The Problems of Kenyan female Youth in the Novels of Moraa Gitaa
Research paper by Alina Rinkanya published
Moraa Gitaa is one of the most prolific and well - known Kenyan women authors of the new generation. Born and raised in Mombasa, she has worked for more than 15 years with various organizations, among them the British Council, Aga Khan Foundation and PEN Kenya Centre.
Gitaa won First Prize in the National Book Development Council of Kenya Adult Fiction literary award in 2008, was nominated for the 2010 Penguin Prize for African Writing, and was one of the Kenya Chapter winners of the 2014 Burt Award for African Literature.
In her fictional works, which include four novels, a number of stories and a secondary school reader, she manages to treat a wide range of issues topical for modern Kenyan society, and especially for the younger generation, focusing on the challenges that haunt young females.
Among the problems treated in her works are drug addiction, human trafficking, sexual abuse, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, gender discrimination, inter-generational and ethnic tensions, economic marginalization, HIV and AIDS, corruption and transnational crime. All these concerns are tackled by the author in the setting of her native Coastal province, –but the setting is also symbolically used as a microcosm for the whole country.
The paper analyses the four novels of Gitaa -Crucible for Silver and Furnace for Gold (2008), Shifting Sands (2012), Hila (2014) and Shark Attack (2017).
The paper concludes that Gitaa’s works are notable not only as an example of social criticism in literature, but also as inspirational texts for young readers.