'Learn another language' campaign launched in KZN

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
By: 
Kemantha Govender

Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal Arts and Culture Department has launched its 'Learn another language' campaign in an effort to promote the use of other official and indigenous languages in the province.

IsiZulu, Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa are currently spoken in the province, but now MEC Weziwe Thusi, through the new campaign, is introducing seSotho lessons.

The department will work with Ukhozi FM to flight a soap opera titled, Kusa Kusa, in Southern seSotho. The programmes will start teaching people basics conversation, such as how to greet in Southern seSotho.

The programme would also assist in providing job opportunities to artists involved in the production of the series.

Thusi said a study was underway to determine the size of seSotho-speaking people populated in the Nquthu area, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

She added that the programme would go a long way in addressing multiculturalism and encourage the use of languages spoken beyond provincial borders.

"As a department, we have agreed to invest an initial R108 000 and if the project goes well, we may look into approaching other partners with an interest in developing our languages. For us, this is a worthy investment as it addresses the question of multiculturalism and multilingualism, both key components in a socially cohesive society

"KwaZulu-Natal is a cultural melting pot and it is incumbent upon all of us to build bridges between the different communities. This project also provides all of us with an opportunity to promote the use of indigenous languages," said Thusi.

The initiative also comes at a time when the United Nations has warned that many indigenous languages around the world are on the verge of extinction.

"Every initiative towards preserving and promoting any language therefore becomes crucial," said Thusi.

The first radio soapie will flight on 30 May 2011, at 15.05pm on Ukhozi FM.