I say this in English, for us the majority were forced and still are forced to adopt English as our thinking language through the Education system that is pro-English. We are not able to read a two paged content-filled document written in our languages and comprehend it. Our levels of comprehension in our languages are […]

I say this in English, for us the majority were forced and still are forced to adopt English as our thinking language through the Education system that is pro-English. We are not able to read a two paged content-filled document written in our languages and comprehend it. Our levels of comprehension in our languages are sub-standard. In fact we are linguistically disabled. We do not have full comprehension ability in our languages and still we have no perfect grasp of the English we so uphold. So, spare I your frivolous criticism that I scribed this in English, for you would have not understood me even if I pened it in your parlance. You and I must admit that we have been colonised successfully. However we are not entirely blinded, for our one eye of Pan-Africanism still has sight. Whether it is fully or just partially sighted it does not matter. The one-eyed is the king in the land of the blind!

The majority of black people in South Africa have no full comprehension of English yet systems of this country are extremely anglicised. The government of the day still serve our country in English. Written information is not available in the tongues of the people, Municipalities supply bills and other information written in English. Ministers address the masses in l’Anglais. The government is mum about the technological growth that excludes the African languages, as the banks and other institutions continue to develop Apps closing ways for the rural and un-anglicised population. Why is this so?

Allow me to say it:  It is a perfect plan of the continuation of colonisation called Institutionalised Discrimination. The plan is to confine us and make us feel like we are insignificant and out-numbered, that even though there are more than 22 million speakers of Nguni languages and plus 12 million speakers of Sotho languages we must feel like we are a Minority. We must be condensed, bottled and squashed in a language spoken by 4, 8 speakers in the country:isiNgisi. This seals the deal for the offspring of the former oppressor. It maintains the pre-democracy état d’être. Black majority has to master the language of the Master to enter an economic arena.

As black people seek to master the language of the Oppressor they will adopt the master’s world view, way of life and ultimately seek to be one with his oppressor. The black man will then become a better and big critic of Indigenous Knowledge Systems. His criticism will be more effective because he was part of these things. Today the black middle class are the biggest critics of the call for the freedom of our tongues. It is the black people who reject mother tongue education in brilliant academic pieces. It is the black people (including myself) who take their children to English medium schools to master the language of their oppressor. We are all fighting to be part of the minority.  This is what the learned men termed ‘Minoritisation’: stripping the majority its power so it does not question the status quo.

Black people need not beg for their linguistic liberty, they should package themselves to be a closed market. Anyone who wants to do business with them must come to them in their languages. Imagine if all isiZulu speakers who are the clients of Old Mutual or Discovery were not going to jettison the companies if they do not address them nor trade with them in their languages. Would it not create a niche for new companies of this nature to emerge? Companies owned by black people for black people!

Black people must break free from these minoritising boundaries set by the fully colonised leaders of our democracy. Dr L.P.O Lumumba calls them “misleaders’. We are like cattle herded by a nine year old boy with a stick. We are big and powerful yet we are made to believe we have no power. Imagine if the cows were to turn and face the herd boy. Oh boy!kungaqhawuka unobathane! He would run for his life! The same applies to us, if we can all start confronting the banks, insurers, medical schemes and ask them to address us in our languages in written correspondences. Colonialism will flee! We will really live up to the great chant: Amandla Ngawethu, Maatla ke ya rena! Suddenly, we will feel we have the power to do. We will own our own destiny. We can be productive in our workplaces. We can manage our finances with better discernment. Above all, we will become confident people and proactively participate in the building of our nation.

As Afrikaners enlighten me, “Mongezi, you should fight for your own language, for Afrikaners are fighting for their own language” Yes, Afrikaners build and fund their schools, they make dictionaries and write content books in Afrikaans, Make Afrikaans films and Teach in their Afrikaans. Develop terminology and‘Afrikanerise’ everything they come across. They put life to the words of Chika Onyeani  “…self-preservation is not a sin”.  This wise man of Africa also said it frankly “we are as endowed as any other race of people. We have to believe in solving our problems ourselves. We cannot continue to depend on others to do everything for us.” I think we should ask a critical question to the Afrikaans speakers: How do you do it? The answer is right in front of us but maybe letting Afrikaners narrate it to us can drive a point home!

La lutta continua, la guerre est n’est pas fini!




  1. A challenge for you Bolofo my brother, is that start writing much of ur own IsiZulu and see how many people will read and try to enjoy the language,

    Ke Motswana o a ratang setswana sa gagwe,
    Tswelela go re fatlhosa ka maitemogelo a gago.

  2. Indeed this is a problem, but we do have the tools to correct the situation. Many people are writing articles in our indigenous languages in wikipedia. This is open to anybody once you have got over the initial learning barrier of how to create new articles and edit old ones.

    Furthermore Google has an online English to isiZulu translator. Here is an example of the FNB site in isiZulu. it is based on statistical translation and will obviously have many grammatical mistatkes in it. Why not correct the translation and upload the corrections to the isiZulu wiki?

    Here is an article about cats in isiZulu.

    1. Ngoato

      Indeed tools are there, we need to engage the publics and work with them in the development of their tongues.

      I have looked at the two links, verily there is a crucial need to edit the writing. It has gross morphosyntactical errors. I would like to assist if I can, direct me and I will edit.

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