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- Volume 25, Issue 2, 2009
Institute of African Studies Research Review - Volume 25, Issue 2, 2009
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Volume 25, Issue 2, 2009
Author Kofi AgyekumSource: Institute of African Studies Research Review 25, pp 1 –20 (2009)More Less
This paper addresses the status of taboo expressions in Akan society looking at it from traditional usage and the changes in contemporary Akan society. It looks at verbal taboos (VT) from the theory of language ideology. The paper argues that a change in language and culture has some direct bearing on VT. We shall discuss the functions of taboo expressions in the Akan society. We shall also consider the taboo and the social class that normally use taboo expressions and why. We shall also discuss the influence of taboo expressions on other, non-taboo expressions, intralingually and interlingually. The paper discusses the sociolinguistics of VT and sees how societies put sanctions on free speech. We will thus argue that even though speech is free, there is a limit to the extent one can freely use language. The paper further considers the current state of verbal taboos especially with the advent of western education, globalisation, religion and urbanisation and the prospects for Akan verbal taboos. Finally, we shall look at the problems encountered with research into Akan verbal taboos.
Violence at sea : the ramifications of maritime piracy in Nigerian and Somali waters for human security in AfricaAuthor Freedom C. OnuohaSource: Institute of African Studies Research Review 25, pp 21 –44 (2009)More Less
Both national and international waterways are vitally important to states because they serve as a medium of transportation, a source of economic exploitation of such mineral resources as crude oil, and a source of food in the form of fishing and shrimp fishing. Regrettably, Africa's waters now represent one of the world's dangerous waterways for vessels and its crew members in terms of pirate attacks. This article focuses on pirate activities in Nigeria and Somali waters in Africa, essentially because they have recorded the highest incidences of pirate attacks in the last few years. It examines the dimension maritime piracy has assumed in these waters, discusses the factors behind the new wave of pirate activities, and unravels the implications of maritime piracy for human security in the continent. It concludes with recommendations suggested for combating piracy in these waters in particular, and Africa in general.
Source: Institute of African Studies Research Review 25, pp 45 –58 (2009)More Less
In the immediate post-colonial era, in all too many cases, changes in government in Africa occurred via military putsch. Military coups more or less became institutionalized. Re-democratization in most parts of Africa since 1990 spread the hope that Africa is done with military coups. Nonetheless, political events in Togo after Eyadema and recently in the Republic of Guinea where the military seized power seem to dash that hope. And, there is an emerging concern that if the current liberal agenda in vogue in most of Africa fails, Africa may return to the military putsch trajectories. In the past, attempts to comprehend the pervasive presence of the military in politics proceeded via military explanations, class, prebendalism, ethnic and weak state institutions analysis. Our point of departure, however, is the ingrained informal institutions of neopatrimonial rule so pervasive in post-colonial Africa. This paper explores the validity of the neopatrimonial thesis as an explanation for military coups in Sub-Saharan Africa. First, we examine the concept of neopatrimonialism as a description of the nature of African states. Then we outline three ways in which neopatrimonialism might contribute to political instability, focusing on the ''pure'' version of the theory and its connection to theories of ethnic conflict. The paper concludes by considering the limitations of the neopatrimonial paradigm. The paper is, thus, intended to augment our understanding of the relative utility of neopatrimonialism as an elucidation of military interventions in Africa.
(Re)negotiating home : exile / migrancy and return in Caryl Phillips' A State of Independence and Zakes Mda's The Heart of RednessAuthor Eunice NgongkumSource: Institute of African Studies Research Review 25, pp 59 –75 (2009)More Less
Using tenets of postcolonial theory, this paper draws from the premise that in 'return home' narratives, a common thematic frame is apparent based on the returnee's personal odyssey to answer the question: where do I belong? It aims at showing that the exilic / migrant experience problematises and complicates the issues of home and identity in the returning subject, who cannot, in the circumstances, recover a plenitudinous sense of 'home.' It argues that the returnee operating from an 'outsider' position, must rethink his identity on the 'voyage in.' It demonstrates that to be at home, means (re)negotiating the 'outsider' position in often new and innovative ways. The paper uses Caryl Phillips' A State of Independence and Zakes Mda's The Heart of Redness as springboard for its discussion.
Author A. YanksonSource: Institute of African Studies Research Review 25, pp 77 –94 (2009)More Less
It is generally believed that the Akan language spoken in the urban areas and hence Accra is very different from the Akan spoken in the indigenous areas. The research reported in this paper therefore attempted to look into the Akan spoken in Accra, to find out if there are any differences between the Akan spoken in Accra and the indigenous areas, and the areas of the language where such differences could be noticed. Recordings from respondents from both the indigenous areas where the language is spoken and Accra were collected. The key topics discussed in this report include: mixture of Akan dialects in Accra, nasal assimilation, code switching, code mixing and lexical borrowing, and the differences in Akan expressions between those used by the indigenous speakers and those living in areas in Accra where Akan is not widely spoken.
The African Epic Controversy : Historical, Philosophical and Aesthetic Perspectives on Epic Poetry and Performance, Mugyabuso Mulokozi : book reviewAuthor Helen YitahSource: Institute of African Studies Research Review 25, pp 95 –97 (2009)More Less
The African Epic Controversy is as much about interpreting the enanga epic tradition of the Bahaya people of Tanzania and making it available to a wider public, as it is about defining the African epic. The enanga tradition gets its name from its accompaniment: a 7/8 string trough zither that is also found in many other communities in East and Central Africa. The enanga tradition is from pre-colonial times, probably dating back 500-1000 years. The book, which is based largely on the writer's doctoral thesis, provides a comprehensive synthesis and critique of the various arguments in the African epic controversy that Ruth Finnegan unleashed by her claim (1970: 108-110) that the epic does not seem to exist in sub-Saharan African literatures. Using four enanga poems recorded between 1974 and 1983: Mugasha, Rukiza, Kachwenyenja and Mugangala, all heroic narratives depicting the exploits of historical, legendary, fictitious and mythological heroes, kings, noblemen and women, Mugyabuso Mulokozi both supports the argument that the epic exists in Africa and illustrates the characteristics of that epic.