Certificates of Doom is a novel that strives to elaborate Marvin Harris' theory of cultural materialism by showing how the economy influences culture. Kepha, a young, educated African man marries Selina and suffers a strained relationship with her because he has no well-paying job. Kepha even fears to have a child with Selina because of their miserable life circumstances. He foresees the child as a burden he is not ready to carry in his dejected life. Kepha must fight norms that associate marriage with conception and childbirth. Later, he clashes with pseudo-feminists who put much effort into criticizing men while ignoring the fact women also need to change their perceptions of gender, especially in such hard-economic times. Kepha is not alone. Every youth around him is experiencing the same challenges. Young men are not marrying, while young women, out of despair, are increasingly turning to older men, something that never used to happen. Kepha symbolizes youth disillusionment across the African continent where countries fail to create employment and improve the living conditions of their populations. In the end, Kepha’s brother contemplates suicide, something that must have also rung in his mind on several occasions.
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