Appropriation generally refers to the strategies employed by postcolonial societies and its writers and scholars that enable them to use the philosophical, linguistic, and academic tools introduced by the colonizers to offer their own versions of truth or, in ideal conditions, to dismantle the colonizers’ claims to truth using the colonizers own language and vocabularies.

In the postcolonial African literary tradition, appropriation has been a highly contested technique: For writers like Chinua Achebe and others, using the colonizers language to tell African stories is seen as an enabling practice, but scholars like Chinweizu and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o believe that using native languages and cultural vocabularies is absolutely crucial to developing a native cultural sphere that is free of the ideological determinisms of the colonial system of education and colonial ideological imperatives.

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