The African, His Spirituality, and Language Exploitation: A Cause of Some Armed Conflicts and Insurgency in Africa

By Blossom Shimayam Ottoh-Agede and Jesse Iorfaga Agede.

Published by The International Journal of Diverse Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 11, 2016 $US5.00

Africans irrespective of where they are located on the continent believe in the supernatural. This elucidates why Africans explain happenings or events around them concomitantly. Unlike Westerners who polarize and segment reality, an African sees reality as one indivisible whole. For him, the spiritual and the physical are mixed and every physical occurrence can only be explained from a spiritual perspective. Ancestor worship is also powered by this kind of disposition. Since an African holds such a strong belief in the spiritual world as the source and sustainer of the natural or physical world, it is common place for him to consider himself inferior to any spiritual being, be it conceived as God, gods, spirits, ghosts, ancestors, deities, and so on. This paper therefore seeks to explore how the language and the spirituality of the African have been utilized and exploited by persons and/or groups within and outside Africa to fuel armed conflicts and insurgency on the continent. The paper also suggests ways by which the African can appropriate his spirituality for peace and prosperity on the African continent. The paper adopts the Marxist Theory on religion; this is based on the Marxist assumption that the rich use religion as a tool to exploit the poor. We also consider Componential Analysis (CA) relevant for data analysis. This is useful because naming specifies lexical meanings. CA also shows how the semantic meaning of a lexeme is decomposed into small(er) atoms of meaning.

Keywords: Supernatural, Language Exploitation, Deceptionism, Religiosity, Blackmail

International Journal of Diverse Identities, Volume 16, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.19-33. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 11, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 845.662KB)).

Blossom Shimayam Ottoh-Agede

PhD Student, Department of English, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria; Lecturer, English Studies, Federal University Lafia, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria

Jesse Iorfaga Agede

Higher House Keeper, Registry Department, Federal University Lafia, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria