CRIMINALISING MOTHER TONGUE IS KILLING AFRICANISM

In the wake of tribal wars and tribal cocoons posing as ‘national parties’, our many native languages are endangered. As election beckons so do the hate speech barometers nab the hate mongers. We are one nation that is killing our identity in the name of nationalism. What type of a generation is it if our kids can hardly echo a word in their mother tongue let alone the greetings. We want them to speak eloquent English at that tender age which is not a bad idea by the way. My issue is the hypocrisy from the guardians who dont take the iniative to let their children learn their mother tongue. We are affected by delusions and the tired notion of avoiding tribalism. The other day my nephew laughed at me when i remnisced the beautiful songs we sang in primary school. I remember we would form two circles and sing ‘watoto watèrèrè…’.Guess what, he laughed at me for hours. I couldnt believe. But he’s not alone, the so called technie savvy Y-generation which am also part of will label you ‘shags mundu’. I dont blame them, i blame the guardians who are unfortunately denying their kids the rich knowledge of our cultures. Its the most draconian act of the 21st century atleast in Africa. Tribalism is an indoctrination, its a state of mind filled with stereotypes for instance that Luos are proud, Kambas are witches, Kikuyus are money oriented ..etc. It could be true or not depending on how you perceive it, but the bottom line is, it should never divide us. The leverage of social media in our lives cant be ignored, its the power of young people who have revolutionised communication. Not withstanding the fact that they hardly speak their native languages, its evident that social media is one of the most tribal platforms. The point is, tribalism is not limited to the mere fact that you dont speak your mother tongue. Suprisingly, the reverse could be true. I admire President Obama for daring to speak kijaluo even after not learning much of it. Its because he knows the importance of identity, its a sense of beloging. They say ‘mwacha mila ni mtumwa’. Ignorance is dangerous and Jomo Kenyatta understood this so well that it became a priority of his government to eradicate it. The bible talks of ” my people will die because of ignorance”. Africa is next frontier in terms of resources. The world is looking to Africa for opportunities. So lets join hands to protect our beautiful cultures starting with our languages.

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