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Naturelle

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The issue of language in the African context is closely tied to issues of self-determination, self-sufficiency, self-worth, etc. As stated by Izevbayo, “It is generally recognized that language is inextricably linked not only with cultural attitudes, but with the user’s conception of reality. For this reason, as recent critics have pointed out, language is potentially the most subtle and effective means of mental colonization” (Izevbaye 1971: 128). For, when others control a people’s thinking, they also control a people’s behavior and potential for shaping reality in their own best interests. This lack of control is manifested in the social, psychological, societal, and other problems that we now find in the African context that work in the best interests of the non-African such as the previously alluded to financing of our own oppression through created tastes and desires. As advanced by Dr. Carter G. Woodson:

 

If you can control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his action. When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one (Woodson 1992: 84-85).

 

According to the foremost critic on the language question, Ngugi wa Thiong’O, this was the function of the imposition of non-African languages on the African as “the most important area of domination was the mental universe of the colonised, the control, through culture, of how people perceived themselves and their relationship to the world. Economic and political control can never be complete or effective without mental control” (Ngugi 1986: 16). This process of control was legitimated by theories of backwardness and primitiveness that many of we Africans have accepted in our rush towards glittering whiteness, thus reinforcing a subservient condition that is outside of our best interests. With the goal of devaluing the culture and controlling the thinking of the African, the non-African engaged in a process of:

 
The destruction or the deliberate undervaluing of a people’s culture, their are, dances, religions, history, geography, education, orature and literature, and the conscious elevation of the language of the coloniser. The domination of a people’s language by the languages of the colonising nations was crucial to the domination of the mental universe of the colonised (Ngugi 1986: 16).


RearrangedReality

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Kind of agree.

As it is seemingly suggested above that language in one the things that determine or protect our identity, I still fail to understand how encouraging this idea plays a role as a means of survival in todays capitalistic way of life. I can't think of any other importance, for an example, of teaching your kid his/her mother tongue besides opening an oportunity for him/her to relate easily with other african kids that they'll come across and most probably will be friends. If I could teach myself to be comfortable with who I am or who my people are and where I come from I don't see losing my mother tongue making me weaker individual. Neither will I see myself as being lost or having no identity.

In this country in partitular how will encouraging absolute dominace of african languages be helpful?

I hope I'm not misunderstanding what being said above.


Dpleezy

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i kind of agree too.

this is why i always go on South Africans rapping in (US) english - i feel it dilutes what you can say about the place you come from.

i know this is a very complex issue - and i'm probably not even qualified to talk about african languages and culture - but if i relate it to my experience of uk hip hop,,, i can't imagine grime or UK Hip Hop being what it is if you took away all the nuances of the language and cultural references they contain.

once again, when the british grime guys were down here, their only comment about SA hip hop was 'it's a shame it all sounds so american'.

shit,, must run!!!!!!.....


RearrangedReality

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Quote from: "Dplanet"


once again, when the british grime guys were down here, their only comment about SA hip hop was 'it's a shame it all sounds so american'.

shit,, must run!!!!!!.....


Do you understand why they think it's a shame?


Vexer

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Quote from: "Dplanet"
this is why i always go on South Africans rapping in (US) english - i feel it dilutes what you can say about the place you come from.

i can't imagine grime or UK Hip Hop being what it is if you took away all the nuances of the language and cultural references they contain.


I couldn't have said it better myself D.Its all about repping ur own spot using your own unique cultural nuances to get the point across.

I hope u're not labelled a "hater" by certain Hip-Hop quarters for this coz u always have to duck this word its like a rabbit in a hat that can be pulled out by anyone any time.
I stay chiseled


Dpleezy

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Quote from: "RearrangedReality"
Quote from: "Dplanet"


once again, when the british grime guys were down here, their only comment about SA hip hop was 'it's a shame it all sounds so american'.

shit,, must run!!!!!!.....


Do you understand why they think it's a shame?


they thought it was a shame because no one is interested in clones - everyone wants the real thing. they travel half way around the world to africa and they get 1990s New York - that would disappoint me too.


Dpleezy

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Quote from: "Vexer"
Quote from: "Dplanet"
this is why i always go on South Africans rapping in (US) english - i feel it dilutes what you can say about the place you come from.

i can't imagine grime or UK Hip Hop being what it is if you took away all the nuances of the language and cultural references they contain.


I couldn't have said it better myself D.Its all about repping ur own spot using your own unique cultural nuances to get the point across.

I hope u're not labelled a "hater" by certain Hip-Hop quarters for this coz u always have to duck this word its like a rabbit in a hat that can be pulled out by anyone any time.


Hehe,,, don't worry,, i've already been labelled 'ignorant' and a 'hater' for my views on this issue. It's cool though,,, it's just my opinion. I don't claim to be an expert.

time will tell who will connect with, and represent the south african audience the best.


Vexer

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Yeah.Hip-Hop is all about the underdog.How is the underdog gonna come thru except in his own language.

Without the underdog Hip-Hop is just relegated to an abstract middle-cla** occupation divorced from the streetz.
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