Exploring the masculinity of women in African culture through the film Faat Kine


Factors that create masculinity, masculinity in African culture

This article will talk about the film Faat Kine by director Ousmane Sembene and it will talk about how the film portrays the concept of masculinity among women prevalent in Africa. In addition, the discussion will be linked to several articles such as “And She Became a Man”, “Masculine and Masculine in Modern African History” and “African Masculinity” to understand more clearly about the whole concept of masculinity of women in Africa.

To begin with, it can be seen that many diverse elements make up masculinity and masculinity in African culture. Now, it is a fact that the two terms mentioned can be used together, however, it should be emphasized that these two terms do not have the same definition. Manhood simply refers to being a grown man. On the one hand, we can see that masculinity refers to both men and women in African culture, on the other hand, we can see that masculinity is simply an adult male. Thus, one can realize that the two terms have different meanings and degrees of relatedness. This difference is evident in the film Faat Kine directed by Ousmane Sembene. The main character of the film can be seen as the embodiment of the masculinity of women. Faat Kine as a film was able to highlight various elements related to masculinity in African culture, such as having multiple wives and parenting arrangements. The film’s protagonist, who is seen as a standard-bearer of female masculinity (Kine, 2000), can see that she faces some of the challenges and setbacks that African women often face.

In addition, it also allows the reader to understand that Sembene’s vision of a 21st-century African political aesthetic must take into account the promotion of African women so that society can be reshaped. Sembene’s opening on feminist issues disturbingly shows the presence (and at the same time absence) of African males in his critiques (Oscherwitz, 2014). So, it can be said that if the main character highlights the perspectives on what women can achieve and the failures they suffer, he also helps us to understand through the image of a woman. The father in the film are elements that men have significantly failed to achieve, as well as aspects that they have significantly failed to prevent in today’s society.

Representing the masculinity of women in the movie Faat Kine

The theme of the film can easily be connected with the article titled “And she became a man”. This particular article is also about the masculinity of women in Africa. Very specifically, this article is about the female king of the Nigerian colony. This is the story of a woman, Ahebi Ugbabe. This person who was called a king rather than a queen based on the masculine aspect of women, it can be seen that she has gone from a local girl who is also a prostitute to a prostitute. village chief, deputy chief and a king (Achebe, 2009). The concept of bride price is also highlighted in the article which is very popular in Africa. Similarly, the article “Men and Masculinity in Modern Africa” ​​talks about explaining the beginnings of colonialism and how it affected Eastern Nigeria. The article talks a lot about masculinity and at the same time talks about Okonkwo, the tragic hero and we can see that he committed suicide based on removing old men like him from positions of power (Meischer & Lindsay 2003). This necessary change can be seen as an advantage in one respect, but it can also be seen how it relates to the theme of the film.

Therefore, the connection that can be identified between the film and the article is the role and task usually performed by men in society according to their masculinity, on the contrary, the film and the film help us to understand the roles and duties that are performed by women in Africa and, in performing, they experience significantly higher difficulties than men. To conclude, it can be said that the picture that the film and the articles paint is very vivid and it will help the reader better understand the same for future research.


Achebe, N. (2003). ‘And She Became a Man’: King Ahebi Ugbabe in the History of Enugu-Ezike, Northern Igboland, 1880-1948. Men and masculinities in modern Africa, 52-68.

Kine, F. (2000). Directed by Ousmane Sembène. Senegal: Films Doomireew.

Meischer, S., & Lindsay, L. A. (2003). Men and masculinities in modern Africa.

Oscherwitz, D. (2014). The Postcolonial Allegory of La Noire de… and Faat Kiné. Ousmane Sembene and the Politics of Culture, 51.

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