Writer encourages preservation of Ndebele language


Veteran Ndebele writer Isaac Mpofu said he has a passion for the preservation of the Ndebele language.

Mpofu said this during the launch of his book, Sithini IsiNdebele.

“We should ensure that we preserve the Ndebele language. We should help each other to ensure that our language grows from strength to strength. I am not happy to see our language being eroded,” said Mpofu.

He said some Ndebele speakers did not have an in-depth knowledge of their language.

Mpofu felt there was too much promotion of the English language at schools to the detriment of indigenous languages.

“There are some people who cannot speak one full sentence in Ndebele without inserting English words. Some say they cannot even write in Ndebele,” he said.

He added that through writing in Ndebele, he was making contribution to the preservation of his mother language.

Some of the books that Mpofu has written include Wangithembisa Lami, UMaweni, Izenzo Zomuntu and collection of short stories in the publication, Umchilo Wamakhosikazi.

Mpofu took a swipe at pastors, especially the new charismatic churches, for preaching in English.

“The pastors are the ones at the forefront of the demise of Ndebele because they always preach in English. It is they and politicians who are to blame when it comes to the erosion of our language,” said the veteran educationist.

He said his book teaches people the right diction to use in Ndebele. It was published by Radiant Publishers.

Barbara Nkala, representing the publishers, said they published the book to make a contribution to the “growth of Ndebele language”.

“Those who are able to write novels, short stories and poetry in Ndebele should bring them to us and we will publish them. We want the language to grow,” said Nkala.