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African Philosophy: A Link between Traditional and Modern Praise Poetry

Method Samwel*

Abstract

This article argues that traditional and modern praise poetry do relate. This relationship stems from the fact that the two are similar in several aspects ranging from content to form. Only one similarity among them—similarity in philosophy—is discussed here. The article, therefore, presents how different kinds of African poetry of different generations can never diverge totally from African philosophy. That is to say, both traditional and modern praise poetry carry similar beliefs: how Africans view
things is similar in the two kinds of poetry. Traditional praise poetry used here is Bahaya praise poetry, ebyebugo, and the praises seen in Basukuma songs, while modern poetry used here is Bongo Flavor praise poetry. Bahaya and Basukuma are
people who live in Northwestern and Lake Zone in Tanzania. Bongo Flavor is Tanzanian youth music that is characterized by self-praise. Therefore, this article picks Tanzanian traditional and modern praise poetry as samples of African traditional and
modern poetry, respectively.

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