Youth Language Manipulation in Negotiating Political Interest and Positions in Uganda
ANDREA HOLLINGTON & DENNIS AKENA
Ever since the 15th century when the various societies of present-day Uganda were established, Sports education which constituted Music, Dance and Drama (MDD) was an integral part of the education system used to train youth with language always being an important means of instruction. The combination played a fundamental role in the processes of nation building and state formation.
With the introduction of ‘modern’ schooling and education by the Christian missionaries in the 1890s, and the enactment of the first official education policy of the British Colonial Government in 1925, the combination of sports education which constituted MDD consequently developed into one of the most important aspects of schooling, used to educate, indoctrinate and produce citizens of the national system.
In our presentation, we shall discuss how youth language and language manipulation in the context of sports education and MDD formed part of the institutional and historical processes that have constituted the current education system and formed part of everyday practices and rituals on school assemblies, classes, sports and school ceremonies.
We shall further reveal how the youth have instead manipulated national and school rituals in connection with sports education and MDD and transformed language and language manipulation as a tool in the processes of negotiation of political interests and positions in schools and national politics. We will in particular look at the ways and linguistic strategies in which youth language practices and music have been playing and continue to play a significant role in the context of education and politics in Uganda.