African languages

Nigeria moves towards use of indigenous languages in elementary schools
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Arts and Culture Nigeria moves towards use of indigenous languages in elementary schools

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.

Rhodes University PhD graduate Hleze Kunju writes thesis in isiXhosa
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Arts and Culture Rhodes University PhD graduate Hleze Kunju writes thesis in isiXhosa

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.

How can African languages be protected?
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African identities How can African languages be protected?

An endangered language is defined as a language that is at a risk of falling out of use as its speakers die out or shift to another language. Many African speakers have shifted to other languages, mostly foreign languages and many African indigenous languages are on the brink of being endangered, nearing extinction. How African governments save these endangered African indigenous languages?

Ngugi wa Thiong’o calls for preservation and inclusion of African languages in learning institutions
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African identities Ngugi wa Thiong’o calls for preservation and inclusion of African languages in learning institutions

Accomplished Kenyan writer, Ngugi wa Thiong’o delivered a public lecture at Wits University, South Africa. The writer discussed the relationship between culture, language and colonisation, and argued for the preservation and inclusion of African languages in learning institutions. Thiong’o also reiterated the importance of learning the mother tongue and local cultural histories, and ended by saying “if you know your mother tongue, and add it with all other languages, that is empowerment”. We couldn’t agree more

Translation and African languages are important, but we need to move beyond activism
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Arts and Culture Translation and African languages are important, but we need to move beyond activism

Following the Pan-African writers’ collective Jalada Africa’s translation of “The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright” by Ngugu wa Thiong’o, described as ‘the single most translated short story in the history of African writing’, they hosted an event with the author in Nairobi, focusing on literature in African languages, among other things. Oduor Jagero was there and examines what it means to write in African languages today.