and in the future
How to contribute
LPCA: Where are
the LPCA website:
Culture in Africa
(March 11, 2010)
All LPCA pages at www2.fmg.uva.nl/lpca/ are redirected to this page at our new webserver: http://www.lpca.socsci.uva.nl/
The LPCA site on the old webserver with URL http://www2.fmg.uva.nl/lpca/... has not been updated for some time now and will be taken offline in the near future ! If you are looking for a specific LPCA page, please use the hyperlinks in the lefthand column of this page.
(October 6, 2009)
Ten years ago we published an editorial “LPCA: Where are we?” in which we expressed hope that our website would “continue at least for the next five years.” It did better than that but now we must face circumstances that have changed. Vincent de Rooij has moved on to other research and publication projects and can no longer take full responsibility as the webmaster and editor of all components of LPCA. So far, it has not been possible to find an equally qualified and committed successor.
As a temporary solution for this problem we decided to focus on “Archives of Popular Swahili.” “LPCA Text Archives” and “Journal of Popular Language in Africa,” past editorial statements, and bibliographies will be kept , as it were, in suspended animation. Johannes Fabian will take responsibility for preparing further material to be included in “Archives” and we hope that others will continue to submit texts in Katanga Swahili as they did in the past ( for inquiries contact J. Fabian: johfabian [at] t-online.de).
our mission statement in French and Swahili
(14 January 2005)
Dear visitors to
It is a pleasure
to add a brief editorial in French and Katanga/Shaba
Swahili. We are grateful to dr. Achille Mutombo for both versions.
Concerning the text in Katanga/Shaba Swahili we had explicitly asked him
to write as people in Lubumbashi would write who had no formal instruction
in Swahili. We think that both our fellow linguists and the people whose
language we are documenting in these archives will read this introduction
But we are aware that other speakers of Swahili may come up with certain
orthographic and grammatical 'oddities' (documented also in Volume
6 of Archives of Popular Swahili). We thought it important to preserve
these features, especially so because LPCA wants to be a place where Swahili
is documented in all of its widely different varieties.
will notice that spelling and word segmentation are variable. In part,
this reflects the highly variable way in which Shaba/Katanga Swahili is
spoken but it is also related to the absence of an authoritative spelling
for this variety of Swahili.
With the help of the following brief (non-exhaustive) list of features
typical of Shaba/Katanga Swahili writing, readers who are not familiar
with this variety will be able to understand the text without great effort.
- deletion of h-:
arisi instead of hadithi
- realization of
interdental fricative -th- as -s-:
adishi instead of hadithi
- words written
together where Standard Swahili separates them (or the other way around,
yakuanza instead of ya kwanza
- verbal complexes
are often written in an analytical style, separating subject
and object concords and tense-aspect markers from the verb)
una soma instead of unasoma
- noun prefixes
are also detached from their nouns
ma barua instead of mabarua
- palatization of
-s- to -sh- (when followed by front high vowel)
fwashi for Standard Swahili fasi
- insertion of semi-vowel
-y- and -w- in intervocalic position
ushishikiye instead of usisikie
- noun class 2 prefix
ba instead of wa-
bantu for watu
of following -tu
bantu for Standard Swahili watu
kintu for Standard Swahili kitu
- -l- and sometimes -d- replaced by -r-
mbiri for Standard Swahili mbili
arisi for Standard Swahili hadithi
Popular Culture in Africa is a web-based project set up by Johannes
Fabian and Vincent de
Rooij of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University
of Amsterdam. The main aim of LPCA is to document and further the study
of expressions of popular language and culture in Africa. This is accomplished
in two ways. First of all, by making available, in LPCA
Text Archives and Archives of Popular Swahili,
texts that express and mediate forms of African popular culture, and
secondly, by publishing the Journal of Language
and Popular Culture in Africa which publishes studies of African
K. Biaya (Dakar) † July 2002 - read the obituary
Arvi Hurskainen (Helsinki)
John Inniss (Dover, Delaware)
Mubanga E. Kashoki (Lusaka)
Valentin Y. Mudimbe (Stanford)
S. Mufwene (Chicago)
David Parkin (Oxford)
William Samarin (Toronto)
The LPCA Advisory
Board is responsible for safeguarding the quality of the text archives
and the Journal of Language and Popular Culture in Africa. The Board members
advise on the contents and structure of the text archives and review manuscripts
submitted for publication in the Journal of Language and Popular Culture
in Africa. They may also solicit manuscripts for the journal and help
locate materials that are to be included in the text archives.
You are welcome
to search the LPCA collections for materials that are of interest to you.
Researchers are invited to work on the text materials available at this
site and submit research papers for publication in the Journal
of Language and Popular Culture in Africa .
If you decide
to work on one or more of the text materials, we would appreciate it if
you informed us of this so that
we will be able to add to each text a list of people working on it. In
this way, you will be able to get in contact with people working on texts
that you find interesting.
that the texts made available here are protected by copyright: if you
plan to publish parts of one or more texts, you are requested to contact
us in order to obtain permission to do so. We would like to emphasize
that obtaining permission to publish parts of the texts will normally
be granted in all cases were the publication serves no commercial aim.
If you have
problems printing or saving LPCA web pages, please read How
to save and print LPCA web pages.
In this initial
stage of the project, most of the texts available at this site will be
texts collected in Katanga Province, DR Congo (the former Zaire), and
spanning a period ranging from the late 1960s to the early 1990s. In the
near future, more texts from this part of Congo and other Swahili speaking
regions will be incorporated in the Archives
of Popular Swahili.
We do not
limit ourselves to Swahili, however. We will make available relevant texts
in other Bantu languages, especially those that are used as lingua francas
in urban centers. For an overview of all texts available here, check the
Table of Contents page of the LPCA Text
Archives. We kindly invite you to contribute texts yourself or help
us locate relevant materials. So, if you know of any materials located
in archives, private collections, or elsewhere, please let
texts we will, in due time, also add sections to this site that focus
on popular music, popular painting, and other forms of popular culture.
These sections will contain sound and image files that will bring you
in closer contact with African popular culture.
the aims of this project, we are dependent on your help and collaboration.
We kindly invite you, therefore, to bring to our attention relevant text
materials that have remained unpublished or are otherwise hard to get.
Such materials may include, for instance, private documents, such as letters,
autobiographies, lyrics, religious tracts, out of print text collections,
locally produced books, journals and magazines, or transcripts of field
If you wish
to contribute texts to this site or if you know of materials that you
think should be included here, please do not hesitate to contact
us. The copyright of all text contributed to this site remains, of
course, with the authors. This means that all texts contributed to this
site of which you own the copyright will be removed from this site should
you make a request to that effect.
and Popular Culture in Africa
c/o Vincent de Rooij
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology
University of Amsterdam
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185
1012 DK Amsterdam
v.a.derooij [at] uva.nl
revised/updated: 6 February 2018
Construction and maintenance of this site by Vincent
A. de Rooij
LPCA Privacy Statement
Archives of Popular Swahili, Vol. 17
Swahili is elephant meat: A play by Mufwankolo and two members of his troupe, transcribed, translated, and commented by Johannes Fabian
Archives of Popular Swahili, Vol. 16
Churches proliferating – where will it end?
A play by Mufwankolo and two members of his troupe, transcribed,
translated, and annotated by Johannes Fabian
Archives of Popular Swahili, Vol. 15
“Prayer groups” in Lubumbashi:
A conversation with Régine Tshitamba and members of her family, recorded 24. 6. 1986 at her home in Lubumbashi, Zone Kampemba, transcribed,
translated, and annotated by Johannes Fabian