Author: Helen Yitah

Abstract

This paper examines rural Ghanaian children’s creative performance of play songs in the context of recent scholarship on children’s rights in children’s literature. This scholarship, which has focused mainly on written literature in western contexts, seeks to give serious literary attention to children’s creative expression and thereby uphold their rights to contribute to the artistic life and culture of their societies. Kasena children of northern Ghana exhibit creative agency in adapting traditional play songs to new situations, as they re-create and reinterpret communal idioms, imagery and symbols, thus generating new forms, new concepts and new meanings. I illustrate the aesthetic qualities and transgressive features of this phenomenon by drawing on relevant indigenous Kasem concepts about art and creative resistance. If taken seriously, this dynamic heritage of children’s poetry can help us see emerging play genres as an affirmation of children’s creativity, and prompt a redefinition of ideas about childhood.

In: Utafiti

Abstract

Generally one finds there are shortages in the array of technical resources available to penetrate the morphology of Kiswahili and its similarities to, as well as its departures from, morphemic structures in other Bantu languages. The introduction of a new approach employed here is an attempt to contribute to correcting that deficit. Object relative Determiner Phrases (DPs) in Kiswahili are common noun phrases with the noun head called the object relative appearing in the initial position of the DP. The phrases also have relative words and clitics introducing relative clauses. In Kiswahili these phrases are formed via DP internal movements of the object noun to the highest position coupled with movements of the subject and verb complex. The suggestion here that the object relative moves to the highest position in DP configuration marks a significant departure from other studies. This analysis provides theoretical insights about how these constructions are mapped in the minds of Kiswahili speakers. Refinement of the morpho-syntactic display which is specific to Kiswahili is essential for helping learners of the language to master it correctly. Further research will reveal whether the analysis of the object relative adopted DP can be used to derive similar phrases in other Bantu languages, such as Sesotho, Chishona, Ikalanga, and ciNsenga.

In: Utafiti

Abstract

Nigerian gospel music is an emblematic and significantly informative entertainment industry; it is both an artistic and a contemporary religious genre that reveals social transformations nationally, regionally and globally. The historical fusion of entertainment with spirituality in Nigerian music reflects at once the influence of secular music upon the composition process and the performance context, the pressures of audience demand, the idiosyncrasies of each musician, as well as financial and commercial trends. The radical effects of change in the local labour market and in the world economy are not really new; these have been features of Nigerian gospel music since its origin. But now these factors define this music at the performance level as well.

In: Utafiti

Ikisiri

Tafiti juu ya matumizi ya lugha katika vyombo vya habari zimethibitisha kuwapo kwa makosa kadhaa ya lugha katika utoaji wa habari. Makala haya, yanamakinikia makosa ya kisarufi katika matini andishi za habari za BBC Swahili na DW Kiswahili. Sampuli ya makala kumi kutoka kila tovuti ya chombo husika zilichanganuliwa kulingana na nadharia ya Corder (1967). Makosa ya udondoshaji, uchopekaji, upatanisho wa kisarufi, umoja na wingi, mpangilio wa vipashio na mantiki yalithibitika. Sababu za kufanyika kwa makosa hayo ni pamoja na: kutomudu sarufi ya Kiswahili, kukosa umakini katika uandishi na uhariri, athari za lugha mama, lugha za kigeni, lugha ya mazungumzo, na uteuzi mbaya wa msamiati. Vilevile, ilibainika kuwa makosa hayo yana athari hasi kwa wazungumzaji wa lugha pamoja na lugha yenyewe. Hata hiyo, tafiti zaidi zinapaswa kufanywa juu ya mazingira yachocheayo uvumilivu wa makosa ya lugha katika utangazaji wa habari kwa Kiswahili.

In: Utafiti

Abstract

The archaeological remains found in the Mumba rock-shelter in northern Tanzania – where continuous deposits span from the Middle Stone Age (MSA) to the historical period – provide a unique opportunity to study trends in technology and behavioural change of early humans. Developments in symbolic thought may be evident in the production and use of ochre pigments, beads and rock art. At this site, beads and other symbolic artefacts are represented in varying quantities through the late MSA, the Later Stone Age (LSA), Neolithic, and post Stone Age cultures. Such beaded ornaments were made from various raw materials including ostrich eggshells, stone pebbles, and arthropod shells. Ancient beading technologies, discovered at Mumba and other MSA sites across the East African region, contribute to clarifying the origin and development of representational cognition in the distant past. These artefacts also reveal components of personal identity and creative expression, whose recorded remains are patchy and infrequently discussed in Sub-Saharan Africa. From a Darwinian perspective, these archaeological finds demonstrate the empirical issue of environmentally selected human responses to local stimuli. They are remnants of the synergistic adaptation that led more generally to the broader technological innovations and behavioural changes occurring through the late Middle Stone Age and later flourishing universally during the Late Stone Age culture.

In: Utafiti

Abstract

The deployment of violence as a subversive and revolutionary tool for effecting social change in post-independent African states has been very controversial among literary scholars. This paper employs Marxism in re-reading Femi Osofisan’s Red is the Freedom Road, and argues that the use of violence as a popular means of engendering progressive transformation of society is too costly in blood and devastation. Instead, tackling the various sociopolitical challenges confronting postcolonial African nations is better pursued through dialogue and negotiation rather than armed confrontation. Osofisan’s revulsion in response to the use of violence permeates his drama; but this does not in any way reduce his literary stature when compared with Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Wole Soyinka, whose literary works seem to support the view that there comes a point when the deployment of violence becomes necessary.

In: Utafiti
Author: Devet Goodness

Abstract

The speech act of greeting is one of the most frequent linguistic interactional routines performed among the Maasai of Arusha in Tanzania. The structure of their greetings demonstrates a number of culturally specific features of Maasai society, illuminated by analysing data collected through interviews and non-participatory observations of both men and women. The structure of Maasai greetings highlights the importance of maintaining gentility and exercising deference in everyday affairs. Politeness and civility are demonstrated by acknowledging vertical ranking between those who greet each other; sustaining propriety is determined by recognition of social status and by a heightened gender sensitivity which is ever present. Good manners are performed not only by following verbal codes scrupulously, such as tone of voice and word choice; non-verbal signals are just as important in the demonstration of Maasai etiquette; these include the posture adopted when a greeting is initiated, the adjustment of spatial distance and by whom once a greeting has commenced, the manner of shaking hands, as well as the length of time spent greeting.

In: Utafiti

Ikisiri

Makala hii inachambua baadhi ya maandiko muhimu yatokanayo na mtaala kwa kutoa ufafanuzi wa kina juu ya dhana na vipengele mahususi vya maandiko hayo ambavyo mwalimu wa somo la Kiswahili hupaswa kuvizingatia katika uwasilishaji wa somo lake. Lengo la uchambuzi huu ni kuonesha athari za kutotumia vizuri maandiko hayo na umuhimu wake kwa walimu katika kufundishia somo la Kiswahili. Ufafanuzi umejumuisha maandiko ya aina tatu nayo ni muhtasari, azimio la kazi na andalio la somo. Uchambuzi huu unatokana na kuwepo kwa matumizi ya maandiko hayo isiyosahihi, walimu kutokutumia maandiko hayo kwa kigezo cha uhaba wa upatikanaji na ukosekanaji wa ufahamu wa matumizi ya maandiko hayo. Kutokana na sababu hizo na kwa kuwa lugha ya Kiswahili kimawanda asili ya matumizi yake ni Tanzania, ni muhimu kuwepo kwa andiko hili ili kumwezesha mwalimu wa somo la Kiswahili kutumia maandiko hayo kwa ufanisi na kuhimiza uandaaji wa maandiko hayo kwa idadi inayotosheleza ili kupunguza uhaba. Data za kuwezesha uandishi wa makala hii zimepatikana kwa njia ya mapitio ya maandiko na matini mbalimbali na kutafsiri rejea zilizoandikwa kwa lugha za kigeni hasa Kiingereza. Imebainika kupitia makala hii kuwa kuna athari zinazotokana na kutotumia maandiko hayo kwa walimu jambo ambalo limesababisha maandiko haya kutotumika ipasavyo.

In: Utafiti

Abstract

Auto-ethnography is an effective methodology to reflect upon the moral values and their acquisition among the Wagogo people in central Tanzania against the background of postmodernity. In so doing I have identified the enculturative contexts within which I came to acquire the moral values that I live by, in particular my immediate family (i.e. my parents), the religion I was brought up in, and traditional school experiences (i.e. my initiation). I argue that despite contemporary theories of African character formation generating from the impact in Africa of cultural diversity and neuroscientific research, our traditional enculturative contexts of parenting, religious upbringing, and indigenous initiation ceremonies continue to have a central and enduring impact on the development of moral values among the Wagogo people of central Tanzania.

In: Utafiti