Swaziland: Closure of siSwati publications worrisome

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Mon Dec 11 13:55:13 UTC 2006

Closure of siSwati publications worrisome

MINISTRY of Education stakeholders raised concerns over the closure of
siSwati publications in the countrys two daily newspapers.  The Swazi
Observer was the first to close down Umbiki (its siSwati publication) and
recently the Times of Swaziland closed down Tikhatsi TeMaswati. This was
said during the workshop on the Language Policy held at Esibayeni Lodge
yesterday. They said the newspapers were very useful in terms of
preserving and promoting the siSwati language, also suggesting that if the
Siswati publications could compete with the English ones, instead of
replicating the same content, then they would be marketable.

The workshops aim was to create a framework for the National Language
Policy to be established soon by government. The participants felt that
the language was slowly dying and called for a major intervention from
government. Media practitioners, who also participated in the workshop,
said government should come out with a comprehensive glossary in order to
readily provide siSwati terms for media usage.

They made an example of HIV and AIDS, mentioning that a uniform glossary
was necessary, adding that the language could be best preserved if
everyone could use the same terms. They also advocated that government set
up a siSwati newspaper that could help promote the language.



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