[Lgpolicy-list] [lg policy] Zimbabwe:

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue Oct 28 14:33:32 UTC 2014

'Be proud of being Ndebele if you're a Ndebele'
by Staff reporter
27 October 2014 | 3034 Views
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The Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture is in the process of drafting a
national language policy amidst outcries from civil society, marginalised
communities and the general public over the lack of use  and promotion of
various indigenous languages.

Speaking during the official launch of the 8th edition of the Shangano Arts
Festival in Lupane , Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Andrew Langa
noted that it was important for people to celebrate their different
cultures and languages.

"There is no tribe that is special over another and no-one should undermine
anyone's language.  If you undermine yourself you have a problem. Be proud
of being Ndebele if you're a Ndebele, be proud of being a Khalanga if
you're a Khalanga or a Tonga if you are Tonga,

"If three English people get in here, all of you will start speaking in
English. If there are five Khalangas and  two Ndebeles all of them will
start speaking in Ndebele.  If there are nine Ndebele people in a Kombi
(commuter omnibus) and  three Shonas get in all of them will start speaking
in Shona .

"That is why the constitution recognises 16 languages,"  he said.

In an Interview with Radio Dialogue after the launch, the Principal
Director in the department of Sport, Arts and Culture, Paul Damasane said
that work on the language policy was in progress.

"This is a political, social and technical issue and is infact as a result
of colonisation. It is a complex issue that needs to be looked at from a
cultural perspective, language perspective and an identity perspective,"
said Damasane

"In the constitution 16 languages have been officially recognised and it
pushes for a language policy that determines which ones of those languages
is the language of record. So it means the next step would be to determine
what would be the language of record."

Rev Damasane further noted  coming up with the language policy would be
determined by a number of factors including the needs of the people, their
activities and the economy.

"The language policy understanding in Zimbabwe is that it has to follow
sequentially from the review of the national cultural policy. The national
cultural policy is at an advanced stage and we are now editing the latest
review document.

The issue is you don't just jump into language you have to look at culture
first because culture will determine what language you will use," he said.

Reflecting on the statements made by Adrew Langa  on the lack of use of
cultural languages, the Reverend  however noted that personal behaviors who
be harder to control.

"l don't think that a language policy will have a control on individual
behaviors of people or over such kind of issues," he noted.
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