How Nduumo - a Gikuyu women's poetic form functions as a vehicle of protest against traditional and modern sexist oppression in Kenya
Muhoro, Mwangi P.
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The women s Liberation movement, civil society activists, women rights affirmative action, women caucus, NGOs, CBOs and gender sensitive organizations have been on the fore front in advancing the case for equity and equality not only in the third world countries but in the developed world. The social struggles for equality has been and remains a contentious issue which more often than not revolves around ender disparities in the access to state resources. The womenfolk are entitled for basic protection of human rights and the right to exploit their own wealth. Thispaper addresses gender issue through thepoetry created by Nduumo women artistes as aform ofpursuing power emancipation reality in the third world matrix. What is Nduumo poetry? Who performs it? Where and how? In brief, Nduumo is a cultural dance for girls, young and elderly women in the Gikuyu community of Kenya. It is a folk dance performed in Nyakinyua (elderly women) groups as they participate in the development of the nation. Nduumo poetry is central in Kenya s social and political structure. It is the poetry of harambee functions, political rallies, women social meeting and also as an electioneering tool to key politicians in Kenya. Nevertheless, protests against male chauvinism and sexiest oppression are central in Nduumo poetry. In the paradigm of poetry and society, it is a verbal weapon for voicing social, cultural, political and economic affairs in the unprecedented disparities in a patriarchal and male dominant world.