Aesthetics and performance in Zimbabwean soccer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This paper brings into critical focus the complex and diverse intersections of aesthetics, performance and soccer in the formation and expression of cultural identities in contemporary Zimbabwean life. Drawing upon my own interdisciplinary perspectives as well as Performance Studies theorists such as Richard Schechner, this paper uses theatre as an analytic lens to examine how soccer reflects Zimbabwean society's prevalent tastes, tendencies, ways of thought and cultural identities. The paper does not restrict its analysis of aesthetics and performance to the Zimbabwe national team alone, but it also uses the country's three top soccer clubs, Highlanders FC, Dynamos FC and Caps United FC as case studies to illustrate the sport's critical importance in expressing local allegiances and identities. In short, this paper develops an in-depth understanding of the intricate interplay of aesthetics, cultural performance, socio-political trends and identity formation on the basis of an interdisciplinary analysis that also incorporates sources from theoretical, academic and journalistic writings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-336
Number of pages14
JournalAfrican Identities
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Aesthetics
  • Identity formation
  • Performance
  • Soccer
  • Theatre
  • Zimbabwean soccer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


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