Document Type: Research Articles
Lecturer of English and Academic Writing and Communication Skills, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana.
This paper investigates major themes espoused in the national anthems of English West Africa. Further, it seeks to find out how these themes are projected linguistically and literarily. Five English-speaking countries in West Africa, namely, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and The Gambia, were purposively sampled based on their colonial history, language and geographical location for this paper. Findings show that the major themes espoused in these national anthems are the themes of unity, religion, freedom and modesty. The themes are projected linguistically by conscious diction. Content lexical items – nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs – are preferred to non-content words in projecting these themes. Besides, literarily, these anthems employ figures of speech such as repetition, apostrophe, oxymoron, imagery, rhythm and metaphor to convey the various themes. These findings confirm the popular view in the study of national anthems that national anthems of countries which share colonial history, language and geographical location are similar in content and style.