|Nyakoe, Damaris Gechemba
|HIV is one of the challenges confronting the human race and Kenyans are not an exception to this fact.
EkeGusii is a Bantu language spoken by approximately two million speakers in Western Kenya. HIV is both a medical
and social problem. Speech communities have invented ways of communicating about the scourge, for instance they use
metaphor. EkeGusii speakers form varied cognitive models over HIV and AIDS metaphor such that whenever someone
mentions about HIV, some mental representation or image(s) springs onto the mind of the speaker. These cognitive
models dictate how speakers perceive HIV and AIDS and their reaction to the seropositives. This research was carried
out by interviewing 40 EkeGusii speakers who answered the question what comes to their mind when one talks about
HIV and AIDS. This article discusses how HIV is mentally represented and interpreted as a death sentence by EkeGusii
speakers. It further highlights the death-related images created out of HIV and AIDS metaphor and their accompanying
sensory motor abilities that dictate the behaviour of individuals. This article reveals that the killer cognitive model
spreads fear and fuels stigmatization among EkeGusii speakers. Consequently, EkeGusii speakers perceive HIV infection
and contracting HIV and AIDS as a death sentence.
|East African Scholars Journal of Education, Humanities and Literature
|Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States
|Cognitive models, EkeGusii, HIV and AIDS, interpretation, mental representation.
|Mental Representation and Interpretation of HIV as A Death Sentence in Ekegusii HIV and AIDS Metaphor