African Renaissance - latest Issue
Volume 13, Issue 3-4, 2016
Source: African Renaissance 13, pp 7 –11 (2016)More Less
It is a known fact that, with the end of the decolonisation and the migrations that followed, twenty-first century western societies have become increasingly multicultural. The proportion of their population that is plurilingual (able to communicate, to varying degrees, in several languages) and pluricultural (has experience of several cultures and is able to take part in intercultural interaction) is on the rise, partly due to long-term international migrants, defined by the United Nations as persons "who move to a country other than that of [their] usual residence for a period of at least a year (12 months), so that the country of destination effectively becomes [their] new country of usual residence." 1 In June 2016, the two bigger contingents of immigrants from West Africa in the UK were from Nigeria (9,000) and Ghana, with the Nigerian diaspora in Britain being probably the largest in Europe. In 2009 already, according to the Office for national statistics, there were approximately 154,000 Nigerians in the UK. Migrants from francophone African countries, the two Congos in particular, have also settled in Britain. In this context, the role that languages and cultures play in relation to one's sense of self,appears more complex to grasp than ever.
Author Chukwudum IkeazorSource: African Renaissance 13, pp 13 –22 (2016)More Less
The question of home is an enduring issue for Africans in the Diaspora, whether they are in Europe, the Caribbean, North or South America, regardless of their generational proximity or distance from Africa. It has been expressed in music, poetry, literature, names and dressing for centuries by countless individuals and communities across South America, the Caribbean, the United States, Britain, Europe, Arabia and indeed the Indian sub-continent. The home question for Africans in the Diaspora will be discussed here to find more about home, its definition and location, its roots, its duality and association with home town.
Author Dominique OtigbahSource: African Renaissance 13, pp 23 –37 (2016)More Less
The African diaspora in Britain is a large multicultural and multifaceted segment of the population. Within this, there are many different groupings and communities, one of which includes "mixed-race diasporans". This is another very broad grouping, but this article will focus on mixed-race individuals who formerly lived in Africa and then migrated to the UK, and mixed-race individuals who are the offspring of 1st and 2nd generation diasporans. Because of their background, those who identify as mixed race can be placed at a crossroads where they can embody two or more different cultures: would they identify themselves as natives of Africa or the UK and or Europe, as diasporans or as something in the middle? And where do they consider as home? The aim of this paper is to look at concepts of home and identity held by mixed race diasporans so as to consider more nuanced perspectives within the study of the African diaspora in Britain. In order to do so, a survey was carried out to gather the perspectives of those who identify as mixed race and fall into the group which we are concerned with. As one's identity is highly personal and unique to the individual, by considering the survey responses this paper hopes to present a variety of means of conceptualising African identities of mixed race individuals who either currently live or have lived in the United Kingdom.
"What stops me from having a multi-cultural thing within myself?" languages and perception of self among plurilingual pupils of West African Heritage (Ivory Coast)Author Xaviere HassanSource: African Renaissance 13, pp 39 –55 (2016)More Less
This short study explores the lived experiences of two plurilingual pupils of West African heritage (Ivory Coast), focusing upon the role they perceived languages and cultures have played in shaping aspects of their identities. Two 19years-old female pupils were interviewed and the data were analysed using qualitative thematic analysis. Adopting a phenomenological perspective, key concepts of the Life world (spatiality, temporality, embodiment and intersubjectivity) were also used as part of the heuristic process. Three overarching themes were identified in the participants' narratives: 'language and empowerment', 'feeling stigmatised as foreign' and 'feeling divided, on the wrong side of the fence'. Participants generally expressed a positive attitude towards plurilingualism, a desire to maintain and expand their linguistic skills as a means to increase their life choices. While the impact of European languages acquired through schooling or migration was perceived as overwhelmingly positive and empowering, heritage language seems to have been associated with less successful experiences overall, and impacted negatively on the participants' sense of self. In conclusion, plurilingualism, despite its many advantages, can also have a negative impact on one's sense of self. Some strategies need to be in place in order to overcome problematic situations and potential identity threat arising from being plurilingual.
Author FranÃ§oise UgochukwuSource: African Renaissance 13, pp 57 –76 (2016)More Less
Today, the Nigerian diaspora in Britain is probably the largest in Europe. Research carried out between January and March 2011 shows that diasporic Nigerians spend part of their recreational time viewing Nigerian video films, massively preferred to foreign films. Those films seem to have empowered them to reclaim their culture and history and present it to others. This paper, based on two sets of questionnaires and interviews dated 2009 and 2011, seeks to evaluate the impact of Nigerian video-films among resettled communities in the UK and reasons behind the success of these films among Nigerians, focusing on Igbo and Yoruba speakers. It investigates the potential importance of language in viewers' motivations and practices, the role played by the cultural message of the language in identity-reinforcement within the Nigerian community, and the impact of these video-films on the revival of language and cultural practices among diasporic communities.
Author Obi EmelonyeSource: African Renaissance 13, pp 77 –89 (2016)More Less
Tasie, a London-born African boy, returns to Nigeria against his will but goes missing on his second day. Through his contact with an enigmatic street boy, he gets closer to unravelling the mystery of an intertwined fate with a father he has never met. In this period of identity crisis amongst young Africans in the diaspora, The Mirror Boy explores the element of spiritual connection with Africa, symbolised by the ancient practice of burying a child's umbilical cord in his native land '...to tie him to the destiny of his people'. Below is an excerpt from the first pages of the film script.
Source: African Renaissance 13, pp 91 –106 (2016)More Less
Since the early years of British contact with Nigeria, dating back to the mid-nineteenth- century, Nigerian literature has been reflecting on the changing persona of the British in the country through its frequent inclusion and handling of British characters. This paper will consider ten novels published between 1933 and 2006, to track changes in Nigerian writers' perception of Britishness, from the prejudiced or accommodating colonial administrators and district officers of Omenuko to the city girl's husband of People in the City, from the young female teachers of Emecheta's school to the arrogant university professors sketched by Ike and the lonely journalist that dominates Adichie's second novel. Focusing on the last of these novels, the study will then reveal a significant shift in the presentation of British attitudes and interests, with the central character of Richard Churchill, the young journalist from Shropshire, standing out as very different from his compatriots. He desired to see the country, and his move away from the partying Lagos to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka gradually leads to his transformation as he falls in love, learns Igbo and chooses to stay in Igbol and through the war years. He ends up writing an essay to denounce the British stand on the civil war - The World Was Silent When we Died, embedded in the novel. This latest write-up, while echoing Achebe's district officer's monograph on The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger, stands in sharp contrast with it, as its author now takes sides with the embattled Biafrans.
Exils et migrations postcoloniales. De l'urgence du départ á la nécessité du retour. Mélanges offerts áAmbroise Kom, Fandio Pierre & Tchumkam Hervé, (Eds.) : book reviewSource: African Renaissance 13, pp 107 –109 (2016)More Less
This book, which has been compared to a PhD viva report,announces future conferences on Ambroise Kom, and contextualises the experience of the writers studied here in time and space, "from the urgency of their leaving to their necessary return". The theme of exile, presented as central in African literature, is treated here by 21 authors from all over Africa and the Caribbean guided by Socrates's password: "Know thyself", revealing the link between exile and the quest for identity. Writers considered here represent the whole of the African continent: Morocco (Ben Jelloun), Soudan (Salih), Senegal (Cheikh Hamidou Kane, Diome, Sembene and Sow Fall), Ivory Coast (Dadié), Cameroon (Beti, Essomba, Mbembe, Miano and Philombe), Congo(Biyaoula and Mudimbe), but also France and the Caribbean (Condé, Chamoiseau and Glissant). This comparative study on exile, mostly written in French, and outstanding both in style and in the number of its contributions, includes other international writers such as Pinto, Bessora, Etoke, Guene, Le Clézio, Mabanckou and Thomté. Two additional chapters enrich this volume with studies on Burkina films and South African music.
Author F. UgochukwuSource: African Renaissance 13, pp 109 –110 (2016)More Less
This is a magnificent book, right from the introduction and the quotes taken from Montaigne, Gide, Césaire, Laplantine and Nouss, right to its conclusion, opening to a vast, open-minded and multiple universe. Chanson patiently explores the various components of a metissage presented here by twelve authors chosen for their impact on the advancing of research: Segalen, Lévi-Strauss, Bastide, Deleuze and Guattari, Balandier, Ricoeur, Depestre, Gruzinski, Amselle, Laplantine and Nouss. Each of the ten chapters starts with a short presentation of the author studied, his time and thought, before opening a key publication addressed to a university public. This is an invitation to discover at close range and in their context, some of the metaphors of a cultural mix characterised by variety and presented successively as mosaic, rhizome or banyan, but equally as craft, movement, story-text,melange, connection and vibration. These metaphors, inspired by various schools of thought and coming from often distant horizons ranging from poetics to physics, biology and philosophy, are each supported by the study of a key publication.