study delves into how young women confront and reconcile the often conflicting demands of traditional expectations and their aspirations influenced by modern ideals. The study is based on an interpretative analysis built on an African feminist framework to examine how young women in the novel sail through tradition to embrace more fulfilling forms of being. This was done from two critical perspectives - a survey of the practices that hold them captive and an analysis of their move towards social transformation.

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