The narratives of Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) are significant for linguistic analysis as they provide natural data in highly emotional public discourses. In Kenya, any topic or discourse on land injustice is a highly emotive venture. In the same vein, public narratives are relevant to provide evidence for evaluations of language choice, power, and authority, as well as the linguistic communication of emotion. In this respect, emotion-provoking narratives are highly important phenomena that are hardly ever absent in the public discourse of CBOs advocating for land rights. Within the framing rhetoric of social movements, we explore how these groups frame land injustices within emotion-provoking narratives in public discourse. The methodology in this study involved audio-recorded data collected from two CBOs that represent land injustices due to government and/or company-propelled projects in Kenya: Tugen Hills Forests Right Holders and Kerio Valley Professionals Association based in Kabarnet town in Baringo county. Significantly, Kerio Valley Professionals Association advocates for land rights for communities along the border of Baringo county and Elgeyo-Marakwet county. The analysis reveals the following frames within narratives in the discourse of Kenyan CBOs addressing land injustices: victim, good vs evil, bad governance, and insecurity of tenure as strategic negotiation characters that constitute a prerequisite for legitimisation and proper enactment of land laws. At the same time, these narrative frames are laden with emotions such as anger, frustration, despair, and fear. Therefore, this research sheds light on how CBOs navigate for land rights by use of frames within narratives, particularly in public discourse, to sanction their emotional expressions as positive for the movements in order to bring about resistance and change for the benefit of the community.
Otundo, Billian Khalayi and Nangulu, Anne
"“They’re plotting against us”: Public narratives utilised by Kenyan Community-Based Organisations advocating for land rights,"
Journal of the Language Association of Eastern Africa:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://scholarship.claremont.edu/jlaea/vol1/iss1/3