IsiXhosa author warns against loss of identity

2018-02-22 06:00
Author Loyiso Mgqatsa showing off his books.                                                                                          PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Author Loyiso Mgqatsa showing off his books. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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Books written in the vernacular languages are becoming hard to come by because the its intended readers tend to shy away from doing so.

The advent of social networks is not helping the situation, rendering prospects dire.

This is the sentiment of Loyiso Mgqatsa, a young writer who resides in Makhaza.

Mgqatsa,34, who is originally from Butterworth in Eastern Cape, has described his writing as a passion and a way of expressing himself.

He has already published about six titles in isiXhosa under his name.

Mgqatsa described himself as an avid reader.

“I like reading. I started by writing poems in high school in Siphamandla in Kuyasa in 2002, just for fun.

I used to compete with schoolmate Vusumzi Tyatyeka, now plies his trade as a pugilist. We both even took bets to write books, but because he was committed to boxing he couldn’t have enough time as an author,” he said.

His first book was published in 2008 and since then he never looked back.

“In most cases, I write about things that are happening in our communities. Or narrating my life experience in a story,” he said.

“Last year, I published two books: Ndiyabulela Mama(in February) and Ndicela Undixolele(in October). The objective behind writing in isiXhosa is to preserve my language. Our languages are dying slowly because of the social networks.

People are not interested in reading books written in indigenous languages because they feel as if they are outdated. The technology is taking over now,” said Mgqatsa.

He has encouraged the youth to guard their mother tongue.

“If we are not careful, our languages will die. People must be proud of their languages. Your language is who you are.

It describes your background,” asked Mgqatsa.

He cited author Mncedi Mbambo as his role model. Some of his books include: Ntliziyo Ndikhulule, Isilonda Siphola Ngothunukwa, Zakuphela Inkuni uyacima Umlilo and Ndiyazisola, available at Clarke Bookshop in Long Street or call him: 063 019 9664.


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