Regional Integration through Trans-Border Languages Literature in Southern Africa: An Anti-Xenophobic Proposal

Author: Sindile Dlodlo (Midlands State University, Zimbabwe)
Speaker: Sindile Dlodlo
Topic: Applied Sociolinguistics
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL AFALA 2023 General Session


This paper seeks to propose ways of fighting xenophobia in Southern Africa through trans-border languages literature. Literature is a potent means of spreading messages and this has been proven in most of Africa where writing contributed much to the fight against colonialism as well as post-independence inequalities. Presently, Southern Africa is laden with the scourge of xenophobia which is threatening to tear the region apart. People who are perceived as foreign in one country actually share a history and the same linguistic traits with their kin across the border. Taking advantage of the languages that exist between the countries of the region, this work intends to explore possible methodologies of writing, sharing and popularizing works of literature that fight against xenophobia by emphasising the ‘sameness’ rather than differences among African people. Theoretical underpinnings of the paper are domiciled in Afrocentricity where harmonising and humanising are the important tenets for the discussion. The research deals specifically with possibilities between languages that exist between Zimbabwe and South Africa where xenophobic trends have been more glaring.

Keywords: Trans-border languages, xenophobia, literature.