Can English adequately express the postcolonial experience in Africa?

Thiong’o’s text “Decolonising the Mind”

The study of the African realities has for too long been seen in terms of tribes…This misleading stock interpretation of the African realities has been polarised by the western media which likes to deflect people from seeing that imperialism is still the root cause of many problems in Africa.

If one believes that the kinds of cultural inferiority complexes represented in the attitudes of many African students need to be exorcised, then the teaching of literature in the westernized academy in Africa will require an approach that does three crucial things: first, identify accurately the situation of the modern African text as a product of the colonial encounter…; second, stress that continuities between precolonial forms of cultural production and contemporary ones are nevertheless genuine…; third, challenge directly the assumption of the cultural superiority of the West, both by undermining the aestheticized conceptions of value that it presupposes, and by distinguishing sharply between a domain of technological skill in which…comparisons of efficiency are possible, and a domain of value in which such comparisons are by no means so unproblematic. (Appiah, 247)

The aim of our ligue is the political, economic, moral and intellectual emancipation of the whole of the Negro race … The cardinal point lies in the unification of the world Negro movement …We think that the reason why our race suffers so much is that it is dominated, above all politically, by the other races (Eze, 665).

My answer to the question Can an African ever learn English well enough to be able to use it effectively in creative writing? is certainly yes. If on the other hand you ask Can he ever learn to use it like a native speaker? I should say, I hope not. (Chow, 2014, 35)

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store