Molokomme advocates for indigenous languages

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

She said that it was vital for children to know their indigenous languages because it gave them the 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’. She expressed worry that culture seemed to be fading away among the recent generations.  She gave reference to the Ikalanga culture, which she believes is greatly waning. She said part of the reasons various local cultures were waning among recent generations was because they did not embrace their own languages and instead went for other languages such as English, which are considered modern. “One’s language is a stepping-stone towards understanding of one’s culture,” she said.

“Therefore it’s the parents responsibility to make sure that children learn their own language at a tender age to simplify understanding of their culture.”

Molokomme added that government might in future consider using languages as a medium of instruction in schools. “Start creating Ikalanga songs, documenting proverbs and poetry as well as publicising them to help the children learn their languages,” she said. She said that people such as the Ikalanga musician, Ndingo Johwa, through his songs demonstrated a commitment to keep indigenous languages alive and should be emulated.

The Domboshaba Cultural Trust Coordinator, Chigedze Chinyepi, pleaded with the youth to come forward and contribute in whatever way they could 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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