Decolonised and Africanised Texts:

A Higher Education Perspective


  • Linda Scott Vaal University of Technology



decolonisation, editing, curricula, South Africa


South Africa has undergone and continues to undergo dramatic changes on the educational landscape, particularly in higher education institutions (HEIs). The latest drive for decolonisation and Africanisation of the curriculum emanated from the 2015 student protests (#FeesMustFall; #RhodesMustFall). Decolonisation and Africanisation are not new concepts and are practices required to ensure that changes are carried out on curricula that are colonial and Eurocentric and which perpetuate Western bias. The research question deals with: What approaches need to be considered when developing strategies for editing of decolonised and Africanised texts in higher education in South Africa? The approach of this study is from an editing perspective with a qualitative, interpretive research paradigm. Although this study is cross-sectional, it forms part of a longitudinal study into understanding strategies and developing guidelines to decolonise and Africanise texts in HEIs in South Africa. Data for this study were collected from a literature review of editing strategies when decolonising and Africanising text. As there is a shortage of available literature in South Africa, editing practices for indigenous texts formed the unit of analysis for this study. In addition, empirical data were collected on the perceptions of educators in a South Africa HEI on, inter alia the extent and the process of decolonisation and Africanisation of the curricula. The findings of the study uncovered a number of editing strategies and themes that could be useful in developing a framework for the process of decolonisation and Africanisation of texts. Conclusions are provided and limitations for the study are delineated.


Download data is not yet available.


ALEXANDER, N., 2011, After apartheid: the language question. In: After Apartheid: The Second Decade, edited by I. Shapiro and K. Tebeau (University of Virginia Press). Date of access: 12/03/2019 apartheid/ alexanderp2.pdf

BAMISILE, S., 2008, Socio-cultural commitment in things fall apart. When Things Came Together: Studies on Chinua Achebe. Date of access 25/08/2019 file:///C:/Users/Linda%20Scott/ Downloads/Socio-Cultural_Commitment_ In_ Things_Fall%20(1).pdf

BUSINESS DICTIONARY, 2019, Editing. Date of access: 06/07/2019 http://www.businessdictionary. com/ definition/editing.html

COLEMAN, J. A., 2006, English-medium teaching in European higher education. Language Teaching, 39(1), 1-14.

DAVIDS, N., and WAGHID, Y., 2016, #FeesMust Fall: History of South African student protests reflects inequality’s grip. Mail and Guardian, 10 October. Date of access: 05/04/2019 article/2016-10-10-feesmustfall-history-of-south-african-student-protests-reflects-inequalitys-grip

DEPARTMENT: HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING, 2017, Statistics on post-school education and training in South Africa 2015. Date of access: 03/04/2019

FREEMAN, R., 2009, ‘We Must Become Gatekeepers’: Editing Indigenous Writing. New Writing, 6(2), 133-149.

FUSCH, P. I. and NESS, L. R., 2015, Are we there yet? Data saturation in qualitative research. The Qualitative Report, 20(9), 1408-1416.

HELETA, S., 2016, Decolonisation: academics must change what they teach and how. The Conversation, 20 November. Date of access: 10/06/2019 https://theconversation. com/decolonisation-academics-must-change-what-they-teach-and-how-68080.

HORSTHEMKE, K., 2004, Knowledge, education and the limits of Africanisation. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 38(4), 571-587

HOUSE, J., 2003, English as a lingua franca: a threat to multilingualism? Journal of Sociolinguistics, 7/4, 556-578.

JANSEN, J., 2017, The lost scholarship of changing curricula. South African Journal of Science, 113, 5-6.

KEHDINGA, D., and FOMUNYAM, G., 2017, Decolonising teaching and learning in engineering education in a South African university. International Journal of Applied Engineering Research, 12(23), 13349-13358.

LAENUI, P., 2006, Processes of decolonization. Date of access: 12/07/2019. marcos. pizarro/maestros/Laenui.pdf

LE GRANGE, L., 2016, Decolonising the curriculum. South African Journal of Higher Education, 30(2), 1-12

MACGREGOR, K., 1996, Getting to grips with Africanisation. Higher Education Review/ Sunday Independent Supplement, May 19.

MAKGOBA, M. W., 1997, Mokoko: The Makgoba Affair – A reflection on Transformation (Florida: Vivlia).

MCDONELL, M., 2004, The invisible hand: cross-cultural influence on editorial practice, M Phil Thesis, University of Queensland.

NDLOVU-GATSHENI, S. J., 2016, Decolonizing the university and the problematic grammars of change in South Africa. Keynote address delivered at the 5th Annual Students Conference on Decolonizing the Humanities and Social Sciences in South Africa/ Africa. University of KwaZulu-Natal, 6-7 October 2016.

ODORA HOPPERS, C. A., 2000, African voices in education: retrieving the past, engaging the present, and shaping the future. In: African Voices in Education, edited by P. Higgs, N. C. G. Vakalisa, T. V. Mda and N. T. Assie-Lumumba (Lansdowne: Juta.)

RAMOSE, M. B., 1998, Foreword. In: Black Perspectives in Tertiary Institutional Transformation, edited by S. Seepe (Johannesburg: Vivlia).

RAMOSE, M. B., 2002, The struggle for reason in Africa. In: Philosophy from Africa, edited by P. H. Coetzee and A. P. J. Roux (Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa).

RAMOSE, M. B., 2004, In search of an African philosophy of education. SAJHE, 18(3), 138-160.

RITCHIE, J., LEWIS, J., NICHOLLS, C. M., and ORMSTON, R., (Eds), 2013, Qualitative research practice: a guide for social science students and researchers (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage).

SCOTT, L. 2015. English lingua franca in the South African tertiary classroom: recognising the value of diversity, Master’s thesis, Stellenbosch University.

SILVA, P., 1997, South African English: Oppressor or liberator? The major varieties of English. Papers from MAVEN 97, Vaxjo, 20-22 November 1997.

SMIT, U. 2005. Multilingualism and English. The lingua franca concept in language description and language learning pedagogy. In: Mehrsprachigkeit und Kommunikation in der Diplomatie, edited by R. Raistauer, C. Cali, I. Cullin and K. Chester (Favorita Papers 4. Vienna: Diplomatic Academy), pp. 66-76.

SAHO, SOUTH AFRICAN HISTORY ONLINE, Student protests in democratic South Africa, Date of access: 20/05/2019.

SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT, 2019, History, Date of access: 20/05/2019.

SOUTH AFRICAN TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION (TRC), 2018, Welcome to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Website, Date of access: 12/07/2019.

STATISTICS SOUTH AFRICA, 2018, Mid year population estimates 2018, Date of access: 10/05/2019.

STRAUSS, A., & CORBIN, J., 1990, Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques (Newbury Park, CA: Sage).

THIONG’O, N. W., 1986, Decolonising the Mind: the Politics of Language in African Literature (Oxford, England: Heinemann).

WRIGHT, A., 2002, Politics of writing. Southerly, 62(2), 10-20.





How to Cite

Scott, L. (2020). Decolonised and Africanised Texts:: A Higher Education Perspective. Proceeding of the International Conference on Arts and Humanities, 6(1), 25–37.