E-ISSN:2342-0251

LOOKING INTO NGUGI WA THIONG’O’S DECOLONIZING THE MIND: THE POLITICS OF LANGUAGE IN AFRICAN LITERATURE IN VIEW OF THE RELATION BETWEEN LANGUAGE AND COLONIALISM


It is alleged that Western European countries, along with interventions based upon military force, transported the sources of the colonized countries (a major part of Africa and Asia, Caribbean) to the West by means of language, religion and education, which are considered the three primary tools for exploitation. Language is regarded crucial in the course of colonization and exploitation among the writers and scholars of the postcolonial period. Ngugi Wa Thiong’o who was born on January 5, 1938 in Kenya and completed his education in Uganda and England on comparative literature and English language, is considered as one of those writers with extreme political view. Though he had been educated in the West, taught English language and literature in English and American universities and wrote his previous works in English, he made a radical turn in 1977 asserting that English language is a medium and heritage of colonial period; therefore, from then on he would write his works in his native language Gikuyu. He also added that all African writers and intellectuals should write in their own native languages if they want to decolonize their mind. In this context, drawing on Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s Decolonizing the Mind: the politics of language in African literature, this article aims to question how Language is likely to be a medium of exploitation and assimilation and whether it is reasonable or not to refuse the language of the colonizer after a certain point.


Keywords


Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Native Language, Decolonization, Colonial Language

Author : Mehmet Recep TAŞ -& Kemal EROL
Number of pages: 190-199
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18033/ijla.3584
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International Journal of Language Academy
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