Language change in bongo movies in tanzania: a reflection of identity deconstruction and globalization resulting from socio-cultural and economic transformations

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Mwandelile, Edwin Philemon
Mwakapina, Job Wilson

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Academic Research Publishing Group


After the independence of Tanganyika in1961 and its unification with Zanzibar to form Tanzania in 1964, Bongo movie artists in Tanzania have increasingly been using more English in Kiswahili movies than before. This paper sought to describe this new trend. Specifically, it highlights evidence and describes the motivations and impacts of the change. The study was conducted in Dar es Salam city involving movies acted before and after 1961 to 2013. The study involved spectators, actors and actresses, producers, directors and distributors. Data were collected through documentary review and interview methods, and were analysed descriptively and comparatively. Many factors have been realised to contribute to this change. However, they can be mainly categorised into psychological, cultural and economic factors, which all are a result of socio-cultural and economic changes which have been taking place in the country since1980s. Besides, it is revealed that the change has mainly impacted in deconstruction of Tanzanians’ identity and economic gains to key Bongo movie stakeholders. The study has revealed further that the change deconstructs our identity as a nation because the country remains half-caste in film industry, since there is no clear cut between Tanzanian and Nigerian movies. Therefore, the government is urged through the National Films Censorship Board, to maintain nation’s identity by inspecting, monitoring and certifying quality of movies before they are released to the market. All the substandard movies with code mixing, wrong English titles and subtitles should be monitored before they go public


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Language change, Film industry, Identity deconstruction, Bongo movies