African Languages, Cultures and Literatures Section

Professor Chege Githiora

Key information

African Languages, Cultures and Literatures Section Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, African Languages and Literatures Centre of African Studies Management Committee Member Steering Committee Member World Languages Institute Member
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address


Professor Githiora is author of many peer reviewed journal articles and books published in English, Swahili, Spanish, Gĩkũyũ - monolingually, bilingually and in translation. Among them, Diccionario Swahili-Español, Mexico: El Colegio de México (2002),  Afro-Mexicans: Discourse of Race and Identity in the African Diaspora, Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press (2008), and Unmarked Grave, Nairobi: Phoenix Publishing (2017), a translation of the Swahili original, Kaburi Bila Msalaba, (1969). His latest book, Sheng: Rise of a Kenyan Swahili Vernacular, London: James Currey (2018), is a ground-breaking linguistic study of Sheng, a popular variety of Kenyan Swahili. It is based on detailed research into the dynamics and complexities of multilingualism and language stratification in Nairobi City. The book also explores constructions of African (youth) identities under conditions of cultural mobility, ethnic diversity, and global interconnectedness.

Professor Chege Githiora has previously taught at El Colegio de México (Mexico), Boston University (USA) and Kenyatta University (Kenya). He is a current member of the Modern Languages Advisory Board, of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). He is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of African Cultural Studies (JACS).

Research interests

African linguistics, multilingualism and language policy, dialectology, lexicography, African culture and literature in African languages, (oral and written), translation theory and practice, the African Diaspora in Latin America.

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Francisca Everduim Morphosyntactic Variation in Bantu
Mr Jinjian Li Nyerere and Post-Colonial Swahili Literature (working title)
Youru Zhou Translation in the Chinese Translation Industry: The Product, Process and Quality Assurance


Contact Chege