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Type Journal Article - Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies
Title Language, Identity and the Politics of Recognition in Post-Banda Northern Malawi
Volume 31
Issue 1-2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
URL http://escholarship.org/uc/item/3bt4r7wv.pdf
Fro!ll the li111e of the attainment of independmce jro111 Britain in 1964 11p to 1994, Malawi 111as under President Hastings Ka11m~!' Banda's one-party dictatorship. a/ion-building 111as fol(nded Otl tbe principle of 0111' nation, one par!J (the MalaJvi Congress Par!J), one leader (Life Prmdent Banda) atld orJe national language (Cbii!JOI!}a/ ChicheJva). Despite tbe joel /bat Malmvi is multilingual and 111ullielbnic, /be Banda regi111e created an oppressive political atmosphere Hnder 111bich non-Cbe111a ethnic and lingui.rtic identities 111ere suppressed. In response to the del!lise of the Banda regime in 1994 (through the ballot bo:x.), tbere has been a revival of linguistic/ etbnic identi(y-seeking behavior ai!Jongst some ethnolillgl(istic gro"ps. Such groups_ for exa111ple, 110111 seek official recognition of their langHages. This paper discusses this trend of tbe politics of recognition 111ith special riference to the Nortbem region of NfalaJJii.

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