1st Edition

Membering the Rhodesian Linguistic Agenda in Zimbabwe

By Isaac Mhute Copyright 2024
    110 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Membering the Rhodesian Linguistic Agenda in Zimbabwe reports on a study carried out in Zimbabwe to ascertain the degree and effect of honouring the colonial linguistic agenda.

    The book employs an interpretivist philosophy and qualitative research approach that relies on participatory observations, interviewing purposively sampled informants and focus group discussions involving snowball sampled graduates. It was inspired by the Critical Language Policy Theory that considers language choice a critical determinant factor in how communities are administered politically, economically, socioculturally and educationally. It establishes that whereas linguistic imperialism meant to serve as the lifeblood of the Southern Rhodesian colonial machine, the former coloniser ensured coloniality in Zimbabwe by presenting the English language as a sacred media in political, economic, sociocultural and educational settings forever. The study establishes that the only way Zimbabwe and other such post-colonies could find redemption is by eradicating the sacredness of former colonisers’ languages by adding value to all their languages and the indigenous knowledge systems associated with them. It also demonstrates that the bigger the delay, the more is irretrievably lost together with custodians of the languages.

    This book will be informative for undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers in linguistics, communication, sociology, anthropology and history. It may also serve well as a resource to government researchers, politicians and other policymakers.



    Chapter One - Introduction        

    Chapter Two - Situating Linguistic Imperialism in the Colonial Machine 

    Chapter Three - Political Effects of Linguistic Imperialism in Southern Rhodesia and Zimbabwe


    Chapter Four - Economic Effects of Linguistic Imperialism on Southern Rhodesia and Zimbabwe


    Chapter Five - Sociocultural Impact of the Rhodesian and Zimbabwean language policies


    Chapter Six - Educational Effects of Rhodesian and Zimbabwean Language Policies


    Chapter Seven - Conclusion and Way Forward

    Reference List



    Isaac Mhute is an associate professor in the Department of Language, Literature and Culture Studies at Midlands State University who has vast experience in lecturing, supervising and examining both undergraduates and postgraduates. He graduated with a Doctor of Literature and Philosophy in African Languages, focusing on the morphological, syntactic and semantic representation of grammatical relations from the University of South Africa. His research interests are in both theoretical and applied linguistics (language policy and development, syntax and semantics, onomastics as well as strategic communication issues in education, amongst others). He is a chief examiner for language and literature with an international examining board, professional editor and translator/back translator (English and Shona).