PLEASE NOTE:

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

 
ThandoC
 
Comments: 0
Article views: 222
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all ThandoC's badges.
 

Reclaiming our heritage: Are we battle-ready?

09 July 2014, 13:08

Teachers, academics and researchers in linguistics have been branded “the first line of defence” in South Africa’s endeavours to protect and reclaim a supposedly waning heritage by safeguarding its indigenous languages.

This was a heartfelt, passion-fuelled assertion made on Tuesday 1 July by well-renowned author and writer-in-residence at the University of the Western Cape Dr Sindiwe Magona during a sobering address at the Walter Sisulu University-hosted 18th African Language Association of Southern Africa (ALASA) Interim Conference taking place in Mthatha from 30 June -2 July.

Looking to closely address the theme at hand titled “Reclaiming our African Heritage through language”, Magona said the weaponry needed to defend and protect an African heritage already under heavy duress lay with those in the education sector – the teachers and administrators.

“It is you (linguists) who have the power to reverse the wrongs that are putting our languages and culture at risk of disappearing with the sands of time. Stand up against a government and society that continues to fail to acknowledge the sacredness of who we are and what we are as a people,” said Mogona.

Magona’s address, titled “Zemk’iinkomo magwalandini! Cry, the beloved language” cast a wide eye on a series of issues that need to be addressed in order for this country to begin marching in the right direction in efforts to reclaim its heritage.

She said a number of issues would need to be addressed with extreme urgency in order for the country to reclaim its heritage.

“Using language as an instrument to reclaim our heritage is not something that will happen overnight. We have to look at our socio-economic realities and see how these have contributed to a people who have no self-respect or respect for another anymore. We have to look at our government policies and interrogate whether these talk to preservation of our heritage and respect of our culture as Africans. We also need to look at whether we are battle-ready as people to fight for what is essentially us,” she said impassionedly.

Magona’s address was preceded by another thought-provoking talk by leading linguistics expert, renowned linguist and founder of the Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS) Prof Kwesi Kwaa Prah, who, on the opening day of the conference delved into the importance of culture in the development of a people.

“Culture in general and language and literacy are crucial and central to the development endeavour. Without our cultures there is little or no hope for meaningful change for Africans. I mean change which will ensure we developmentally advance and do not culturally disappear,” said Prah.

Prah said the lack of success in making headway in development of African societies “has kept interested parties in the grindstone”.

“Questions thus that need to be answered regarding this issue are; what are the relevant contextual linguistic realities of contemporary Africa? How do they affect the issues attendant on development? How do the dominant assumptions and epistemology in applied linguistics relate to the challenges that face Africa today? This is what my research seeks to answer,” concluded Prah.

WSU Spokesperson Angela Church said that for WSU to host this conference was both an honour and a verification of the University’s influence in the area of indigenous knowledge.

“Globalisation and the rapid development of communication technologies have created a challenging environment for the preservation and development of indigenous knowledge systems and in particular of African languages which carry centuries of unique human experience in oral traditions,” she concluded.

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
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Lew Skannen
Expect a Bumpy Ride!

Now that Nersa has officially declined Eskom's request for a tariff increase, South Africans should prepare themselves for a bumpy road. Read more...

1 comments 183 views
Submitted by
StillProudlySA
Autopilot Disengaged

Unable to adequately gauge the controls, Zuma is incapable of pulling this aircraft out of imminent catastrophe; and he has filled his cockpit with irrelevant bystanders who are only there to drool over the cash-money view. Read more...

4 comments 224 views
Submitted by
Vulcan
IF and Zetetic Cosmogony

Many people today blindly believe the doctrine of the round earth and the theory of gravity, a evil conspiracy propagated by the men of science, like NASA and the church of science – universities.  Read more...

36 comments 737 views
Submitted by
Dan Rheeder
Open your spiritual eyes

Elisha and his servant were surrounded by thousands of Syrian troops. Then Elisha makes this amazing statement. Read more...

44 comments 351 views
Submitted by
cvh23
4 Ways In Which Government Is Des...

Farmers and mine owners around the country cringe every time they hear someone like Gwede Mantashe or Julius Malema speak. Read more...

5 comments 572 views
Submitted by
SkerP
Dear Minister Nhleko...

At the end of May, you sat down in Parliament, and provided a briefing to journalists, regarding your report into the president's rural homestead. Read more...

10 comments 776 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 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.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
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.