The deictic foundation of ideology, with reference to the African Renaissance

Willem J. Botha

Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit

1. Introduction

1.1. Background

In 1994 the ideology of apartheid - an official policy of racial segregation, instigated and practiced for forty-six years by the former National Party - was abandoned in South Africa when the African National Congress became the majority party in a Government of National Unity. A new Constitution came into practice on 4 February 1997. This Constitution includes mechanisms (like a single citizenship and values for human dignity, equality, nonracism and nonsexism) in order to build a sole nation. The Constitution also makes provision for diversity. But an underlying "ideology" acts as an impetus for this constitution: the need to build a sole nation, to invalidate former strict boundaries between categories; actually to create a new category with fuzzy boundaries - the "rainbow nation". This paper focusses on the emergence of an ideology from an address by Thabo Mbeki on 8 May 1996 in which he repeatedly made the statement (used the metaphor):

(1) I am an African.

1.2. Points of departure

As a deictic expression the statement in (1) portrays the three deictic categories: person, time and space. In this paper I took it for granted that any ideology has a deictic foundation in the sense that it originates within a certain (physical) space; it exists as an active ideology inside a certain time frame; it emanates from a person's (group of persons') cognitive and, frequently, emotional system; and it extends to many domains of existence and experience. Within the category person deixis I focussed on Mbeki's use of the pronoun first person singular in relation to the "I am an African"-metaphor against the background of the idea of an African Renaissance. I pointed out that the following obtain:

· the discourse structure of an ideology resembles the speech act structure;

· the speaker's conceptual and emotional input determines a "degree of alliance" in accordance with the proximity schema;

· the categories first person singular/plural are cognitively manipulated;

· the speaker (conceptualizer) makes different vantage point shifts in order to expand the different categories to accommodate as much as possible individuals within a certain spatial cognitive domain;

· the resulting perspective and viewpoint transfers imply conceptual identity transformations.

2. The concept African Renaissance

Although Mbeki never uses the expression African Renaissance in this address, he clearly hints at it . He devotes the last eight paragraphs of this address to the concept Africa, also attaching himself explicitly to Africa by the use of the possessive my continent, when he starts this section of his address with:

(2) The dismal shame of poverty, suffering and human degradation of my continent is a blight that we share.

The linguistic form African Renaissance involves the "activation of appropriate encyclopaedic knowledge" (cf. Taylor, 1995:&nbsp91). Taylor (1995:&nbsp87) refers to this knowledge network linking multiple domains associated with a given linguistic form, a frame. The linguistic form African Renaissance embraces two conceptual domains: Africa and Renaissance.

Within his address Mbeki limits background assumptions regarding Africa mainly to the following: "pain of violent conflict", "dismal shame of poverty, suffering and human degration", and "a savage road".

With regard to the other conceptual domain, Renaissance, Mbeki expresses a very unspecified view, relying predominantly on the force image-schematic structure, when he says: "Africa reaffirms that she is continuing her rise from the ashes", "Africa will prosper", and "nothing can stop us now". Should we consider the concept African Renaissance as a conceptual blend, we can postulate that this image-schematic rationale instigates cross-domain mapping between the conceptual domains African and Renaissance on account of the fact that it relates to the perception of humiliating forces in Africa.

On account of the fact that he only implicitly introduces the concept of an African Renaissance, Mbeki's address only paves the way for a very rich emergent structure a new category which should include background knowledge about the European Renaissance, the previous three African "rebirths" (according to Stephen Gray, in an interview with William Pretorius), namely the Caribbean generated revival at the turn of the century, a rebirth that "was a movement towards black dignity for all liberated people of African descent in the Caribbean"; the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s; and Pan-Africanism, "actively present with us as the Pan-African movement post the Second World War, peaking in the 1960s."

3. The discourse structure of an ideology

From time to time (or over a continuation of time) an individual or group of individuals promote or sustain a specific ideology by way of language use (and/or other means they wish to apply, which will not be examined in this paper) in an effort to effect potential "believers" and followers of such an ideology. The emergence and perpetuation of such an ideology depends on the "illocutionary force" underlying the ideas or collective views held by a group of people over a certain period of time. Consequently a living ideology can be considered a macro speech act. With reference to Figure 1, which represents an extension of a model proposed by Delport (1998:&nbsp44), we will examine this phenomenon.


Figure 1 exemplifies, as in analogy to a speech act, the structuring of a dogmatic intent of a representative (or representatives) of a certain ideology. Conceptualizer 1 (as an agent of a certain ideology) has to change the views of Conceptualizer 2 in an effort to promote the specific ideology. In speech act terms we can say that the illocution of the speech act is directed to an addressee in order to establish a certain perlocution: cognitive and emotional proximity to the group which C1 represents in favor of an attitude of solidarity, or adherence, or alliance, or conformity, or etc. - in agreement with the specific intent. C1 strives to extend the angle EC2D by way of conceptual and emotional input.


Angle AC1B represents the expansion of conceptual and emotional input on account of a force created by the linguistic application of specific cognitive devices. Amongst these cognitive mechanisms are the conceptual manipulation of the pronoun first person singular (in accordance with maneuvering strategies involving reference-point phenomena) and metonymic and metaphorical extensions. Other input variables, such as the contextual and cultural state of affairs and/or specific physical or emotional events, may affect the underlying strength of the expansive force. The two interacting communicative forces (expansion and proximity) instigated by the cognitive and emotional input are inversely proportional. From an ideological (and theoretical) point of view the objective would be that the proximity between the two confronting angles (AC1B and EC2D) would progress to such a limit that they eventually become a straight line EAC1C2BD, where the relation I:you is embodied in we. This objective relates to the proximity force which is based on gravity, i.e. attraction towards the speaker.


Against this background we will investigate such conceptual strategies relating to the pronouns first person singular/plural. To establish, maintain and expand mental contact, the pronoun first person singular functions as a very salient cognitive reference point on account of its extraordinary use. Before we explore the manipulating features of such an utilization, we have to emphasize the deictic fundamentals relating to the phenomenon cognitive reference point. It will be based on Langacker's (1993:&nbsp1-38) account of reference-point constructions.

4. Deixis and the coordinates of existence

4.1. The coordinates of existence

Human entities exist in a certain space at a certain point in time. And spatio-temporal cognizance implies identity. The coordinates of existence, i.e. identity, space and time, involve, inter alia, vantage point, view point, perspective and orientation - and an explicit or implicit knowledge of these spatial variables at a certain point in time. But conceptual awareness of these variables presupposes a certain alignment in relation to external reference points: spatial, temporal, or to other identities in space and time. The proximity image schema acts as a preconceptual base in order to link these reference points. In view of the experience of proximity, one has a closer relationship to comforting entities and situations, and a more distant relation to discomforting entities and situations. Taylor (1996:&nbsp134) rightly claims that the "degree of emotional involvement and the possibility of mutual influence are understood in terms of proximity." Compare, as an example, how the use of the verb come in example (3) suggests a comforting effect of closeness, while the use of the verb depart in example (4) indicates alienation from unpleasant entities:

(3) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Bible: Matthew, 11:&nbsp8).

(4) Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (Bible: Matthew, 25:&nbsp41).

4.2. Deixis and reference-point constructions

Langacker (1993:&nbsp1) claims that language structure provides significant clues about basic mental phenomena. In this regard he mentions the following notions that have general psychological importance, and which are founded on linguistic evidence: force dynamics; image schemas; subjective versus objective construal; and correspondence across cognitive domains or mental spaces. He considers cognitive reference point as a similar construct.

Against the background of what he calls image-schematic abilities (on a level more abstract than image schemas as such), Langacker (1993:&nbsp5) describes the reference-point phenomenon as "the ability to invoke the conception of one entity for purposes of establishing mental contact with another, i.e., to single it out for individual conscious awareness." He further asserts that reference-point ability remains below the surface of explicit observation. With regard to the reference point, Langacker (1993:&nbsp6) observes a few features which I consider to be very relevant to deixis as such:

· The reference point has an intrinsic or contextually determined cognitive salience.

· The salience feature of a reference point (R) functions in a dynamic way. It implies that a potential reference point must, first of all, have the capacity of significance to be a reference point; it then must become the focus of the conceptualizer's (C) conception, thereby allowing C to activate any element in its dominion as a target of conception in relation to R. This process could be recursive (compare Langacker, 1993:&nbsp6).

Profiled in language, all the above-mentioned coordinates relate to the deictic center. Figure 2 represents the fundamental features of the deictic center: the pronoun I, which reveals the (role) identity of a speaker; the adverb now, which indicates the moment of speaking; and the adverb here, revealing the time of speaking. This trilateral coordinate system, represented by the above-mentioned words, defines the primary level of deixis, namely the deictic center. On a secondary level pronouns like he, she, it, they (if not used anaphorically) and you (singular and plural) refer to entities in relation to I; their meanings are contextually related to the meaning of the pronoun first person singular. We will closely investigate the deictic relation between I and we, due to the fact that they are category-referring expressions and (within an ideological context) ideology-referring expressions.


Taking these theoretical presuppositions into consideration, we will investigate the manipulated use of the pronoun first person singular (I) with regard to Mbeki's I am an African-address.

5. The pronoun categories first person singular/plural

5.1. Role and identity

The pronoun I designates the speech act role (identity) of the speaker, it serves as an implicit cognitive reference point in order to establish mental contact with an addressee/hearer.

The reference-point phenomenon (mentioned above) is very fundamental and pervasive in our everyday experiences, although we are largely unaware of it (cf. Langacker, 1993:&nbsp5). In accordance with his intentions, the speaker may choose to exploit the salience of the pronoun first person singular as a reference point in order to manipulate the degree of mental (and emotional) contact with an addressee/hearer. Depending on contextual circumstances, he can manipulate the meaning of the pronoun first person singular (I) in such a way that it can be extended to refer to the addressee, to somebody outside the domain of the speech act, and to a group of persons - as it is the case with the pronoun first person plural (we), which can be used (apart from its inclusive and exclusive utilization) to refer to the speaker, a group of entities from which the speaker is excluded but with whom he/she identifies on account of social or ideological cohesion, or to disclose his/her solidarity with a category of entities as such.

5.2. Conceptual manipulation of the pronoun first person singular

In his address of 2words (63 paragraphs) on 8 May 1996, when he made a statement on behalf of the ANC at the adoption of South Africa's 1996 constitution bill, Mbeki's use of the pronoun first person singular is very discrete. In order to examine it, his address was proportionally divided into five equal sections of 408 words each, except for the last section which contains 410 words. We will refer to sections A, B, C, D, and E respectively. At contextually strategic places, that is within each of these sections, the cohesive metaphor I am an African is explicitly mentioned once to serve as an element of conceptual coherence.

Before we analyze his usage of the specific metaphor, we will investigate the usage of I within the relevant context.

5.2.1. Reference-point strategy

The selection of I instead of we in a certain context discloses what can be called a reference-point strategy. A person with a very prominent identity, as the former Deputy President of South Africa (Mbeki), can select I instead of we as a reference point to constitute a contextually determined cognitive salience, in order to establish mental contact with an addressee (C2) - what he indeed does.

5.2.2. Expanding the category first person singular

By exploiting his reference-point status as speaker, implicitly referring to an addressee by using I (and within a diverse group of addressees also to a third person), Mbeki actually expands the category first person singular to include different extensions. We will look at a few of his extensions in relation to the prototype of the category first person singular:

· The first usage of the first person singular occurs after a general description of the typical South African landscape, with its specific fauna and flora. He concludes with:

(5) A human presence among all these, a feature on the face of our native land thus defined, I know that none dare challenge me when I say - I am an African!

No reference is made to the specific identity of I. The pronoun first person singular is actually used in a collective sense; for pure referential purposes it could have been replaced by we.

· In a next phase Mbeki makes identity and vantage point shifts, by using the first person singular, to accommodate subcategories of the South African nation and to present an explicit or implicit historical perspective as an integral substance of the nation to be. The intent most probably would be that the resulting conceptual identity transformations should have a consolidating effect on different subcategories of the intended rainbow nation:

(6) I owe my being to the Khoi and the San whose desolate souls haunt the great expanses of the beautiful Cape (reference to the Khoi and the San).

(7) I am formed of the migrant who left Europe to find a new home on our native land (reference to the white South African immigrant from Europe).

(8) In my veins courses the blood of the Malay slaves who came from the East (reference to the Malay people from the East).

(9) I am the grandchild of the warrior men and women that Hintsa and Sekhukhune led (reference to the indigenous tribes of South Africa).

An interlude occurs when at this stage in the chronology of the address Mbeki reaches out to the all-inclusive context of Africa. An identity and vantage point shift to the collective first person singular takes place to harmonize with elements of an extended Africa. In addition to the I am an African-metaphor, an African Renaissance is also suggested here:

(10) My mind and my knowledge of myself is formed by the victories that are the jewels in our African crown, the victories we earned from Isandhlwana to Khartoum, as Ethiopians and as the Ashand of Ghana, as the Berbers of the desert.

Mbeki immediately after this view makes a conceptual shift again when he returns to certain subcategories of the nation to be, and speaks on their behalf:

(11) I am the grandchild who lays fresh flowers on the Boer graves of St Helena and the Bahamas, who sees in the mind's eye and suffers the suffering of a simple peasant folk, death, concentration camps, destroyed homesteads, a dream in ruins.

The identity and vantage point shift is made to accommodate a subcategory of the South African nation consisting mainly of an Afrikaans speaking subsection of the intended rainbow nation whose ancestors fought two wars against the British. A historical perspective is also implied. Immediately afterwards the first person singular is transformed to accommodate the subcategories Indians and Chinese:

(12) I come of those who were transported from India and China.

This phase of the address is ended with the I am an African-conclusion, a metaphor which serves as a cohesive tie to resonate African solidarity. The phrase (b)eing part of all these people in example (13) suggests the different vantage point shifts that took place in the preceding section of the address, conceptual transformations aimed at expanding the category first person singular for ideological reasons:

(13) Being part of all these people, and in the knowledge that none dare contest that assertion, I shall claim that - I am an African!

· But Mbeki also had to solidify those people who were nearer to him during a time, which was known as a time of struggle, and the previously mentioned groups - in such a way that he would not disunite one from the other. And the best way he went about, was to include them very cautiously within his category first person singular:

(14) I have seen our country torn asunder as these, all of whom are my people, engaged one another in a titanic battle.

(15) I have seen what happens when one person has superiority of force over another, when the stronger appropriate to themselves the prerogative even to annul the injunction that God created all men and women in His image.

(16) I know what it signifies when race and colour are used to determine who is human and who, sub-human.

(17) I have seen the destruction of all sense of self-esteem, the consequent striving to be what one is not, simply to acquire some of the benefits which those who had imposed themselves as masters had ensured that they enjoyed.

(18) I have experience of the situation in which race and colour is used to enrich some and impoverish the rest.

(19) I have seen the corruption of minds and souls as a result of the pursuit of an ignoble effort to perpetuate a veritable crime against humanity.

(20) I have seen concrete expression of the denial of the dignity of a human being emanating from the conscious and systematic oppressive and repressive activities of other human beings.

The views expressed in examples (14) to (20) could easily impede the force of attraction aimed at every subcategory of the appropriate group (intended rainbow nation) if the formulation lacks strategy. In the examples the use of the specific verbs assists the ideological strategy in such a way that the speaker is placed as a neutral observer somewhere in the category first person singular. Contrary to the I am-phrases, it does not explicitly suggest identity-involvement. Compare the use of the phrase I have seen five times; the phrase I know also signifies a degree of objectivity. Although the phrase I have experience indicates a certain involvement, it is used only once within this phase of the address.

The analysis of the extension of the category first person singular clearly indicates that the speaker actually "grasps" (applies the proximity force, which is a force of attraction - cf. Figure 1) the addressee into the deictic center with the use of the category first person singular. In this regard I has a stronger solidifying influence than we.

Although his use of the first person singular is very notable and distinct within this specific context, it has to be viewed in relation to his use of the first person plural, which can refer to different groups within a heterogeneous South African society.

5.3. Contextual arrangement of the pronouns first person singular/plural

In proclaiming the idea of an African Renaissance, different people in South Africa, individually, or as representatives of a specific group or groups, at different times address people in an effort to establish national cohesion on the basis of some ideology of multiculturality or multi-ethnicity. In their efforts they can use the pronoun first person plural (we), to refer to the present (and future) followers of the idea, and, like in the case of Mbeki, the pronoun first person singular (I). Although Mbeki uses the pronoun first person plural rather frequently, it almost becomes hidden within the specific context, owing to his prominent use of the pronoun first person singular, but also in view of the fact that the status of his address (on behalf of the ANC) could have limited the category first person plural remarkably, and therefore would have been contrary to expectations regarding his ideological aims.

As was pointed out, Mbeki's use of the pronoun first person singular is very unusual. However, it has to be viewed contextually in relation to the use of other pronouns in his address. In order to examine certain trends, the above-mentioned proportional division of his address into five equal sections (compare section 5.2) will serve as framework for the investigation. For the purpose of a trend analysis we grouped the subject, object and possessive use of each category together. The graph in Figure 3 represents such a statistical breakdown.


The diagram clearly indicates an upward trend in the use of the pronoun first person plural, while the use of the pronoun first person singular is trending down. Compare, for instance, the frequency of use of the variables of the pronoun first person plural in the last paragraph of the address, utilizing both the inclusive we (including the addressees) or the exclusive we (excluding the addressees):

(21) Whoever we may be, whatever our immediate interest, however much we carry baggage from our past, however much we have been caught by the fashion of cynicism and loss of faith in the capacity of the people, let us err today and say - nothing can stop us now!

The frequency of use of the pronoun first person plural in section A is slightly misleading if we do not take into account that the possessive our represents 11 of the 15 occurrences. In this regard we have to mention that the possessive our acts as a reference point which provides the mental path to a conceptual target. And as such it has less conceptual prominence than the target. Accordingly, it is conceptually less salient than we or us.

These trends distinctly correlate with Mbeki's underlying ideological intent: different opposing group identities (generally revealed by the use of the pronouns we and they) should be unified. Although he never uses the pronoun you, his address is actually also (and perhaps distinctively) aimed at they (the implied addressees); therefore the relation I:you should become we.

But the category first person plural is a very fluid category. It can single out the speaker (when we utilize the royal we), or it can include different numbers of individuals - even with the exclusion of the speaker (when he/she only associates with a group by using we). The idea of a sole nation (and an African Renaissance), which he is aiming at in his address, would be futile without reference to we. In view of the fact that he never uses the pronoun you to refer to a specific addressee (we mentioned that the word you does not even occur in his address), he has to apply other strategies to reach certain individuals or groups of individuals in an effort to accommodate them under the pronoun we, within the boundaries that he determines for we. A vantage point shift enables him to do just that - a vantage point shift underlying the utilization of the pronoun first person singular (I), which enables him to single out certain targeted groups. But in his efforts he has to be very careful not to alienate certain groups from him, especially not the group that he formally represents with this address, namely the ANC. Again a vantage point shift provides him with the means to elude the danger. Compare examples (22) and (23), which come from consecutive paragraphs:

(22) I am formed of the migrant who left Europe to find a new home on our native land.

(23) Whatever their own actions, they remain still, part of me.

The anaphoric employment of they and their to refer to the migrants who left Europe, immediately positions the specific referents outside the deictic center again, and therefore outside a category that the representative I may refer to. Similarly, the anaphoric they and their is made use of in not less than 33 instances in his address, in addition to the demonstrative use of these, those and themselves, which in themselves (as deictic/deictic-related expressions) suggest withdrawal/exclusion from the categories referred to. Although these suggest proximity to the deictic center and those implies distalness, the referents of both are outside the deictic center.

On a syntactical level this vantage point shift occurs within close conceptual reach, which can also be interpreted as a strategic employment (in accordance with his official representation on behalf of the ANC), if we consider it against the background of what Radden (1992:&nbsp515) labels the "iconic proximity principle", which implies that "(c)onceptual distance tends to match with linguistic distance, i.e., temporal distance in speaking and spatial distance in writing." His conceptual solidarity with other groups than those who he officially represents, is therefore very brief.

The employment of anaphoric expressions reveals a "catalyst"-strategy. The application of the pronoun first person singular instigates conceptual proximity on account of the fact that the deictic center is expanded in a certain direction to include individuals of special groups. However, in addition, the speaker does not use the pronoun first person plural (we) to express further alliance with the specific group. He actually withdraws again from the specific group by using anaphoric expressions to refer to the group. This strategy sanctions the vantage point shift to yet another group, and prevents "suction" into a subgroup. Consequently, the expansion of the deictic center to different subgroups constitutes a similar constant identifying value within each subgroup, with alliance as the intended objective.

The investigation up to this point has shown that Mbeki's manipulation of the first person singular, together with his expansion and limitation of the fuzzy boundaries of the category first person plural, enhance his ideological intent. Furthermore, as was pointed out, he uses the metaphor I am an African in a very extraordinary way to cohere the context accordingly. However, as a metaphor, this specific phrase promotes his ideological intent remarkably.

6. The metaphor I am an African

Lyons (1968:&nbsp388/89) mentions a distinction that is being drawn by logicians between the existential and different predicative functions of the English verb to be. He also states that among the predicative uses, the following distinctions are made:

(a) the identification of one identity with another (a = b: e.g. That man is John); (b) class-membership (b _ C: e.g. John is a Catholic, `John is a member of a class of persons characterized as Catholic'); and (c) class-inclusion (C _ D: Catholics are Christians, `The members of the class of persons characterized as Catholic are included among the members of the class of persons characterized as Christians').

Against the background of the previous discussion, the distinctions class-membership and class-inclusion seem to be very relevant. Mbeki's use of the metaphor I am an African is aimed at class-inclusion, with the promotion of the conceptual blend African Renaissance as ultimate objective. But this concept constitutes a very complex constellation of metaphors. On account of his catalytic manipulation of the pronoun first person singular he methodically creates implicit metaphors which designate subcategories of the main category African. Reiterated, some of the subcategories can be summarized as follows, followed in each instance by relevant quotes from the address:

A: The Khoi and San are Africans (I owe me being to the Khoi and San )

B: White migrants are Africans (I am formed of the migrant who left Europe )

C: Indigenous African tribes are Africans (I am the grandchild of the warrior men and women )

D: Afrikaans speaking people are Africans (I am the grandchild who lays fresh flowers on the Boer graves of St Helena )

E: South African Indians and Chinese are Africans (I come of those who were transported from India and China )

F: Previously oppressed are Africans (I am born of a people who would not tolerate oppression.)


He defines the subcategories of Africans very cautiously by way of these implicit metaphors, not frequently using the typical I am X-phrase. He rather chooses to select different verbal phrases, like I am formed, I come of those, I have seen (many times), I am born of, etc. - in an effort to establish a conceptual constellation of categories underlying the I am an African-metaphor. We represent this complex metaphor in the diagram in Figure 4.


He elucidates this conceptual constellation himself when he postulates:

(24) Being part of all these people, and in the knowledge that none dare contest that assertion, I shall claim that - I am an African!

But the assertion in (24) would have been less effective if it had not been for the previous vantage point shifts made possible by the use of the pronoun first person singular. The resulting (conceptual) identity transformations actually enables him to penetrate different categories of people on a conceptual level. Consequently, his purpose is that different addressees have to make perspective and viewpoint transfers, with the intent to expand their categories to replace inflexible boundaries with "fuzzy" boundaries. In this respect the very complex I am an African-metaphor has to support each perspective and viewpoint transfer, implied by the diagram in Figure 4: the concept of an African is mapped on each individual group, represented by I. Actually he aims at the pronoun first person plural. Consequently the metaphor should actually have been: we are Africans. But its effectiveness results from the fact that he uses I instead of we, and in these instances the pronoun first person singular functions on a metonymy-level due to the fact that within this context the addressees are well aware of the identity of the speaker: I actually establishes more than the identity of a speaker: I equates Thabo Mbeki; i.e. Thabo Mbeki explicitly identifies with the referents of I; and in this context Thabo Mbeki represents the voices of Africans; consequently Thabo Mbeki equates Africans. As a result, Mbeki, in this respect, exploits the deictic expression first person singular as a strategic conceptual reference point in order to represent different categories in each instance. In this regard Langacker's (1993:&nbsp30) view that metonymy is primarily a reference-point phenomenon, and that on a metonymic level people make especially good reference points, is quite relevant.

In view of Mbeki's dream of an African Renaissance, the deictic use of the pronoun first person singular, as a cognitive reference point (and a vantage point-shift mechanism) within the metonymic expression I am an African, conceptually maps different categories onto the concept African. Exploitation of the conceptual blend African Renaissance would be trivial if different groups are not solidified into the expanded group referred to by the secondary deictic expression we (as Africans), explicated by his claim:

(25) The constitution whose adoption we celebrate constitutes an unequivocal statement that we refuse to accept that our Africanness shall be defined by our race, colour, gender or historical origins.

7. Conclusion

The former Deputy President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, in his address to the Corporate Council Summit (Chantilly, Virginia, USA), in April 1997, referred to the concept of an African Renaissance towards which Africa is progressing. This concept actually originated in the foregoing analyzed address, which he delivered on behalf of the ANC at the adoption of South Africa's 1996 constitution bill. This address was largely aimed at the introduction of the above-mentioned blend of an African Renaissance as an underlying "ideology", although he did not use the expression African Renaissance as such in this address.

The need for this underlying ideology has to be considered against presuppositions like the following:

· The "new South Africa" emerged from a very divided community, previously maintained by a policy of racial discrimination.

· The South African "nation to be" constitutes a very diverse society; the acceptance of eleven official languages suggests such a diversity, for instance.

· South Africa would presumably not be able to prosper within a continent where deterioration prevails.

· A constitution as such does not ensure collective prosperity.

To aim at well-being and growth, a driving force is needed. And very often an ideology serves as such an impetus for collective change and solidarity. To establish and maintain a specific ideology, followers and potential followers of the doctrines and beliefs of the ideology have to be manipulated - conceptually and emotionally. The doctrines and beliefs of the ideology do not only constitute the collective views, but, on a communicative level, propel the specific ideology by way of linguistic and contextual variables, for instance.

On a linguistic basis this article examined the deictic foundation of such an ideology. It followed from the examination of the above-mentioned address that linguistic manipulation enables a representative(s) of an ideology to establish and maintain an ideology cognitively

· by coherent structuring of the address as a macro speech act;

· by the implicit application of expansive and proximity forces;

· by exploiting the first person as a reference-point phenomenon;

· by taking advantage of vantage point mobility within and out of the deictic center, resulting in conceptual identity transformations, categorization and recategorization;

· by creating conceptual blending on the basis of the integration of different vantage point and conceptual frame phenomena.


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