Public lecture sheds light on Afrocentricity

The North-West University’s Indigenous Language Media in Africa (ILMA) research niche area hosted a hybrid public lecture featuring Prof Molefi Kete Asante, a prominent figure in African American scholarship, on 19 March 2024.

The title of the lecture was “Afrocentricity, communication, and culture: Building a common history".

Prof Asante, a distinguished professor in the Department of Africology at Temple University in Philadelphia and president of the Molefi Kete Asante Institute for Afrocentric Studies, stands as a beacon in shaping discourse on Afrocentric education.

In his presentation, Prof Asante revealed the fundamental principles and profound significance of Afrocentricity as a guiding philosophy. Drawing from his extensive research and expertise, he provided insights into Afrocentricity's transformative potential in reshaping narratives about Africa and its people.

"At the core of Afrocentricity is the imperative to prioritise African interests, values and perspectives in all facets of research and interpretation," emphasised Prof Asante.

He stressed the transcendent nature of Africology, which, from an Afrocentric standpoint, offers a comprehensive understanding of Africa's heritage and contemporary challenges.
Distinguishing Africology from conventional African studies, Prof Asante highlighted its departure from Eurocentric frameworks that historically dominated academic discourse about Africa. He identified the impact of the "language of dislocation" employed by colonial powers to assert mental domination and perpetuate dependency on Western hegemony, thereby undermining African wisdom.

"Challenging assumptions about historical facts is paramount to reclaiming agency over African narratives," he added.

He dissected the violent colonisation of Africa and the subsequent control exerted by colonisers over land and communication, highlighting the critical role of language, chronology, etymology and mythology in shaping narratives and perceptions.

Central to Afrocentricity, Prof Asante explained, is the imperative to recentre Africans in their history and reclaim agency over their narratives. He emphasised how Afrocentric study empowers Africans as the main protagonists in the continent's narrative, countering centuries of marginalisation perpetuated by colonial powers.

"Afrocentricity represents a significant Africological advance by centring the agency of Africans in the narrative and dismantling inherited power matrices from colonialism."

He further explored how analytic sciences evolve through language, communication, deconstruction and decoloniality, laying the groundwork for a more inclusive understanding of Africa's past, present and future.

Prof Molefi Kete Asante.

Submitted on Tue, 03/26/2024 - 13:25