The pidgins spoken in the region are unique, showing that they have come to stay no matter what some say or feel about them.
It’s not far-fetched to suspect that the common understanding of the idea of “mother tongues” in South Africa is coloured by outside influences.
The use of indigenous languages in African households is slowly fading with parents embracing foreign languages. Speaking at the 7th Annual International Igbo Conference Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie revealed that she only speaks to her daughter in Igbo, a practice that shocks many parents. However, embracing foreign languages at the expense of local languages is a result of “colonialism [which has] made us look down on everything that is African. This includes our languages, cultures and religions”.
#SwahiliIsNotIndonesian and #TwitterRecognizeSwahili are the hashtags behind popular social-media platform Twitter finally offering translation for Swahili, the most spoken language in Africa
Software tools for South Africa’s Nguni languages may assist with redress and effective communication.
The replacement of English with Swahili as the medium of instruction in both primary and secondary schools will be key to Tanzania’s educational development, writes Kelechukwu Iruoma
Nigeria is making a concerted effort to promote the use and study of its indigenous languages in elementary schools as a way of preserving the country’s rich and diverse tapestry of tongues. A policy has been introduced that allows primary school pupils to receive elementary education in the language of their immediate community.
Nigeria might be a country facing too many challenges, but the latest announcement by the Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu that the country will soon use indigenous languages to teach Maths and Science is a welcome development if implemented.
Dr Hleze Kunju wrote his doctoral thesis in isiXhosa, Rhodes University’s first isiXhosa authored PhD thesis. The act has been described as a milestone. With recent agitations for the incorporation of African languages into the education system, Dr Kunju’s remarkable accomplishment could give impetus to efforts to transform South Africa’s education system.