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Neken
 
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Stupid Linguistic Pride

28 February 2013, 07:22
My mother realised that an education entirely in Tsonga would disadvantage me & so she moved me to a local private school that used English as the medium of instruction, I completed grade 5 & 6 there. During my time in the school I had this stupid pride in my home language & would communicate with the teachers in Shangaan, because the school had black teachers & they would understand me, I considered speaking in English unnecessary.

I had to move schools again as the education in the private school was inadequate according to my mother who is a teacher & this time  moved to a school that used English & Afrikaans as the mediums of instruction. A child would choose between the two. & so at the age of 11 in grade 7 I now had to learn how to express myself well in English, because I was in a school with white teachers now, I could no longer ignore the medium of instruction. This forced me to learn the English language.

I completed high school in the neighbouring school of the primary school I finished grade 7 in which only used English as the medium of instruction & I would now embrace the English language so much that I became a "coconut". Many of the scholars in my previous school who were taught in Afrikaans went to high schools that offered education in Afrikaans. Nothing wrong with this, because South Africa has many universities such as the University of Pretoria & the Stellenbosch University that offer courses in Afrikaans. 

The Afrikaner people are fortunate that their forefathers bullied their language to such heights through apartheid in our country that universities offer courses in their mother tongue, but like all our official languages, with the exception of English, it is only officially recognised in our country. We all want jobs, & most companies are owned by the English who have forced their language on most of the world through their past success of colonising countries. Today it is quite advantageous to study in the English language, one can even work overseas.

It alarmed me last week when I heard an African radiostation discussing how we should learn in African languages & it scares me when my people want to read the paper in an African language. Perhaps I am too concerned with what puts food on the table & not what makes me an African.

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