Focus on isiXhosa


MZIMKHULU Lombo of Komani writes: I want to respond to the letter by Sabelo Jayiya (“Role models helping to kill isiXhosa”, The Rep, February 17).
Sabelo was complaining about the reckless use of IsiXhosa concepts in public speaking, including the use of the word “Simanxadanxada” instead of ‘Simaxhaphetshu’ or ‘Sizizinxadanxada’. It is true that there is no respect for the language of the king (Phalo). Another example is that all mayors are referred to as “Usodolophu” irrespective of the gender.
In fact, a woman mayor should be referred to as “Unodolophu”. These two concepts originate from: “Uyise + idolophu = usodolophu. Unina + idolophu = Unodolophu”.
The minute your refer to woman who is chairing a meeting as a “chairman” you will be corrected. This implies that correctness is demanded only in English and not in IsiXhosa. People would prefer to use isiZulu than IsiXhosa. For Example, on TV 1, when they read the weather, it is said, “Amaqondo okutshisa” instead of “Amaqondo obushushu”. “Ukutshisa” and “ubushushu” have different meanings in isiXhosa. They are not synonyms.
The evidence of disrespect of isiXhosa can also be seen in an advert in The Rep on March 3 on page 18. The advert was written in isiXhosa: “Umntu ongayi qondiyo lengxelo uyacelwa aqhakamshelane no…”
In this sentence there is incorrect word division and wording. It is sad that we ignore our language and prefer other languages.
IsiXhosa was rescued from being extinct by Prof Satyo in the 1980s. IsiXhosa should be developed at the same level as English, as advocated by African writer Prof Ngugi Wa Thiongo (Daily Dispatch, March 3). We should work towards using IsiXhosa as a medium of instruction at school, as advocated by Zola Wababa (Daily Dispatch, March 3).

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