Is ANC English or African?

I pen this after the January 8 statement; I cannot react to the statement because much as I wanted to be glued in front of the telly and hear uMkhulu Gedle delivering this statement, the company of the young fellows I kept at kwaHlabisa was far greater than listening to the old man trying to […]

I pen this after the January 8 statement; I cannot react to the statement because much as I wanted to be glued in front of the telly and hear uMkhulu Gedle delivering this statement, the company of the young fellows I kept at kwaHlabisa was far greater than listening to the old man trying to read English. He has improved though, please do not argue this point, I haven’t heard him reading in a while.

I decided today I am not going to even listen to the news nor read the newspapers. I wanted to feel what my grandfather is feeling, I wanted to feel what my uncles are feeling and the ordinary youth that is kicked out of school by failure to comprehend the Queen’s language. These are the people who tell me all the time they will never vote for another party. I would play the devil’s advocate and use the opposition parties’ statements to convince them to vote otherwise but mkhulu will tell you straight, there is nothing better than the ANC.  Melancholically he never got to comprehend the statement clearly; he sat in front of the telly and marvelled at the crowd and the leaders he recognised. The statement was in English and that is the language he has no comprehension of. So I said to him, your party discriminates against you; they speak to the English speakers not you, people with no education and ‘unwesternised’. He does respond with anger though I know he agrees with me. So Yesterday I promised him I will try and get him the statement in isiZulu and read it for him.

I visited the Facebook page of the ANC and there I found The Statement posted. I asked for the statement in isiZulu. My askance received a few likes and that was it. No response from the ANC to say whether I will get it or not. I then put it as a status to see if any of my friends know if I can access this in isiZulu or not. Jackson Mthembu, Sihle Zikalala and Lakela Kaunda were tagged but they offered no assistance. I even asked Mam Zandile Gumede on her page. Look I will write directly to them today, maybe the party left them with the via Orlando!!! They might use this joke to paint me as a disrespectful person. Thula uzozwa! Today (09/01/2017) I called Luthuli House and requested this. The first lady said she is transferring me to Oom Gweezy’s office. The call was not picked up and went back to switchboard. The second lady said she is transferring me and the call rang until it was cut. So that was it, those were my attempts to get the ruling party to offer us some information in isiZulu.

This prompted me to ask some questions around the communication strategies of our beloved ANC. They always complain about the media misinterpreting the leaders but they only offer statements and speeches in colourful English that even the queen of England does not use. I am sure the Duchess of Cambridge is being trained on royal English using ANC clips!

When I grew up this tendency was announced as a character assassination to Mkhulu Mangoh Buthelezi. Our uncles use to tell us he spoke English to the uneducated and non-English speaking Zulus, because he aimed to confuse them. Is this not what is happening in the ANC today. I often hear members of the ANC talking about umrhabulo, yet this publication is not published in African languages, so I always wonder how these uncles use this as an excuse when they themselves do not comprehend it.

Let us not go far, just somebody to help me understand why the party of the people speaks to its people in the language of their oppressor. Perhaps the language issue is still like the land issue. When Julius has picked it and attack the party with it then they will start moving towards this direction.

The ruling party ministers in the African languages radio stations that often code-switch and ridiculously subvert the status of our tongues by mixing it with English. I often say Mkhulu Gedle sounds intelligent and comfortable when speaking in isiZulu then in English. He is probably one of a kind; he does not code-switch or code mix, he uses clear isiZulu. So why never use isiZulu to address the nation? I think it is better for a Tshivenda and Xitsong or Sepedi speaker to try and comprehend anyone speaking African languages than trying to swim in a pool of English. It’s like swimming against the tide!

ANC is the same party that has an English medium education in our country, just like England, but you will never find a school that operates in Setswana in England. Ungabona izinyo lenkukhu! At the police station people write affidavits in English, at the hospital people fill in the cards and indemnity forms in English, …………..in January 8 the president of the people speaks in English.

So I put the challenge to The ANC, since its followers and members are predominantly speakers of African languages can they contact their cadres in the translation business who use to translate their things so we can all be included in these. The vernacular newspapers will help publish it in the relevant provinces.  Surely the members and followers will start engaging more with the party developments, unless the aim is to keep them in the dark! Then English must continue to dominate.

For the sake of uTa’mkhulu I will await for Oom Gweezy to send the statement to the language services and avail it in the website and to the media houses. Ndiyabulela kwakhona malume Gwede ngokuyihhoya nokuyihhoya le nyewe. Thank you in advance Bawo

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