Language in African Literature: An Aside to Ngugi

Mbele, Joseph
March 1992
Research in African Literatures;Spring1992, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p145
Academic Journal
Literary Criticism
The article discusses various aspects of African literature, through an emphasis on the literary works of African novelist Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o. Ngũgĩ's decision to abandon English as a medium for expression for his creative work, and to use only Gīkũyũ is intriguing, because it seems to be based on a non-dialectical view of English and, for that matter, of other European languages as well. For him, these languages are simply the languages of the former colonial masters. Any African writer who uses them today, thus, becomes a victim of neo-colonialism.


Related Articles

  • Recovering the Original.  // World Literature Today;Sep-Dec2004, Vol. 78 Issue 3/4, p13 

    Focuses on a rule that prohibits students and staffs from speaking Gikuyu and other African languages in Kenyan schools during the 1950s. Punishment imposed on students who were caught speaking African language; Reasons behind the ban; Overview of the experiences of African writer Ngugi wa...

  • QUESTIONS FROM OUR READERS (THAT WE ANSWER).  // Literary Cavalcade;Feb2004, Vol. 56 Issue 5, p4 

    This article presents information on African literature. African writers have written in many diverse forms, styles and languages. One of the reader appreciates the book "Things Fall Apart," by Chinua Achebe. Writer Wole Soyinka, a Nigerian won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1986. The other...

  • SOCIAL EXILES AND LANGUAGE REFUGEES: THE CASE OF POSTCOLONIAL AUTHORS. Guerrero-Strachan, Santiago Rodriguez // Journal of Caribbean Literatures;2005, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p75 

    The article scrutinizes the role of exile and language in contemporary postcolonial authors of African descent. Cultural identity is incorporated into language. One of the possibilities of literary exile is being represented by author Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Author Derek Walcott claimed that cultural...

  • Bury my bones but keep my words: The interface between oral tradition and contemporary African writing. Cloete, M. J.; Madadzhe, R.N. // Literator;Aug2004, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p27 

    The contention in this article is that African oral tradition should be reexamined in view of its perceived new importance in the work of African novelists. This article investigates the nature and definition of oral tradition, as well as the use of oral tradition as a cultural tool. The...

  • L’Effet roman dans les langues de l’Afrique quelques réflexions comparatistes. Alain Ricard // Neohelicon;Dec2008, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p115 

    In 2006 Xavier Garnier and the present author published a collection of essays derived from a three years long monthly seminar held at the CNRS in Paris on the coming of the novel in the languages of Africa (L’effet roman, Paris 2006). They considered the situation in 27 different...

  • Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. Kamoche, Jidlaph G. // World Literature Today;Spring87, Vol. 61 Issue 2, p339 

    Reviews the book "Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature," by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o.

  • 'National Consciousness' in Ngugi Wa Thiango's "A Grain of Wheat". Kolhe, Pankaj Ganpat; Tagad, Bhushan Vitthal // Indian Streams Research Journal;Apr2012, Vol. 2 Issue 3, p224 

    The basic objective of this paper is to focus on the rise of nationalist writing is one way of furthering this revolution in African writers like Chinua Achebe, Ayi-Kwei- Armah, Frantz Fanon, Sylvia Plath, etc. Post- colonial literature is a branch of postmodern literature concerned with the...

  • Ngugi's Conversion: Writing and the Politics of Language. Gikandi, Simon // Research in African Literatures;Spring1992, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p131 

    The article focuses on a speech by African novelist Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o after his release from political detention, concerning national identity and language. Although Ngũgĩ's address did not answer much questions, it did present the broad outlines of a program, that he later...

  • NGŨGĨ WA THIONG' O.  // World Literature Today;Sep-Dec2004, Vol. 78 Issue 3/4, p12 

    Provides information on African author Ngugi wa Thiong'o. Career background; Overview of the literary awards he received, including the Nonino International Prize and the Paul Robeson Award for Artistic Excellence; Overview of his selected works, including the books "The River Between" and...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics