ISBN 9789956558612
Pages 76
Dimensions 216 x 140 mm
Published 2008
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback

Majunga Tok

Poems in Pidgin English

by Peter W. Vakunta

Pidgin English is the chief medium of communication for the great majority of Cameroonians. It sustains a world view, culture and way of life. Pidgin embodies concepts that would at best be partially expressed in formal English. A critical understanding of Pidgin English requires not only a thorough grasp of the socio-cultural matrix from which the words and expressions originate but also an immersion in an Afro-centric worldview.

Majunga Tok: Poems in Pidgin English is the poet’s attempt at capturing these speech patterns of ordinary Cameroonians in written form. Pidgin English, also called broken English, is a lingua franca spoken not only in Cameroon but also in many West African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia amonst others. This poetry anthology is inspired by the poet’s desire to salvage a language that has been subjected to multiple forms of denigration because it is oral. In Cameroon, for instance, Pidgin English has been the target of myriad attacks from self-styled linguistic purists who claim that Pidgin is a bastardized variant of Standard English and, therefore, should not be allowed to thrive. The controversy and denigration directed at Amos Tutuola and his Pidgin English creative genius are vivid examples. This condescending attitude of speakers of Standard English stems from the fact that Pidgin is often associated with illiteracy.

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About the Author

Peter W. Vakunta

Dr. Peter Wuteh Vakunta is a native of Bamunka-Ndop in the Northwest Region of the Republic of Cameroon. His education is global. Peter studied in Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, France and the United States of America. His research interests are cross-disciplinary and straddle the worlds of Francophonie and the Commonwealth. Peter is a prolific writer with over fifteen works on literary theory and fiction under his belt. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Indianapolis in the United States of America.

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