Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (Ngugi wa Thiong'o)

  "Africa enriches Europe: but Africa is made to believe that it needs Europe to rescue it from poverty."

"Africa enriches Europe: but Africa is made to believe that it needs Europe to rescue it from poverty."

Kenya / 1986

If you’re interested in the way language can be used as a weapon and as a tool of liberation, this is required reading! Thiong’o offers his critiques within the Kenyan context, but his ideas are still very applicable globally. I even found myself relating to his ideas, particularly as they relate to language and schooling. People should be taught in their native languages! And people shouldn’t be criminalized for speaking their home languages at school. Thiong’o mentioned how in the colonial era Kenyan pupils were punished when they spoke Gikuyu or Swahili, etc at school. Today there are schools in South Africa (and I’m sure many other countries) where teachers punish students for speaking their languages. Crazy thing is this happened at my elementary/ middle school. I went to an all black school, with all white teachers (10/10 do not recommend). The teacher literally used to punish and yell at us when we said “man” (you know the way it’s said after smacking your lips), “salty,” “y’all,” *insert any other black saying.* I remember there was one Mexican girl in our class, and one time she got in trouble for speaking Spanish. These white people really be mad at us for speaking how we wanna speak. Please read this book. It's required reading. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️