African writers urge for protection of languages

By Nthambeleni Gabara

Cape Town - Aspiring African writers, authors and
academics in the Western Cape have urged government to
enforce policies that will protect indigenous
languages.

They told Arts and Culture Minister Dr Pallo Jordaan
during an Imbizo held at Stellenbosch University on
Wednesday that they were concerned about the lack of
legislation regarding indigenous languages and
writings.

According to a statement released by the MEC for
Cultural Affairs and Sport in the Western Cape, Whitey
Jacobs, the writers felt African languages in South
Africa were constantly under threat because there is
no legislation that enforces their protection and
usage.

The imbizo noted that the erosion of indigenous
languages was further perpetuated by the critical
shortage of new written material in African languages
as a result of the publishing company's resistance.

Writers voiced their concern about the continued
marginalisation of IsiXhosa at public schools as well
as in Model C schools.

Current education policy stipulates that Grade 10
learners must take only two languages as subjects at
the imbizo, they writers said, adding that government
should introduce legislation that would enforce the
usage of all official languages.

"This places IsiXhosa and other indigenous languages
at a disadvantage because of the perceived inferiority
of these languages," read the statement.

The authors urged the Department of Education to
ensure learners at the foundation stage are taught in
the respective mother tongue to ensure good prospects
for the development of these marginalised languages.

Publishing companies were blamed for failing to
provide adequate support to African writers which are
resulting in the scarcity of written material of
indigenous languages.

Accessing funding and resourcing of structures was
also discussed at the imbizo, which forms part of
government's imbizo week.

Mr Jordaan said he would ask the National Arts Council
to embark on a road show in all the nine provinces to
brief organisations about the processes and procedures
for a successful application. - BuaNews

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Great Benin Bronze

EDE N'ERHENA VBE EDO

"

These anti-Edo political organizations you folks went to join are the most anti-African - and Africans - in the world.

They're worse than anything; we obviously can't stop you though, even Ewuare II's manifest destiny lies in our own regional party.

We have egba Omo Oduduwa and so on, NPC, AG, the forerunner of them all NCNC and then now these cancers of today.

Stay "with them", but register for your most important election first: your local election, register Edo Political Front, and if you don't, vote the front.

No self respecting Edo will - in the future - find themselves the flag bearers and cheerleaders of foreign parties with indirect rule political and economic mandates, it just doesn't work.

No sane Edo person lives to "have the ear" of someone who doesn't have Edo at their heart.

The Supreme Court is the place to remove the frustration of these lethargic and "periodic" additions to the voting rolls; here - where I live - you can fill in the forms regarding changing your voter registration at the post office and other easy access places.

At the rate things are going we're going to find ourselves truly in decline as our populations suffer from simple things like protein deficiencies in children

" - Reggie Akpata

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