BY SHARON SIBINDI
POETS have been challenged to take pride in their mother-tongues by using them more when reciting poems as a way to preserve their language for future generations.
The call was made last week by Mcenge Nyilika during the inaugural Mhlekazi International Poetry Festival and Mntwanomhle Wine and Fashion Festival in Solongwe Concourse, Lobenvale, Bulawayo.
“We need to be proud of our language. That is why you see some other nationals like the Arabs, they don’t speak English, they are proud of their languages. Reciting poems in one’s mother tongue adds value to it. People must respect their language,” he said.
“We all use English, but it should have its place and for the next generation to know how important poetry is, do it with your mother tongue language then translate it to English. This is because children know and understand their mother tongue compared to everything.”
He challenged poets to teach the young generation to use local language which will help them grasp what they are saying fast.
“We are getting old and soon we will leave this planet. So I urge you to preserving your language and culture. Let us be proud of our mother tongues because they are ours. English is not ours, the whites imposed it on us because they wanted to oppress us. I am asking you to be proud of your mother languages,” he said.
The inaugural edition featured 10 poets, among them Asa Phenomenon, Um’Africakazi, Lady Tshawe, Desire Moyoxide Moyo, Delah Dube, Sox the Poet, Philani A Nyoni, Tinashe Tafirenyika, Thandoe and Michelle Thanya, whose performances before the crowd were scintillating.