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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A good one could tell the same story over and over again, and it would always be fresh to us, the listeners.


The results could be disastrous. The play was performed in his native tongue Gikuyu in an open-air theatre in Limuru, with actors who were peasants and workers in the village. This is what this book on the politics of language in African literature has really been about: We’re featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book.

Mutiiri, launched by my father in as a print journal, and now found online. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. He had come to accept the Makerere conference as genuinely African, but he recounts how years later he was struck by his and others’ blithe omission of many famous African language writers.

Hare, being small, nggui but full of innovative wit and cunning, was our hero. The language of my education was no longer the language of my culture.

The alienation became reinforced in the teaching of history, geography, music, where bourgeois Europe was always the centre of the universe. We spoke Gi kuyH nguvi we worked in the fields. The Modern Language Association of America.


This came with practical challenges. Decolonizing the Mind also demonstrated the way western cultural and linguistic superiority were emphasized while African cultures and languages were debased. I who had only passes but a credit in English got a place at the Alliance High School, one of the most elitist institutions for Africans in colonial Kenya.

In paragraph 1 5, Ngugi argues that a language has a communication function for all people who speak that language, but that it also serves as a carrier of culture for all those thee whom that language is the mother-tongue. What, then, did Decolonizing the Mindbring to the table? In my wife, daughter and I visited my former primary school.

Mukoma Wa Ngugi: What Decolonizing the Mind Means Today | Literary Hub

He gives imperialism many definitions in his writings which typically implicate capitalism, as well, including: Toward the end of his essay, Ngugi makes reference to the European- based writers of literature he was forced to study as a child, and how these stories did not match his own experiences. South African writers and intellectuals writing in African languages were getting translated into English as early as the late s and early s.

The requirements for a place at the University, Makerere University College, midn broadly the same: The Making of a Rebel.

But our capacity to confront the world creatively is dependent on how those images correspond or not to that reality, how they distort or clarify the reality of our struggles. And since those images are mostly passed on through orature and literature it meant the child would now only see the world as seen in the literature of his language of adoption. Our appreciation of the suggestive magical power of nind was reinforced by the games we played with words through riddles, proverbs, transpositions of syllables, or through nonsensical but musically arranged words.


But practicing the politics of language came with a personal price. Dispatched from the UK in 3 mjnd days When will my order arrive?

Decolonising the Mind : The Politics of Language in African Literature

Why would Ngugi choose to write this, and to place it in such a prominent location in his essay? For one it tied language and culture to the material work of both colonization and decolonization.

As you may know, the colonial system of education in addition to its apartheid racial demarcation had the structure of a pyramid: Translation amongst African languages, as opposed to English into African languages, has yet to be practiced and theorized into critical and popular acceptance. I was six, and today I can never be sure whether I really witnessed his arrest, or if the subsequent conversations amongst my family members and his recollection of the arrest decoloniding Detained made an imagined memory feel real.


The call for rediscovery and the resumption of our language is a call for a regenerative reconnection with the millions of revolutionary tongues in Africa and the world over demanding liberation. And it was they who helped in fleshing out the play, who acted in ngigi and comprised the majority of the audience.

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