The Royal In-Law is a story that stirs up the womanist consciousness. It is an
emotion-laden tale, which tells of suffering, disempowerment, oppression and eventual rebellion. Two African proverbs illustrate
this tale – first, ‘When you chase a goat, it runs away from you, but when it encounters a barricade, it turns
around and fights you’. Second, ‘S/he who torments another (only) teaches her/him to become strong’. This
is what happens to Thabile, the heroine of this story. She lives her life with abusive parents. However, instead of curling
up to die in defeat, she lifts her head out of the bitter ashes of oppression and determines to ‘choose education as
her first husband’. According to the United Nations, “Empowering women through education is one of the most crucial
concerns of the Millennium Development Goal”. Through thick and thin, will Thabile be able to see herself through school
– up to university level? Will her determination be able to free her from shackles untold and buy for her a life worth
Joe A. Boateng is a Professional Mathematics Teacher.
He is presently the Director and Principal of Purity High School, Lubombo Region, Swaziland.