Languages day celebration of mother tongue
16 Mar 2023
One’s mother tongue is a great source of pride therefore all tribes have welcomed government’s decision to introduce indigenous languages as a medium of instruction at lower primary school level.
As the country gears up for celebrating National Languages Day in Mmathethe tomorrow, Bangwaketse, Barolong and other tribes found there are ready to showcase their languages.
BOPA reporter, Bakang Wren had a chat with individuals of different languages about what the day means to them.
In Tswapong, Tik Tok Influencer, Tshepo Makati who has earned popularity because of her rich Setswapong, said she appreciated the fact that government recognised the different languages found in Botswana.
She had this to say; “Chetswapong ke puo ya rena Batswapong e re e radang thada ka hore che re rotoeja ho itse le ho ikhantsha ka ngwao ya Rena ya chetswapong. Ke deme e re ipswinang ka yone ho ghwa bonyenyaneng re le bighabadiana hoo hithelela re Nna bakhwegholo kana baholo. Re ruda le baana kana tswe binnye ho ghwa bonyenyaneng hore ba ipele ka deme e ya chetswapong ka ele ngwao ya Rena e tona. Re itumetje thada ka hore goromente yaanon o simolotje go ruda dipuo tse Di fharologaneng mo dikweleng se se raya hore baana ba ta iphwina ka ngwao ya bone. Ke puo e batho ba e radang thada ba Nna ba kopa hore re ba rude”. (“We cherish speaking the Setswapong language. We have embraced it from a young age and we are proud to even transfer the knowledge to our children as part of the legacy. We applaud the government for introducing indigenous languages at primary schools. This means that our children will continue the legacy and know the worth of their language.”)
Babirwa have also welcomed the initiative with Yame Tukish, a young fashion designer from Semolale, saying in her mother tongue; “Ke dhumela hore bana mo dikweleng ba rutiwe ka sehabona hore ba tlhalohanye botse,se seka dhiya hore madhuo a bhana a nne bhetere ka ke se ba se tlhalohanyang ebile ke seba se yapang ha ba ine bakgotsi ba bona le metseng ya bona Beyale ba ka se nyakalale ghudu.” (“I believe when pupils are taught in their mother tongue they will grasp the lessons better and that will lead to improved academic performance.”)
Representing the Otjimbanderu language, Vipingasana Murangi said teaching children in their language instilled a sense of identity and taught them to accept and be proud of their heritage.
“Ondengu jo ku njandera omaraka uetu ovature va Tjauana okuhandjaura kouje kutja otjimbanderu eraka ndji hi ngirua mo Botswana uina,” stated Murangi. Murangi said, Omahongero meraka ro tjimbanderu mae njanukisa omitima vio vambanderu, pendje ondero okumuna omàmbo ngatjagua meràka rò tjimbanderu otjima peurike ondoneno mo ma hongero ue raka.
Kalanga author, Jabulani Makwanda’s says “ikumbulo waka naka kwazo. Bathu be njudzi dzimbwe dzi singa lebeleke itswana hababilo milila kuti ndimi dzabo dzi diyiwe mu swikwele ne ku shingisiwa mu Shango. Shuba le ndimi dzi Africa lo bhatsha kwazo kuti tizibe kuti tose tina ndimi dzatino leba kakale this leche dzifa Ndiyiwa kwe ndimi dzose muzwikwele ku thama kuti bana bano tangisa ikwele bahwisise. Kakale bathu ndiko kwabano kwala whalo dze ndimi dzabo. Iswi be mjudzi dzinoyi dzi minor to kumbila kuti tose tilizane. Dzose ndimi dzi lebgwe kakale ku bagwe dzi khani nadzo.” (“Government has come up with a good initiative, it’s a good gesture. Bakalanga have a group that is lobbying for recognition of languages, therefore it’s helping them to achieve their goal. Minority tribes have been fighting for recognition and the use of mother tongue and this will help students to understand the world better. It’s a good thing and it encourages people to learn different languages. We have learnt that it is working in other countries such as South Africa. This will also help in the development of the country. We will see many books written in different languages. Also research will be done.”)
Former Botswana Television presenter, Greg Losibe’s take on the day is that “e raya kgololeshego ya boleng jwa puo... e raya kamogelo ya shekao ja go nna le lezwe mo shechabeng, go zewa gore motjho ebile o hogo.” (It means freedom to speak one’s mother tongue and embracement of different indigenous groupings as well as instilling pride in one’s language.) In Okavango, Timothy Samoxa said “Rengu ru ku isheraama zindime zetu ngashi ti na moni Botswana shikya ngaho? Zindime zetu ndji zi zati zuura atikyaa tshwe mbu wa yanii, ikure yati dzwa indji ku tikyaa yemwa to wa fwana zizha zi izimwe. Nangweza zindime zetu ti wa fwana ku zi isheraama shi ku tikyaa Urezha ndji yi mataa ti pa zoo.” (“It means recognition of all tribes. Everyone will be proud of their language.” ) BOPA
Source : BOPA
Author : Bakang Wren
Location : Gaborone
Event : Interview
Date : 16 Mar 2023