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Ngugi wa Thiong‘o’s Pan - Africanism: People’s Memory and Alliance to Overcome Postcolonial Nations

Lee, Hyoseok 1

1부산대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In modern history, there have been several kinds of continental unions or supranational politico-economic unions in the world, such as the United Nations, the European Union, the Union of South American Nations, the African Union, etc. Modern thinkers proposed many pan-isms on their continental base, for example, Pan-Arabism, Pan-Latin Americanism, Pan-Asianism, Pan-Celtism, etc. What is the most common in these pan-isms is that a continental union would be a politico-economic system to overcome the limits of the modern state-nation and to realize a long and happy relationship between member nations and continents. However, the concept of a supranational union differs from that of cosmopolitanism, in that the former presupposes the common cultural and historical heritage in the concerned region or continent. Ngugi wa Thinog’o’ Pan-Africanism implies two keywords that are connected to his concepts such as ‘decentralization’ and ‘African languages.’ Pan-Africanism supposes that Africa may gain benefits from the union of African nations under the umbrella of anti-colonial efforts to down size the Euro-American influences. Moreover, using African languages enhances self-reliance and self-imagination among the African people. For in the former colonial regimes, the European colonial languages, such as English, French, or Portuguese, were central to the dissemination of European culture and modernity. Ngugi asserts that the African peripheralized languages could reinstate the African cultural heritage and propose an alternative to the Western modernity.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.