Depiction of African indigenous education in Akiki Nyabongo’s Africa answers back (1936)
CITATION: Kahyana, D. S. 2016. Depiction of African indigenous education in Akiki Nyabongo’s Africa answers back (1936). Alternation, 18:241-254.
The original publication is available at http://alternation.ukzn.ac.za/Homepage.aspx
This paper examines the depiction of African indigenous formal and informal education and instruction in Akiki K. Nyabongo’s novel, Africa Answers Back (1936), and how his African characters try to protect what they have learnt from their elders (norms, customs and beliefs) at a time when they are threatened by the activities of European missionaries.. I examine how Nyabongo portrays the threats, mostly through confrontations between his main character, Mujungu (the Chief’s son and heir apparent) and Reverend Jeremiah Randolph Hubert (the missionary who propagates Western notions with the aim of destroying African indigenous ones). The major finding of the paper is that while Nyabongo sees Western education as a threat to the survival of African indigenous education, as well as the norms, customs and beliefs it passes from one generation to another, at the same time, he presents this hallmark of Western culture as having something positive that African people need to acquire in order to improve their living standards, that is to say, Western medicine.