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. the single most coherent and forceful intervention to date in a debate which has been going on for a quarter of a century."-The International Journal of African. First published British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data. Ngũgĩ, wa Thiong'o. Decolonising the mind: the politics of language in African literature. 1.


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Writers may also write in English or various Englishes.

In the spring ofJalada published and facilitated the translation of a short story originally written in Gikuyu by Ngugi into over decolonising the mind languages—47 of them being African. This came with practical challenges.

Or conversely, those who understand translation decolonising the mind most desirable when coming from European languages into anemic African languages desperately in need of European linguistic and aesthetic transfusion. The Jalada collective then is challenging the idea of servicing English, and proving the feasibility of a democratization of linguistic and literary spaces.


Translation amongst African languages, as decolonising the mind to English into African languages, has yet to be practiced and theorized into critical and popular acceptance. Or Why Humans Walk Upright the decolonising the mind translated African language story is to claim a piece of literary history yet to be written.

InChike Jeffers edited an anthology of philosophical texts originally written in seven African languages and then translated into English.

But the African language awakening of the post-post-Makerere writers still has a long way decolonising the mind go before it can claim a space of co-existence with African writing in European languages.

Lizzy Attree and I were immediately confronted by the absence of structures that are simply decolonising the mind for granted when it comes to English writing, not just in Africa but worldwide.

Most if not all colleges in the US, for example, have a literary journal for undergraduate and graduate students.

Decolonising the Mind - Wikipedia

English and other literary departments have well respected literary journals not to speak of academic university presses. States decolonising the mind cities have their own regional prizes and often have state-sponsored cultural organizations that support writers.

Writers residencies compete for prestige. In Kiswahili, which has an estimated million speakers, there are only a handful of literary decolonising the mind.


And prizes for Kiswahili literature are not more than five. For Gikuyu, my mother tongue spoken by close to 7 million people, I can name only one journal: Mutiiri, launched decolonising the mind my father in as a print journal, and now found online. Publishers of literary texts in African languages outside of South Africa are few and far between.

I do not know of a single decolonising the mind that produces literary criticism in an African language.

Decolonising the Mind - Ngugi wa Thiong'o

Only after Arap Moi was voted out of office, 22 years later, was it safe for him and his family to return. Between andhe widened the scope decolonising the mind his writing and released three children's books in Gikuyu.

He published Barrel of a Pen: Decolonising the Mind and Matigari were both published in The Struggle of Cultural Freedom —are often studied together because they share an interest common themes like imperialism, culture, African languages, African literature, African theatre, education, and religion, and they each articulate decolonising the mind commitment to revolutionary socialist ideology.

Language as communication and as culture are then products of each other.

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

Language carries culture, and culture carries, particularly through orature and literature, the entire body of values by which we come to perceive ourselves and our place in the world. How people perceive themselves and affects how they look at their culture, at their places politics and at the social production of wealth, at their entire relationship to nature and to other beings.

Language is thus inseparable from ourselves as a community of human beings with a specific form and character, a specific history, a specific relationship to the world — Decolonising the Mind 16 Decolonising the mind between decolonising the mind beings propels the evolution of a culture, he argues, but language also carries the decolonising the mind, values, and aesthetics of a culture along with it.

As he puts it, "Language as culture is the collective memory bank of a people's experience in history. Culture is almost indistinguishable from the language that makes possible its genesis, growth, banking, articulation, and indeed its transmission from one generation to the next"