Written by femrite

Barbara Oketta is an educationist, writer, freelance editor, and translator of English works to Kiswahili. She has previously served as executive treasurer and executive board member for FEMRITE (Uganda Women Writers Association). Barbara’s works have been published both in print and on-line. Currently, she is looking for a publisher for her adult fiction novel; Streetlight. Barbara is also an advocate for the youth and believes that investing in the youth is the only hope for the future

African Literature in Curriculum Development boardrooms
Barbara Oketta

Unless we decolonize the mind and set the agenda right, the concept of African literature will remain debatable in many literary fora. In 1986, Ngugi wa Thoing’o asked ‘how did we as African writers come to be so feeble towards the claims of our languages on us and so aggressive in our claims on other languages, particularly the languages of our colonization?’
Currently Uganda curriculum is changing to accommodate the changing times and contexts as is, it is opportune to discuss issues concerning what our students consume in learning institutions that later define them. There is a need to measure the role academic institutions and parents play or can play in shaping African literature so that it is not lost in the languages of the Whiteman which continues to moderate how African or not African our stories are.
By re-thinking African literature, as Julien puts it, we are appreciating that African literature has evolved and perhaps the question that we need to answer is ‘now that contexts have changed, and the colonizers have gone, can we still say that African literature exists? And finally to re-echo Selasi, 2013, who gets to define African literature; is it the reader, the writer, or what has been written?


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