First-year students give Zulu their best shot

2014-03-06 00:00

UNIVERSITY of KwaZulu-Natal first-year students Anastasia Courtelis and Sinead van Niekerk are eager to learn Zulu. It’s not easy but they are giving it their best shot.

The two friends are the first bunch at the university required to pass or obtain a credit for a prescribed Zulu module before they can graduate, as of this year.

The university announced last year that all new students registering for undergraduate degrees for the first time at UKZN from 2014 will study Zulu–— unless they get an exemption.

This new rule had been met with a mixed reaction — some praised the university for its daring move, while others denounced it.

The university’s stance was that they wanted to promote and facilitate the use of Zulu as a language of learning, communication, instruction and administration.

Courtelis has already started watching SABC 1 to make sure she masters the language.

“I had heard they have the translation from Zulu to English at the bottom right of the screen,” she added.

Courtelis had never spoken the language before and is struggling to learn. “I guess I just have to put my head down and work. I find it difficult to learn the vocabulary because it is very different to English and the pronunciations of the words are difficult to grasp. But I’ll get there.”

But Courtelis and her friend Van Niekerk both are determined to hone their skill and are keen to use it in their everyday life.

Van Niekerk is lucky because she knows the basics after attending basic Zulu classes for two years at her primary school and was friends with Xhosa and Zulu speakers.

She believes that learning Zulu will benefit her “as there are a large number of people in our country who speak Zulu”.

“Learning the language will give me the opportunity to communicate with such people in their mother tongue and I will also be able to learn more about the different people of our country.’’

She also thinks this will put her ahead of her peers in securing a job.

To assist in learning, both students have opted to communicate more in Zulu with friends and their classmates.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.