Georgetown Personal Essay | Georgetown University Undergraduate Application Essay

When I ventured out onto the rural homestead occupied by Tambudzai and her family in colonial Rhodesia, I never returned. My mother’s worn copy of Nervous Conditions, the book that tells of their adventures, was surreptitiously slipped back into her shelf, but my thoughts dwelt in the stark, psychological landscape that was 1960s Zimbabwe. My vague concerns regarding my gender and ethnicity coalesced to form an understanding that was tantalizingly sharp. I was thrilled when the protagonist, Tambudzai, joined my Year Eight English Class. I attempted to share my ideas regarding patriarchy and other prevalent African attitudes during class discussions. However, my teacher disapproved of the earnest direction I took.

I was hardly discouraged; not because I identified with Nyasha, the Anglicized yet conflicted cousin that dissected traditions with her sharp wit. I had discovered a world where my amorphous feelings were clarified. I began to speak proudly in my stigmatized dialect, pidgin, after reading Chinua Achebe’s Man of the People. Thus, reading African literature was not a mere pastime for me; it was a source of affirmation. I was delighted to discover Achebe ranked amongst the likes of Brontë and Dickens in one of my school…

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