Multilingual Activism in South African Hip Hop
Keywords:multilingualism, hip hop, Cape Town, AfriKaaps, language ideology
It is difficult to point exactly to the day multilingual activism emerged in South African hip hop culture, though we can arguably state such activism emerged out of a confluence of historical events that involved the oppression of black and coloured people by an aggressively oppressive apartheid regime. This article discusses the tactics and strategies of multilingual activism undertaken by pioneering hip hop groups Prophets of da City at the inception of hip hop in South Africa. It considers the historical transition from apartheid South Africa to the new South Africa and how new and emerging forms of multilingual activism such as the AfriKaaps movement are contributing to redefining what we mean by multilingualism. The article also links these forms of multilingual activism to an alternative politics of multilingual voice being promoted in the public space of the country.
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