Decolonising the Mind is a collection of essays about language and its constructive role in national culture, history, and identity. The book. Page | Decolonising the Mind Ngugi wa Thiong’o from Decolonising the Mind In this essay one of Africa’s most distinguished novelists discusses some of . Ngugi describes this book as ‘a summary of some of the issues in which I have been passionately involved for the last twenty years of my practice in fiction.

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There were good and bad story-tellers. He went on to become a turn boy in a bus company. And it was they who helped in fleshing out the play, who acted in it and comprised the majority of the audience. Within the context of post-colonial studies, language is a weapon and a site of intense neocolonial conflict. In the decolinising ofJalada published and facilitated the translation of a short story originally written in Kind by Ngugi into over 60 languages—47 of them being African.

So the written language of a child’s upbringing in the school even his spoken language within the school compound became divorced from his spoken language at home.

What might the translation have decoloniising to the work? Sociolinguistics Anthologies non-poetry Literary Studies: Book ratings by Goodreads. But neither Shaban Robert, then the greatest living East African poet with several works of poetry and prose to his credit inn Kiswahili, nor Chief Fagunwa, the great writer with several published titles in Yoruba, could possibly qualify.

This may in part explain why technology always appears to us as slightly external, their product and not ours. The association of the child’s sensibility is with the language of his experience of life. And this brings us to the third aspect of language as culture. Why would Ngugi choose to write this, and to place it in such a prominent location in his essay? Language as communication and as culture are then products of each other.

On this side of the argument, writers and activists decoloonising using the colonist languages as a practical alternative, which they can employ to improve conditions of colonized peoples. For a colonial child, the harmony existing between the three aspects of language as communication was irrevocably broken.

The location of this great mirror of imagination was necessarily Europe and its history and culture and the rest of the universe was seen from that centre. First, he committed to abandoning English in his fiction writing, and in a note on Decolonising the Mindhe bids a final “farewell” to English in all of his writings. Language carries culture, and culture carries, particularly through orature and literature, the entire body of values by which we come to perceive ourselves and our place in the world.


We need literary criticism in African languages. They want African languages to speak to each other, and to non-African languages, through translation. They had so much in common that it was a wonder they tge not met recolonising. Over a time this becomes a way of life distinguishable from other ways of life. Our language of education decolonsiing still Gikuyu.

Decolonising the Mind – Wikipedia

Or conversely, those who understand translation as most desirable when coming from European languages into anemic African languages desperately in need of European linguistic and aesthetic transfusion. He published Barrel of a Pen: I was six, and today I can never be sure whether I really witnessed his arrest, or if the subsequent conversations amongst my family members and his recollection of the arrest in Detained made an imagined memory feel real.

Selections from primary into secondary were through an examination, in my time called Kenya African Preliminary Gnugi, in which one had to pass six subjects ranging from Maths to Nature Study and Kiswahili.

Thus the most coveted place in dscolonising pyramid and in the system was only available to the holder of an Decolonising the Mind Page English language credit card. For one decoloniding tied language and culture to the material work of both colonization and decolonization. Then there are the most complex divisions such as those in modern factories where a single product, say a shirt or a shoe, is the result of many hands and minds.

Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days When will my order arrive? He insists that while indigenous African languages have been attacked by imperialism, they have survived largely because they are kept alive by the workers and peasantry, ngugo he maintains that change will only happen when the proletariat is empowered by their own language and culture. Now, they were engaged in a battle to decolonize minds and institutions.

Catching Them Young is the tide of a book on racism, class, sex, and politics in children’s literature by Bob Dixon.

Full text of “Decolonising The Mind by NGugi wa Thiong’o”

States and cities have their own regional prizes and often have state-sponsored cultural organizations that support writers. If you speak two or more languages, does this assertion meet with your own experience?


In Kiswahili, which has an estimated million speakers, there are only a handful of literary journals. This disassociation, divorce, or alienation from the immediate environ- ment becomes clearer when you look at colonial language as a carrier of mknd.

But there is nggi to it: In other words, the language debate and writing in African languages had been going on for a long time. This was the village from which the nearby Bata shoe Company and tea plantations drew their labor. And how did the teachers catch the culprits?

In Praise of a Friend”. Culture embodies those moral, ethical and aesthetic values, the set of spiritual eyeglasses, through which they come to view themselves and their place in the universe. A human community really starts its historical being as a community of co-operation in production through the division of labour; the simplest is between man, woman and child within a household; the more complex divisions are between branches of production such as those who are sole hunters, sole gatherers of fruits or sole workers in metal.

Toward the end of his essay, Ngugi makes reference to the European- based writers of literature he was forced to study as a child, and how these stories did not match his own experiences. Writers may also write in English or various Englishes. At Makerere I read Ddcolonising In struggle is our history, our language and our being.


The language of my education was no longer the language of my culture. Decolonising the Mind provides an empathetic pedagogical framework, as some critiques have noted.

A button was initially given to one pupil who was supposed to hand it over to whoever was caught speaking his mother tongue. Or rather, Marx and Engels began to reveal the serious weaknesses and limitations hgugi Fanon, especially his own petit bourgeois idealism that led him into mechanical overemphasis on psychology and violence, and his inability to see the significance of the rising and growing African proletariat.