He’s the American Zulu

2014-09-29 00:00

AFTER falling in love with the language back home, an American student is now mastering the clicks and intricacies of the Zulu language in KZN.

Wade Southwell is on a year-long scholarship at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and has been in the country for the past three months.

Fondly known as Xolani, Southwell is from Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, Missouri. He said the language fascinates him and he loves learning various clicks.

“I am working hard to master them. I feel that in to connect with people on a deeper level, you need to speak their language. It’s an invaluable skill to have,” he said.

Before heading to UKZN, Southwell had taken a two month Zulu course at the University of Florida as part of the scholarship requirements, and instantly fell in love with the language.

Having done extensive research into the best places to study Zulu in Africa full-time, Southwell chose UKZN.

Southwell said he can now have discussions with other students in Zulu.

“The sentence structure and grammar is completely different to European languages, especially when it comes to expressing ideas,” said Southwell.

Lecturer in the Zulu programme, Dr Shamilla Naidoo, said Southwell is an enthusiastic student.

“And that enthusiasm is contagious. His presence actually inspires his classmates.

“Apart from that, Xolani is interested in linguistic aspects of Zulu and we hope to see him pursue research in that area.”

He said he has immersed himself in South African life and Zulu culture” which he said was initially overwhelming.

‘I’m from one of the poorest states in the U.S. where very few opportunities like this come along for students, so getting the scholarship to come here to study Zulu is amazing.

“I would like to return in the future.’

Southwell is in contact with his mentors and friends back home and said he gives them regular updates on his lectures and academic experiences at UKZN.

— Witness Reporter.

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