Esbayeni Speaks in Tongues

Speaking in tongues was the name of the game on today’s #Esbayeni show with DJ Mgedeza as we focused on International Mother Language Day.

Each year, the 21st of February serves as a worldwide observance to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and promote multilingualism. The day was first announced by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1999.

In light of the day, our guest was self-published author Dimakatso Mookodi, who has written a book in Setswana and had it translated into SA’s other official languages.

She came to studio with her book, Molemi Yo A Bitšwago Kahano, in tow in some of the different languages that it is available in. If you know the #Esbayeni team, you’ll know that they never back down from a challenge; so 3 team members took on the task of reading the books in the different vernacular languages. Fun was had, although it got a bit tricky – you can imagine reading out a word that you only use when chatting to uGogo ekhaya during the December holidays.

The Mighty L and Dimakatso Mookodi

Dimakatso then shared her story and passion for language, particularly, vernacular language and why it is important for us to maintain knowledge of our mother languages.  She also lamented at the fact that there are so many young people who don’t know their mother languages and have lost out on that piece of identity.

“It’s sad how our young children and youth today are stuck with English and find it “cool” to only be able to speak in this language”, she said.  

Wrapping up, the team gave themselves the challenge of speaking in only vernacular languages for the rest of the day – in the spirit of celebrating and promoting International Mother Language Day.

To hear more of what Dimakatso Mookodi had to say, listen here: (podcast link).

Esbayeni is brought to you by our favourite township duo, DJ Mgedeza and Zola and broadcasts every weekday from 12:00-15:00, CAT.

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