n African Renaissance - Who is an African? Surveying through the narratives of African identity

Volume 7 Number 3-4
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


Any question about identity, whatever that might be, is complex, particularly when the various social scientists define it each according to the tutelage of their particular discipline. This means that the formation of identity itself entails intricacies. Members of one nation or society may not agree on the interpretation of what symbol should really constitute their identity or what it should be based on. As a result of the inherent conundrum, identity becomes a variable which is a property of conscience and also of conscious imagination; an entity laden with fluidity since there exists not one identity for a person but many identities with the function of each one of them carefully calculated on the premise of convenience in a certain context, class and clan. The complexity, however, seems to increase as its application is adjusted and readjusted from individual identity to that of collective distinctiveness shared by a group. The latter type also stretches the complication as it is shifted from family unit, one clan, race, or nation to another. Consequently, African citizenship becomes as intricate to explain as African identity is indefinite to define. The cumbersomeness in the definition invites more questions than there can be an agreement on their answers and qualifications.

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