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Desperately Seeking "Afrihili"

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Desperately Seeking "Afrihili"

Postby xenophon » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:37 pm

Dear Forum Members,

I am currently doing research on Afrihili, a language invented by a Ghanaian civil engineer in the 1960s (wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afrihili).

Europeans have been creating artificial auxiliary languages, such as Esperanto (i.e., languages intended to be easier to learn for people, so that everyone can use the auxiliary language, rather than forcing people to learn their own language), for quite a while — indeed, a new one appears with absurd regularity. Only a few come from Africa. A Nigerian fellow has created Guosa, but in the late 1960s one K.A. Kumi Attobrah produced a mix of Twi, Swahili and a few European words which he called "Afrihili." Here's what he had to say about it,

El-Afrihili is an African language which has been created incorporating grammar and words from the languages of the African Continent. It also contains words from many other sources so Africanized that they do not appear foreign.

The idea to create this international language occurred to the author on 2nd January, 1967 at sea when he was traveling from British Dover to French Calais.


El-Afrihili has been created with a view for it being adopted as the lingua franca of Africa. It would promote unity and understanding among the different peoples of the continent, reduce costs in printing due to translations and promote trade.

The last documented reference to Afrihili I was able to find was in 1987, when apparently Attobrah somehow had a copy of the grammar presented to the OAU. In that announcement, it said that only about 1000 people learned the language.

So, as part of trying to find more information I'm posting this query in various places. In the ideal world, I would be able to find Mr. Attobrah (or his heirs), and get permission to post the grammar on the web for all the world to see (more as an important historical document, than that I expect people to pick up the language). He ran the "Afrihili Centre" out of Akrokerri. That's too much to hope for with a few posts on web forums.

In the United States there are but four libraries that have a copy of his book, Ni Afrihili Oluga: the African Continental Language. I've been lucky enough to see it for myself. It was published by the "Pyka Press" in Accra (in 1970, and a revision in 1973). Can anyone tell me if Pyka Press still exists? I don't want to send mail to a P.O. box which was last known to be good in 1973.

Thank you for reading.
Johnny Just Come
Johnny Just Come
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Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:19 pm

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