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A call to teach children indigenous languages

PINI BOTHOKO
KALAKAMATI: A private development practitioner and training consultant, Mishodzi Molokomme has called on parents to teach their children their indigenous languages.

Molokomme said that it is vital for children to know their indigenous languages as it provides them with a foundation to learn their culture.

Molokomme was the guest speaker at the annual Domboshaba Cultural Festival over the weekend. This year’s festival was held under the theme, ‘Inclusion in and through education, language counts’.

Molokomme expressed worry that culture seems to be fading away among the new generation. She gave reference to the Ikalanga culture, which she believes is greatly waning.

She said that part of the reasons various local cultures are fading among recent generations is because they do not embrace their own languages and instead go for other languages such as English, which are considered modern.

“One’s language is a stepping-stone towards understanding of one’s culture therefore its the parents responsibility to make sure that children learn their own language at a tender age to simplify understanding of their

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culture,” said Molokomme.

Molokomme added that government might in the future consider introducing teaching through indigenous languages in schools hence it is vital for children to know their language. “Start creating Ikalanga songs, documenting proverbs and poetry as well as publicising them to help the children learn their languages,” said Molokomme.

She said that people like the popular Ikalanga musician Ndingo Johwa through his songs have demonstrated a commitment to keep indigenous languages alive and should be emulated.

Meanwhile the Domboshaba Cultural Trust coordinator Chigedze Chinyepi pleaded with the youth to come forward and contribute in whatever way they can in order to help maintain the trust’s mandate to preserve the Ikalanga culture.

“Currently the trust is made up of senior citizens only, we call on youth to join us and bring in new, fresh ideas for the development and continuity of this cultural trust,” said Chinyepi.



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