Residents of Soshanguve joined the world in celebrating the International Mother Tongue Day on Friday 21 February.
Observed yearly on 21 February more than 40 countries worldwide, the day is meant to celebrate the mother language without borders with the theme, ‘Languages without borders,” which helps to preserve indigenous heritage.
Soshanguve Pulse took to the street to find out what International Mother Language Day means to the community and the importance of celebrating it.
Mr Lindile Ndlala, an isiXhosa speaking resident of Soshanguve block L said it is important to celebrate mother tongue because it is one of the things that we learn from our mothers.
“I was raised by a single parent as such it only makes sense for me to keep speaking my language as a way to honour her, I do not believe in teaching a child English as a first language. English was meant for us to understand each other so it should not be misunderstood to be our language,” said Mr Ndlala.
Miss Gladys Letseka is a Sesotho speaking resident and a mother herself. She said she believes that people should celebrate Mother Language Day to thank God for the opportunity to speak in our own languages.
“We have to celebrate our languages as a way to thank God for giving us our different languages,” said Ms Letseka.
Mr Lethlogonolo Nokias, a Setswana speaking resident of Soshanguve extension 1 said he does not feel that as a country we are doing enough to celebrate this day.
“We do not give enough sustainability to our mother languages as citizens of this country because we fail to use our languages daily, instead of using our mother languages we opt for speaking English. 70% of our time. Our daily speech should be in our language and then only then will we be giving meaning to this day,” said Mr Nokias.
Ms Zamangwane Zamisa is a isiZulu speaking resident of Soshanguve block L. She said celebrating this day means embracing our original language.
“We celebrate this day in order to embrace our original languages as it is part of our identity. When growing up we learn our mother tongue first. English is only learnt at a later stage in life and should come second to us,” said Ms Zamisa.