Language as a Viable Mechanism for Evolving Authentic African Identity: A Philosophical Examination

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Owosho, S.A.
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Kenya Scholars and Studies Association
The call for evolution of an authentic African identity can be described to mean the call for the development of a new modern African civilization with its own values and its own validity. This crusade suggests in the opinion of scholars of African philosophy either that Africans once had identity but lost it or later denied, or that the Africans never had one. Granted that Africans do have identity, contemporary realities suggest a glaring crisis of identity for Africans, most especially, for the Africans in the Diasporas. This paper traces the origin of the problem and the search for an authentic African identity from the advent of slavery and slave trade perpetrated by the European colonialists, and their attempts to wipe out the identity of Africans. Realising the potency of language, this paper explores language as an effective springboard for the development of the re-emergent African civilization. Language serves as the tool and the primary medium of expression as it plays an important role in the way people know and understand. It further advocates the development of native African languages a conditio sine qua non for re-establishing a genuine African identity. It makes a clarion call on the government of African nations to propagate the values and heritages of indigenous African languages. It concludes that the foundation for the survival of Africans as a people lies in the reconstruction of Africa’s cultural identity
Conference Paper
African Identity , Authenticity , Language , African Civilization , African Philosophy
Owosho S.A. (2013). Language as a Viable Mechanism for Evolving Authentic African Identity: A Philosophical Examination, Kenya Studies Review, 6, (2), ISSN: 2150-5764, 158-164