PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
jeremy thorpe
 
Comments: 10
Article views: 985
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all jeremy thorpe's badges.
 

Learn to speak a little bit of English...

12 July 2013, 16:51

This morning on 702, John Robbie got some stick from a listener who accused him of being “racist” for having the temerity to describe a government minister, Malusi Gigaba, as “articulate.” The listener basically felt that John was judging a black person based purely on his command of English.

Well, it’s easy to chuck the race card around – and John is no racist. Ask his long-time technical producer Darius Mothibe – or any of the other black staff at 702.

But the listener does raise an interesting point. Do those of us who speak English as a first language – or speak it fluently on a daily basis - judge others by their ability to do likewise?

A couple of days ago, John was interviewing the new Communications Minister, Yunus Carrim. To me,  Carrim came across as switched-on, reasonably knowledgeable and keen to make a difference to this underperforming ministry.  And, as an English-speaking listener, I found myself enjoying his fluency which translates, to my ear, as quick-thinking and intelligent.

And I guess that’s one of the reasons why the ANC often does so poorly in the media. Above all, the media wants quotable quotes. It wants ministers who can express themselves (in English) quickly, articulately and quotably!....like Carrim and Gigaba – and also like those opposition politicians the ANC loves to hate, Lindiwe Mazibuko and Mmusi Maimane.     

Yes, I agree, it’s probably unfair to judge a person on his/her command of English, particularly when many of us English-speakers can barely manage fluent Afrikaans, let alone any of South Africa’s other indigenous languages. 

But like it or not, these days English is South Africa’s language of communication – and the ANC could do itself a huge favour by employing more Gigaba’s and Carrim’s. They SOUND efficient, even if they’re not, and when efficient communication is a must, that’s half the battle won.

Some of you may recall the words of a song by Johnny Clegg and Juluka. “Third World Child” was written back in the ‘80’s and was a look at how black people saw the arrival and influence of whites in South Africa. “He said…you should learn to speak a little bit of English, don’t be scared of a suit and tie, learn to walk in the dreams of the foreigner….I am a Third World Child.”

Those immortal lyrics were no doubt intended ironically, but today they ring truer than ever. Learn to speak English fluently and articulately – and you’ll win a lot more friends and influence a lot more people than if you can’t!    

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
CraigJoseph
Keep laughing Jacob, keep laughin...

I listened in bewilderment as you addressed parliament on Wednesday. Read more...

0 comments 0 views
Submitted by
Emma Dunk
Isipingo intruder nabbed

A would-be thief got more than he bargained for when he was apprehended in Isipingo. Read more...

1 comments 165 views
Submitted by
Sue van der Linde
Nana – A very brave little boy!

His Mother died in front of his eyes and he was left on the floor of the shack in agony. Read more...

2 comments 123 views
Submitted by
Cris Mhlanga
ANC Elias Motsoaledi Trying their...

They should enroll on a course of understanding the role of government and its opposition parties. Read more...

0 comments 52 views
Submitted by
Peter Currie983
Research laws

We read at different times that someone is to be executed for drug smuggling or receiving long prison times, I have also read about Arab woman being beaten for breaking the law of the country. Read more...

3 comments 162 views
Submitted by
Revelgen
How long before the ANC kills off...

The figures are scary. Over 16 million people on social grants. Zuma builds his palace for R246 million. Read more...

6 comments 674 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.