From “Apeiron” to Albatross: A Conceptual Discourse on the Decolonisation of Cinema Education in Sub-Saharan African Universities



Decolonisation, Post-Coloniality, Cinema Education, Curriculum Development, African Knowledge System, De-westernisation


The persistence of westernised systems of education in African countries has engendered various decolonial movements in African institutions of higher learning. From the 1985 great Nairobi literature Debate to the 2015-2016 #RhodesMustFall and the #FeeMustFall movements in South Africa, the transnational campaigns launched against vestiges of colonial education have amply been perceptible in Africa these recent years. In the field of cinema teaching in particular, these campaigns have remained understudied although perceptible. The campaigns have taken the form of symposia, conferences and book projects aimed to push for the inclusion of the African Knowledge System and indigenous languages and pedagogies in the teaching of cinema in the African universities. Although laudable, these decolonial efforts are faced with numerous challenges, four of which include the elusiveness of decolonisation concept, the persistence of the African inferiority complex, the apparent lack of political and the inherent un-Africaness of cinema as a phenomenon or a discipline. The present paper seeks principally to examine the challenges mentioned above and proposes a way forward. Hinging on critical observations and secondary sources, the paper specifically addresses three questions. First, it explores various movements for the decolonisation of cinema education in Africa. Second, it examines the challenges facing the decolonial movements in the continent and third, it analyses implications for the success of the decolonisation of film teaching in Africa.

Author Biography

Floribert Patrick C. Endong, University of Dschang

Department of Performing Arts and Cinematography, IBAF, Senior Lecturer