Can English adequately express the postcolonial experience in Africa?

Thiong’o’s text “Decolonising the Mind”
  1. On one level, forcing a new language onto the people frustrates the ways in which they can communicate within the market place. Being unable to form connections in one’s native language frames mutual cooperation within the confines of the foreign language. It therefore takes the power of production out of the hands of the worker and into the hands of the imperialist.
  2. Language is a means to create and forge community and family bonds. Imposing a foreign language creates a rift within this realm because the new language cannot adequately express these relationships or enable a facile communication.
  3. Language is a means to understand ourselves in relation to the local and the global. By forcing a new language onto the people, one is forced to understand one’s self through the language and lens of the foreigner and therefore view one’s self as foreign or ‘other’.



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Nae Do

Nae Do


PhD candidate in Race, Podcasting and Social Media. Associate lecturer in sociology. Irritating know-it-all.