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Our Languages in South Africa

By Sipho Ngobeni Ndlovu,

It is a beauty just how South Africa has so many diverse groups of cultural backgrounds, yet uniquely different types of beauty and stories.

One of the most amazing things I find about it is the food that were so healthy and nourished the body with just greens mostly their daily food, the health system, they would take herbs and make medicine and also the beautiful garments of each and every cultural group in this beautiful country, the way music and dance reminding of our past and present.

It’s a day of celebrating the past, to learn where each of us come from and what makes us who we are, a day to get together and communicate with the diverse languages.

It’s good to know oneself and their own heritage, like being Zulu and a proud one at that, however in the world we live in being oneself is difficult and embracing who you are and your heritage is much harder, due to us wanting to be validated or to fit in and become shy of where we come from. This is one of the things that destroy us.

Parents also have a big job to play in this especially the language part, if they don’t teach you, your heritage, who is supposed to teach you?

I mean they need to really find a common ground on especially the language factor, as most children especially 12 -13-year-olds around 86% can’t even read or write in their mother tongue and English, but most of them can speak English, so what does it mean for the generation after them, will they even think about heritage or the language?

They should teach the kids to embrace who they are and where they come from, like what does it mean to be a Sotho, Zulu, Venda, Tsonga, Pedi, Tswana and many more, and also teach them to accept other tribes in the African and western kingdoms or places.

Heritage is about being happy of the diverse tribe you from, the food you eat, the music, dances, clothes, history and oneself. Acknowledging who you are and where you come from and what you inherited from the race, tribe, or place you’re from.

I acknowledge my heritage and culture in a way of my writings, since am a born from two different tribes of Ngobeni and Ndlovu, I make sure that my writing has at least 2-6 titles of my poetry in the two tribes (Xitsonga and isiZulu) like my 2 favourites: Marito ya mpama and Jikeleza in the book about to be released day before Heritage Day. Heritage and language for me is important and in most of my Storytelling I make sure that the stories are in English and Zulu or English and Tsonga, in order to teach kids about the importance of culture and language.

 

Mzukona

Mzukona Mantshontsho is the founder of Nyakaza Media Solutions. Nyakaza Media Solutions is an organisation that was established to help community organisations, business entities, and schools to research, write, document, report, analyse, edit, publish newsletters or bulletins in hard-copy, on-line and maintain websites with the relevant content as per the editorial policy of that organisation, school or entity. Nyakaza Media Solutions has a vision to promote and bring dialogue to communities, businesses and schools about issues that affect them. Nyakaza Media Solutions is on a mission to develop and encourage communities, businesses and learners to celebrate the good, applaud excellence, welcome growth, strive to be better individuals, businesses and communities, want more knowledge, discourage bad and counter-productive behaviour as well as communities, businesses and learners that want to be great SOUTH AFRICANS. Nyakaza Media Solutions is making use of Yo School Magazine as a platform that learners in all schools to make use of to write their stories.

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