Emerging Voices

CMCI Emerging Voices: Meet the Panellists – Dr. Blessing Chapfika

The 29th of June 2022 saw nine emerging voices, from across the UK, present at the CMCI PGR Symposium at King’s College London.

At the symposium Dr. Chapfika presented his paper ‘On the return to humanity: A case for Africanisation’.

Biography

Dr. Blessing Chapfika is a recent Ph.D. graduate from the University of Hull. In his thesis “Towards an African philosophy of education,” Dr. Chapfika appropriates the critical reflexivity paradigm in formulating a dialogic African philosophy of education. Dr. Chapfika is a qualified and experienced high school and university teacher of religion and philosophy. His research interests are African philosophy, philosophy of education, social and political theory, anti/de/postcolonial theory, critical theory, and ethical theory.

Abstract

On the return to humanity: A case for Africanisation

Apart from its socio-economic, cultural, and political setbacks, the major problem with the European expansionist project of colonization in Africa was its knowledge and value displacement and its epistemic dislocation. Consequently, the colonized communities developed an abnormal complexity, which Du Bois (2015) best describes as ‘double consciousness’. This abnormal complexity is a psychological disposition of thinking or believing that to be or to exist is to be the other. In Africa, the greatest challenge revolves around the possible ways to resolve the abnormal complexity. Currently, two approaches to resolve this challenge are evident. First, an approach that is popular among liberation war politicians and ethnophilosophers, is an attempt to return to pre-colonial Africa to find the original African knowledge and values that help to cure this condition. Second, an approach that is popular among liberal thinkers and professional philosophers, is an attempt to underplay the abnormal complexities of colonization and advocate the embracing of modern and universal knowledge and values that colonization brought. We may call the first one ‘Afrocentrism’ – a particularist position that advocates a return to Africa’s past, and we may call the second Eurocentrism – a universalist position that advocates continuing with modern values. I reject both positions as erroneous. Instead, I argue for Africanisation that advocates humanity based on genuine dialogue. With most African countries approaching their golden independence jubilee, Africa remains under the spell of the colonial predicament. In this presentation, I clarify the abnormal complexities caused by colonization, critique the two main approaches, analyze the theoretical and practical (im)possibility of returning to humanity, review the perennial universalismparticularism debate, and argue for Africanisation as a credible alternative. Noteworthy is that the African colonial predicament is not unique to Africa but it resonates with most previously colonized communities.

Contact

B.Chapfika-2017@hull.ac.uk

blessing.chapfika@gmail.com

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