“Tribalism” is a taboo word, but it’s hard to think of a better one to describe what motivates the Zimbabwean government’s treatment of the Ndebeles. The dirt-under-the-rug attitude cannot continue indefinitely. This is how a people get erased from a culture.
That Kiswahili words and phrases sometimes crop up in western pop culture is not surprising; it is, after all, the most widely spoken African language on the continent. But every so often its use leaves native speakers a little puzzled.
It is not enough that we have words like peruse which mean what they mean and the exact opposite of it, mankind just had to have more languages than the tone of their skins and sometimes that really causes a problem…
Bwesigye bwa Mwesigire looks at the various reasons for ostracising African languages in African schools and shows how unconvincing they are, arguing for more vigilance in the defence of the use of local languages in African schools.
To spectators, Tanzania’s preference for Swahili over English may seem like a sign of liberation from colonial influence. But is that how we feel? In the era of globalisation, is Swahili crucial to our identity or does it isolate us from the rest of the world?