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106 Fallacy of the Divine Tongue than the Pen in Ngugi’s Rurimi Na Karamu Alexander Opicho Francis and Taylor published the 28th edition of the Journal of African Cultural Studies in June 2016.Its title was Cartographies of War and Peace in East Africa. It was edited by professor Grace Musilla of Stellenbosch University. The Journal was Circulated free of charge among the networks of those expected to participate in the 3RD East African Literary and Cultural studies Movement so that it can be debated at the forthcoming conference to take place at Dar es Salam University in August 2017.I happened to be one of the participants and hence I was lucky to receive e-mailed version of this Journal that had contributions from more than twenty top-notch scholars on African literary and cultural studies, Ngugi wa Thiong’o being one of them among other anti-afropolitan literary titans like Carli Coetzee, Emma Dabiri, Taiye Selasi, Grace Musila and so forth . Ngugi’s contribution was Rurimi na Karamu, a very long article in Gikuyu language examining human Tongue as more holy than the pen in their duty as dual transmitters of knowledge, education, culture and civilization towards awareness of need for human dignity in relation to use of language. The article’s version of translation to English was the Pen and the Tongue as a challenge to philosophers of Africa. Though, Ngugi explicitly showed only usefulness and divinity of the human tongue in service to language as a medium of human dignity, especially African languages, a virtue he called orality, a variant of Zirimu’s oracy, without doing the same to the pen. Maybe out of unnoticed fallacy or intentional falsification of the expected logic, the issue I want to explore in this article. Ngugi explains the tongue to be a symbol of human language and labour, but the pen as a symbol of capital and alienation of the suppliers of labour, by the pen Ngugi implies capitalism and its attendant features of politico-economic imperialism as well as cultural Darwinism. Ngugi explained divinity of the tongue by associating it 107 to the spoken word, often described in east African literary circles by using the words of Zirimu and Austin Bukenya as orality and oracy respectively, by associating it to the three sacred books of the Bible, the Quran and the Gita that existed for centuries as a spoken word in the collective memories of the Jewish, Arabic and Hindu Communities. Ngugi also identified the pen as an impeachment to quality and excellency of African philosophy by faulting the current African philosophers for being focused on the pen and imperial languages when Aristotle’s and Plato excelled in both rudimentary and practical logic without the pen but as practitioners of dialogic and polyalogic-the two imminent facets of oracy. In a nutshell Ngugi surmised it that the pen and the book is not the source of knowledge as industrial imperialism has made human society to fallaciously belief, but it is the tongue in its duty of being a generator of indigenous languages, in fact, he diminutizes the pen to a state of a hand-maid to the tongue in the process of knowledge creation and formation. This is so excellent an analysis in the metaphysical sense but logically in a fallacy and indubitably questionable. I will not use rhetoric of literature, philosophy, metaphysics and sophistry to point out how Ngugi has been wrong with his idea of writing African literature and philosophy in native languages like Gikuyu, Yoruba, Lubukusu, siZulu, Luganda, Dholuo and so forth, but I will use the practical political logic of cultural, environmental and technological requirements for perfection of the East Africa political and economic integration(EAC) as an aliquot and Inchoate part of the long overdue regional target of Pan-Africanist politicalcum -economic organization. Realisation of the East Africa Community (EAC) requires unifying language that has to be given active support by both scholars and politicians. Kiswahili stands better chances given that it is language already spoken to a great extent in all the east Africa countries like Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Mauritius, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania. Fortunately, Ngugi did not mention Kiswahili in his Rurimi na Karamu even if it was an article intended for the east African audience given that it was published in the East African chapter of 108 the African Journal of Cultural and Literary studies. Ngugi did not give any reason why he is not...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780797496989
Related ISBN
9780797486164
MARC Record
OCLC
1056749179
Pages
300
Launched on MUSE
2018-10-14
Language
English
Open Access
No
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