Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 33, Issue 1, 2023

Charley Mejame Ejede
Pages 9-36

Philosophy and African Sapiential Tradition
Giving Voice to Wisdom and the Conceptualization of Traditional African Society. Part I

The purpose of this study is not to show, as does Obenga, how Europe drew on Egypt or how Africa is the origin of all philosophies and the origin of all humanity, but to show African thinkers who, in the future, will want to take a serious look at developing a philosophy that embraces the major values of African culture, for this is supremely possible. This African culture subsists above all in the inexplorable African linguistic corpus. I argue that if we speak of African wisdom, we must first show its existence in the linguistic underpinning of the sapiential function in African culture. The solution to Africa’s problems will never come entirely from outside Africa; per contra, it will come from Africa itself, in her inherent values. The realms of salvation, therefore, of Africa lie in the norms implicit in its culture, but which are universal and are applicable to other cultures as well. The principal objective, therefore, of this paper, is the encounter between the logos and the African sapiential tradition for the two modes of thought mutually enrich themselves to address our contemporary problems. I show the crisis of the African humanity and the spheres of redemption in its sapiential function and the transmission of knowledge and reason in its multifarious facets. The work shows the major ideas inherent in the African sapiential tradition (African languages). African philosophy can incontrovertibly be found in African languages which conceal great knowledge and a use of life we have neglected today. The article explores the Kiluba language and deals with diverse questions in philosophy from its areas, i.e. ethics, politics, psychology, modern philosophy, linguistics, moral philosophy.