Can the Other be Heard? Response to Commentaries on ‘Omphile and his Soccer Ball’

  • Finex Ndhlovu University of New England, Australia


I welcome the invitation to a right of reply that Multilingual Margins journal has extended to me; and I thank all nine discussants for sharing their thoughts on my paper ‘Omphile and his soccer ball: Colonialism, methodology, translanguaging research’. Eight of the nine discussants (Kathleen Heugh, Alan Carneiro, Manuel Guissemo, Kanavillil Rajagopalan, Zannie Bock, Lynn Mario T. Mendezes de Sousa, Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, and Torun Reite) provided what I consider to be balanced critiques that highlight both the strengths and weaknesses of the paper. One reader, Don Kulick, did not find anything positive about the paper. Instead, he raised numerable objections that are pitched in a somewhat confrontational tone that is radically at odds with the views proffered by all other discussants. For this reason, I decided to organise my response into three short sections. The first is a rejoinder that builds on and engages those critical points raised by the eight discussants who are overall in concert with each other. In the second section I provide a rebuttal of Don Kulick’s review, which I find to be largely dismissive and bereft of any semblance of collegial engagement with the arguments advanced in the paper. I then close with a short paragraph that reiterates my original invitation to engage in dialectical conversations about how best to carry out social science research projects in ways that are consistent with the quite contemporary anti-colonial, anti-foundational and transformative agenda being pushed by decolonial and other like-minded scholars.

How to Cite
Ndhlovu, F. (2019). Can the Other be Heard? Response to Commentaries on ‘Omphile and his Soccer Ball’. Multilingual Margins: A Journal of Multilingualism from the Periphery, 5(2), 43.