Notable musician and poet Ntsiki Mazwai has lashed out on white South Africans who do not know the country’s indigenous anthem.
Speaking on language problems faced by people in the country, Mazwai said white south Africans needed to have learnt the the “indigenous anthem of this land”.
Truth be told, south Africa has eleven languages Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu- but how many white south Africans can speak at least two of the languages?
As a social activist‚ Ntsiki has never kept silent on pressing issues that affects. In fact most of her opinions on certain issues have placed her on the wrong side of influential personalities such as musician Simphiwe Dana and Sports minister Fikile Mbalula. This time she chose to take it out on the Whites who she feels ought to play good roles to uphold the nation’s unity.
While attending an ANC event ahead of the Parliamentary debate on President Jacob Zuma earlier this week‚ Ntsiki Mazwai sang the traditional version of the anthem‚ Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika after which she spoke on her concern over the relegation of the traditional version of the song.
“We had been bullied into the new version” Mazwai said as she decided to write a stinging rebuke to “white people.”
“White people were suppose to learn the indigenous anthem of this land! Qha! We can no longer pussy foot around a people who are in denial that they are in Afrika!” she wrote in a series of Twitter messages on Wednesday.
Adding to this, Mazwai said blacks who are friends with the whites are not doing them good by not teaching them indigenous languages. She said Blacks are helping the white to remain ignorant by speaking English to them
“Dear mlungu: yo black friends are doing you an injustice by speaking to you in english….REAL Friends don’t let their friends stay ignorant‚” she wrote.
In a country like South Africa where racial differences prevail, language policy ought to be one of the unifying factors that can be used to suppress it. Unfortunately, this has for a long time been ignored.
We’ve had countless of schools in the country being plagued by language problems with at least 30% of Grade 1 pupils not being taught in their home language. This no doubt is an additional cause for pupils who find learning a challenge.
If we are bent on achieving strong bond between races then it has to be done from the scratch. Literature in southern African languages needs to be revived in all learning institutions especially with the infant literature. For the whites, show your love for oneness by learning some of our languages. Ntsiki Mazwai says “start with our Indigenous Anthem”