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Mabe, Jacob Emmanuel. The Situation of the Indigenous African Languages as a Challenge for Philosophy
2020, Philosophy Study. 10 (10): 667-677.
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Added by: Sara Peppe and Björn Freter
Abstract: In view of the increasing demands for the rehabilitation and promotion of indigenous African languages, a philosophical answer to the question of what can and should be done to effectively counteract the continuing marginalization of languages is often required. Despite the relatively successful coexistence of African and European languages, which has produced mixed languages, all measures must be taken to ensure that the native languages of Africa are used in the future as a means of expressing Africa’s identities and worldviews. This chapter tries to show how the philosophy of convergence can contribute to overcome the language dilemma in Africa.

Comment: This article treats the theme of the marginalization of African indigenous languages in African philosophy and proposes a way of solving this issue through transcription and semantic transmission applied in philosophical translation. Plus, the paper highlights that to solve marginalization, Africa urgently needs a policy on languages that encourages the use of native languages. This would be helpful for African philosophy since, in this way, African thinkers can express African patterns of thinking, values, cultural heritage and identity.

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Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o. Decolonising the Mind. The Politics of Language in African Literature
1986, London: James Curry, Nairobi: Heineman Kenya, Portsmouth: Heinemann, Harare: Zimbabwe Publishing House
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Publisher’s Note: Decolonising the Mind is a collection of essays about language and its constructive role in national culture, history, and identity. The book, which advocates for linguistic decolonization, is one of Ngũgĩ’s best-known and most-cited non-fiction publications, helping to cement him as a pre-eminent voice theorizing the “language debate” in post-colonial studies. Ngũgĩ describes the 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, theatre, criticism, and in teaching of literature…” Decolonising the Mind is split into four essays: “The Language of African Literature,” “The Language of African Theatre,” “The Language of African Fiction,” and “The Quest for Relevance.”

Comment: The papers in this volume were foundational for the post-colonial debate on African language.

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