It is commonly held that language is the psyche of a people, a strong tool for transmitting knowledge and in the effective communication of feelings and the expounding of cultural realities. African dramatists and novelists in the likes of Bole Butake and Alobwede dâ€™Epie have been able to use a non-African language, the English language, in their works to transmit African cultural realities to both African and non-Africa readers. The question is whether African cultural realities, as seen in the plays and novels of these African writers, can effectively be transmitted through a â€˜non-Africanâ€™ language without distorting cultural realities. In Lake God and The Lady with a Beard, Butake and Alobwede make use of African rhetoric to express the feelings of the dramatis personae and the characters, and to send through the message they convey. The purpose of the present article is to exemplify, in two representative write-ups, the central place of linguistic expressions, the verbal art as an artistic response to the written word of Bole Butake and Alobwede dâ€™Epie. The writers use English linguistic elements as tools to expound the cultural values of the Noni and the Bakossi cultural heritages in Lake God and The Lady with a Beard, two linguistic communities found in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon.
Keywords: English language, non-African language, cultural realities, rhetoric, precolonial post-colonial, cultural heritage.