Malema wants all of us to speak Swahili

Julius Malema. Picture: EFF/Twitter

The EFF leader may be one small step closer to his wish after the basic education department announced the language will soon be offered at schools.

In a video clip shared on Tuesday taken from an EFF media briefing from last month, EFF leader Julius Malema can be seen calling for the continent of Africa to develop a shared language.

The party now feels vindicated by government’s recent decision to offer Kiswahili in the school curriculum.

Malema had earlier suggested that Kiswahili would be a good choice. The language best known by most of us as providing the title catch phrase to the “Hakuna Matata” song from The Lion King is already widely spoken throughout the continent and will be available in the South African school curriculum from 2020 as an optional subject.

According to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, introducing Kiswahili to the education system will help to bring Africans together continent-wide.

French, Mandarin and German will also be offered as alternative subjects.

Motshekga has been quoted as saying: “Kiswahili is one of the most spoken languages in Africa after Arabic and English; and could expand to countries that have never spoken it before and as a result draw Africans closer together.”

It is already one of the official languages of the African Union and is a national language in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Malema said in his briefing that the benefit of a widely spoken African language would be part of “decolonising Africa”.

“We must in generations to come have a language that unites Africans. Like Swahili. If Swahili can be developed and turned into a continental language, then we do away with English. Because that’s what colonisers did … divided us, made sure that we don’t have a common language to communicate among ourselves, and then we use their language to communicate so that they can hear everything we say.”

He said it would go some way towards allowing Africa to be an equal competitor to the West … and America [in particular].

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