Leonard Muaka, PhD
To the entire Global Swahili community
This is an opportunity for all of you Swahili speakers and friends in Arica, Europe, China, America, the Arab world, and all corners of the globe where Swahili is spoken. Today’s world is connected through language. It could be through the written or spoken form of language. Irrespective of the mode of communication, Swahili is one of the critical and major languages of our times enabling this interconnectedness. The least we can do as Swahili speakers, Swahili language activists, and experts of Swahili language is to defend and spread the language through modern media. Swahili will flourish among the present and future generations through the efforts of each one of us.
It is painful when a parent is asked by her daughter: “dad, why didn’t you teach me Swahili language or your language?” As a parent you might give several reasons but the truth is, together with the other rights that each child should be guaranteed, one important right is language. Let us offer our children the opportunity to acquire our language(s). Let us not forget that multilingualism or the proficiency in multiple languages is something that is very much needed in our present world and that even research attests to the fact that multilingualism is cognitively beneficial.
As a reader of this article, CHAUKIDU is an organization that gives you this special opportunity. Join other Swahili supporters across the globe so we can nurture our language and guarantee it its proper place in the 21st century and beyond. Linguistically all languages are equal and therefore let us not be the people who will marginalize Swahili language. Let us not forget what Shaaban Robert once stated: “Titi la mama li tamu, lijapokuwa la mbwa.” Simply put, do not forget your roots.
Swahili needs the contribution of every stakeholder at the individual, institutional and societal level. Therefore this is a plea to you to contribute to the promotion and spread of Swahili in every way possible, because you have the power to do so. If you have any question or suggestions, please contribute via the CHAUKIDU blog or send an email to the director or even the president of CHAUKIDU. We are here to serve you but it is even better if we can collaborate to achieve our main goal – to develop, sustain, and promote Swahili everywhere in the world.
Leonard Muaka, PhD