Let’s go back to our roots


Mbali Brilliantine Zwane writes:

There is nothing that makes me as happy as being a South African. We are… [a] unique people in the world.

We have got so many diverse cultures, people and languages, yet we are united. We have a rich and painful history that unites us. We have a unique way of forgiving and get along with each other.

Some people don’t believe that we were once colonised and oppressed because now we are united.

But some people still undermine their own indigenous languages. They are even proud to say ‘in my house, we only speak the colonial language, even my four-year-old can’t speak her own vernacular’. (Oh! Lafa elihle kakhulu), [‘our beautiful language has been broken’], our beautiful culture is dying.

We don’t teach our children our languages anymore and we think that makes us better people. Disgrace!

It’s amazing, people were colonised and they were forced to speak the language of the colonies, but now they are free, they still behave like they are oppressed. Our languages are all beautiful and they are our identity – there is no language that is better than the other.

It’s normal that if someone can’t speak one of our local languages, no one will laugh at him. But if you can’t speak the colonisers’ language, everyone will laugh at you like there is something wrong with you. Disgrace!

Cha! Lafa elihle kakhulu.

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