An endangered language is defined as a language that is at a risk of falling out of use as its speakers die out or shift to another language. Many African speakers have shifted to other languages, mostly foreign languages and many African indigenous languages are on the brink of being endangered, nearing extinction. How African governments save these endangered African indigenous languages?
Accomplished Kenyan writer, Ngugi wa Thiong’o delivered a public lecture at Wits University, South Africa. The writer discussed the relationship between culture, language and colonisation, and argued for the preservation and inclusion of African languages in learning institutions. Thiong’o also reiterated the importance of learning the mother tongue and local cultural histories, and ended by saying “if you know your mother tongue, and add it with all other languages, that is empowerment”. We couldn’t agree more
Following the Pan-African writers’ collective Jalada Africa’s translation of “The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright” by Ngugu wa Thiong’o, described as ‘the single most translated short story in the history of African writing’, they hosted an event with the author in Nairobi, focusing on literature in African languages, among other things. Oduor Jagero was there and examines what it means to write in African languages today.
The Jalada Translations Issue is a statement to the effect that African languages can find their place in dialogue among themselves; exist with equal power alongside Asian and European ones and inspire global conversations.
We are taught to believe that our modern lifestyle – which thrives on egoism, competition and inequality – is an improvement on the past. But considering the facts of the history of the human race, we may learn a thing or two from our egalitarian past
How language relates to time is a philosophical humdinger. In his remarkable essay, ‘Midnight,’ South African novelist Imraan Coovadia writes that ‘science has yet to create a satisfactory description of time, an account of why it exists and how it progresses…the physical time of the cosmos, expressed in the changes of subatomic particles and forces and billion sun galaxies, differs from historical time, with its emphasis on economic and cultural processes, and also from the psychological time of human beings.’
Despite the fact that the more known African writers write in English, French and other non-indigenous languages, TIA’s Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire argues that there is proof that writing in indigenous languages on the continent has a bright future
In an audacious move that is to revolutionise Tanzania’s primary and secondary education, the country’s Ministry of Education and Vocational Training has decided to ditch English as the medium of instruction in its schools
In this TIA exclusive, Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire, had a chat with architect, author and University of East Anglia fellow, Yewande Omotoso, about writing, architecture and identity