Language is a tool used to transmit culture from generation to generation. Language does contain all the symbols and signs that a particular generation needs to transmit its values, knowledge, and skills to the less experienced generation. This has been a human way of transmitting culture from generation to generation; however; this trend is set to continue to be the norm for some time to come.
Africa is a continent embodied with a lot of languages and dialects alike. However, the continent has been unable to come up with a language that would transcend all ethnic languages and dialects. This scenario has, however, come with its own challenges, some of which still haunt the continent up to now.
The significant consequences have been that the continent has been with the help of the imperialists labeled Africa ethnic languages and dialects as vernacular (primitive). The lack of confidence in the ethnic language and dialects as resulted in the use of foreign languages as official mediums of communications in various national forums across various African countries.
The coming in of missionaries and eventually the scramble for Africa by the major European powers was the genesis of cultural imperialism on the African continent. The inferiority complex that was shown by the ancestors of the continent has this time around landing the continent a major crisis. The crisis is so great in that it has to do with the mental make-up of the people of the continent.
The colonial masters carefully designed the plan of imposing the language on the Africans by introducing western education and placing their language as the medium of instruction in the schools and official communication process. Unconsciously, Africans were able to learn the foreign languages without realizing the long-term effects of learning the foreign languages.
Through this measure, Africans have been slowly adopting the culture of the colonial masters, and the continent has been having a cultural identity crisis. The continent has been vulnerable in the preservation of its cultural values because the educated elite of the continent would rather converse in foreign languages. The African culture is currently regarded as primitive and worthy of not pursuing.
The dire consequences of western education on the African continent is that the continent’s future generation will be unable to identify themselves because they will be completely cut-off from their roots. The people of the African continent have been able to accept anything-western origin as the best while neglecting anything African. The state of the African culture is quite dire and needs the Africans to realize that they are being re-colonized using language. The use of foreign languages has resulted in cultural imperialism on the African continent.
By Moono John
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