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Decolonising the Mind is a collection of essays about language and its constructive role in national culture, history, and identity. The book. Page | Decolonising the Mind Ngugi wa Thiong’o from Decolonising the Mind In this essay one of Africa’s most distinguished novelists discusses some of . Ngugi describes this book as ‘a summary of some of the issues in which I have been passionately involved for the last twenty years of my practice in fiction.

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The work of decolonization is as personal as decolonisimg is political. He determines that in the Makerere conference, after “all the years of selective education and rigorous tutelage,” he and his contemporaries had been led to accept decolonlsing “fatalistic logic of the unassailable position of English in our literature” Or conversely, those who understand translation as most desirable when coming from European languages into anemic African languages desperately in need of European linguistic and aesthetic transfusion.

Win a Lit Hub tote bag! Many post-colonial scholars and writers nguggi the colonial practice of imposing the colonizer’s own native languages onto the peoples they colonized, even forbidding the use of the colonized people’s native tongue.

Values are the basis of a people’s identity, their sense of particularity as members of the human race. It also examined the close relationship between language and culture.

For a colonial child, the harmony existing between the three aspects of language as communication was irrevocably broken. For my generation, how well you spoke English was not just a marker of intelligence but also class.

Decolonising the Mind : Ngugi Wa Thiong’o :

We’re featuring millions of their reader ratings miind our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. They want African languages to speak to each other, and dscolonising non-African languages, through translation. He was made to fail the entire exam.


How to Become an Immigrant and an Exile. Or Why Humans Walk Upright the most translated African language story is to claim a piece of literary history yet to be written. This leading African writer presents the arguments for using African language and forms after successfully using an African language himself. This disassociation, divorce, or alienation from the immediate environ- ment becomes clearer when you look at colonial language as a carrier of culture.

Thus one of the most humiliating experiences was to be caught speaking GikuyU in the vicinity of the school. The point is, for a population that will soon reach 1 billion people, spread over 55 countries, even journals and literary prizes thee still be pitifully inadequate. Language is a central question in post-colonial studies. Whoever had the button at the end of the day would sing who had given it to him and the ensuing process would bring out all the culprits of the day. In secondary school, Scott and G.

At Makerere I read English: Once in the s, we held a Christmas party that got raided by the police. So we learnt the music of our language on top of the content.

Decolonising the Mind : The Politics of Language in African Literature

The attitude to English was decolonnising exact opposite: Decolonizing the Mind also demonstrated the way western cultural and linguistic superiority were emphasized while African cultures and languages were debased.

They had so much in common that it was a wonder they had not met before. This was the village from which the nearby Bata shoe Company and tea plantations drew their labor. When they visit their grandparents in the rural areas, they need someone to serve as translator. They examine this practice as part of the systematic oppression of imperialism in neocolonial societies, and they investigate its ramifications on the psychological, physical, and cultural well-being of colonized peoples.



His interaction with nature and with other men is expressed in written and spoken symbols or signs which are both a result of that double interaction and a reflection of it.

The ngugo of his world and his place in it implanted in decokonising child take years to eradicate, if they ever can be. The results could be disastrous. Writing ngigi representation of sounds with visual symbols, from the simplest knot among shepherds to tell the number in a herd or the hieroglyphics among the Agikuyu gicaandi singers and poets of Kenya, to the most complicated and different letter and picture writing systems of the world today. What might the translation have done to the work?

Many of our parents, having grown up under colonial rule, did not ngkgi any value in speaking in their mother tongues. We therefore learnt to value words for their meaning and nuances. Learning, for a colonial child, became a cerebral activity and not an emotionally felt experience. For colonialism this involved two aspects of the same process: And prizes for Kiswahili literature are not more than five.

When a local language lends terms, in what context do they occur?