Abdul Aziz Yusuf
Through We Need New Names, Bulawayo exposes the crisis happened in Zimbabwe which triggers the migration of many Zimbabweans to South Africa or United States. She tells the difficulties undergone by immigrants in United States through Darling’s character, the main character of the novel. As an immigrant, Darling experiences a lot of difficulties in adjusting to her new environment due some huge cultural differences between her homeland and the host country. This novel is analyzed using hybridity theory through Homy K. Bhabha’s perspective. Darling’s process to acquire hybridity is analyzed and divided into three stages in correlation with Bhabha’s three key concepts; unhomeliness, mimicry, and hybridity. In attempts to blend in, Darling has to negotiate the host culture and let go off some of her own culture. However, she still gets to maintain some of her own culture that are tolerable in the host society. This studies concludes that Darling ultimately acquires hybridity after a sequence of attempts where she practices the host society’s cultures and maintains her own culture in the same time. NoViolet Bulawayo, as the author of the novel, agrees with the concept of hybridity as a strategy to survive in the host country since these cultural differences and difficulties to adapt in the new environment are inevitable for the immigrants.
Keywords: Diaspora, Hybridity, Identity, Mimicry, Unhomeliness.