Spreading the Xhosa word

By Drum Digital
11 October 2013

In an innovative move a young white South African is building bridges between cultures with language.

YOU don’t find many Xhosa-speaking white South Africans, so when you do come across one you’ll find he has some stories to tell. Language activist Craig Charnock was shooting a short film with a crew in Site C in Khayelitsha township, Cape Town,  when a young man approached him and demanded, “Wenzani lo mlunguaphaelokshini (What’s this white man doing in the township?)”. “I turned to him, smiled and said ‘Ah, mfondini, lomlungu uyasebenza nje’ (Ah, my man, this white man is just working),” recalls Craig.

“He broke into the broadest smile, shook my hand and then wouldn’t let go. For the next few hours he hung out with me on my missions, determined to keep me safe and welcomed.”

Reactions like these are nothing new to the 32-year-old.

Read more in DRUM - 17 October 2013

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