• Cheela F.K. Chilala University of Zambia
Keywords: Disability in Literature, Classical Greek Society, African Oral Literature, Sundiata, Modern African Literature, Stereotypes


This article evaluates the portrayal of disability and disabled characters in African literature. Disability, in this article, refers to any form of physical, mental or cognitive development condition, such as blindness, deafness, dumbness, being crippled, among others. The study as presented in this article analysed several African texts, from both the oral and the modern African traditions, with a view of determining the nature of the portrayal of the disabled. Are there stereotypes, and are these stereotypes negative or positive? According to the study, there are some positive as well as negative portrayals of the disabled, although most of them are negative. Although the study was not exhaustive, it still provides a glimpse into the portrayal of disability in different types of African literature.

Author Biography

Cheela F.K. Chilala, University of Zambia
Cheela F.K. Chilala (PhD) is a lecturer at the University of Zambia, in the Department of Literature and Languages. He teaches courses in the various fields of literature, including: onomastics, African literature, Zambian literature, English literature, American literature, research methods in literature, literary theory and criticism, intangible cultural heritage, and drama. His areas of research include: stylistics, ecocriticism, disability studies, onomastics, semiotics, cultural studies (particularly intangible cultural heritage), poetry, drama, comparative literature, Zambian literature, African literature in general, and oral literature.
How to Cite
Chilala, C. (2021). ENABLED OR DISABLED? PORTRAITS OF DISABILITY IN AFRICAN LITERATURE. ZANGO: Zambian Journal of Contemporary Issues, 33, 1-13. Retrieved from https://journals.unza.zm/index.php/ZJOCI/article/view/650