Language connects us to our history and traditions. It is our heritage. Denigrating our own language and attempting to mold ourselves into a monolingual community gives us a false sense of security that we fit in with those we emulate. What it really does is to create a sense of deficiency in us, especially when we realize that our command of the foreign language is incomparable to that of native speakers. We may write in foreign languages to be understood by many. We can also learn other languages to learn about other cultures. We must never think our own languages are valueless. We need to develop pride in and value our own local languages.
Above are 3 of Zimbabwe’s most beautiful cultural heritage sites, the Chinhoyi Caves(top), Khami Ruins(middle) and Great Zimbabwe Ruins (bottom)-declared a world heritage site by UNESCO and the biggest man-made stone ruins on the continent .Of course there are other countries with such heritage sites…
We need to know our history; who we are, where we are and where we are going, including the stories of the men and women who have made our country what it is today. We may not have memoirs, letters or written documents narrating history but we do have the oral tradition of storytelling, which has passed folk-tales across generations. Story-telling can be used to pass down our history; recognizing the limitations that come with it. We need to tell our own stories and give our own account of our history. We must preserve our monuments of national pride.
Another African proverb aptly put, “Until lions have their own historian, accounts of the hunt will always celebrate the hunter.” African history is predominantly told from the perspective of our former colonizers.Books and maps are in colonial languages, mostly written by missionaries and mercenaries. As long as this persists, the account we have remains incomplete. We must tell our own history! As Malcolm X said, “History is a people’s memory, and without a memory, man is demoted to the lower animals.”