Journal of West African Languages

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Identity and ideological representation in selected Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s songs Identity and ideological representation in selected Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s songs


Identity and ideology are two inseparable concepts that have attracted the attention of language scholars, particularly those in sociolinguistics, pragmatics and discourse analysis. To such scholars, every linguistic construction is a product of a particular ideology that defines the identity of the language user. Drawing inspiration from this proposition, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, FAK, a musician-cum activist in Nigeria, could be described as a music legend whose songs are replete with certain radical and linguistic identity-cum-ideological construction phenomena. Previous studies on Fela have focused on his philosophy, lifestyle and music style with little attention to how he deployed linguistic tools to create and map out identities and ideologies in his songs. This study, therefore, is an analysis of the identity creation ideologies in seven purposively selected FAK’s songs. The study draws input from Staszak’s concept of Other(ness) for data analysis. Two ideological identities, the self- I, me we, and us and the other- they, they, you, dominate FAK’s songs. These are projected through his individualism, collectivism, political, colonial, and religious ideologies, which are a means of protesting against the political, religious, and social realities that define the African socio-cultural and political system in general, and the Nigerian space in particular.


Volume Number 44.2
Topic #1 Discourse
Author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Language English
Language Family None

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