Botswana: The Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, through the Department of Arts and Culture, commemorated the 2023 11th National Languages Day under the theme: “My language, My pride”, translated “Ke ipela ka teme ya me”.
Officiating at the event, the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture (MYSC) Minister Tumiso Rakgare acknowledged Government’s continuous efforts to promote ethnic languages.
He said that Languages Day highlights the importance of using the mother tongue by various ethnic groups that co-exist within the republic. He added that the day gives natives a platform to showcase the beauty of culture and ethnicity through language.
Moreover, Rakgare buttressed that the National Policy on Culture, 2001, presents language as a mirror of society’s culture and acts as a symbol of national unity and identity. Therefore Batswana should take pride in their identity.
Minister Rakgare emphasized that Botswana’s Vision 2036 acknowledges that culture represents a unique, dynamic and irreplaceable body of values, traditions and languages and that all cultures should strive to be part of this movement.
Rakgare shared with the audience government’s deliberate plan to introduce mother tongue languages in schools for standards 1 and 2, adding that this will not only enable better student and teacher interactions but will also enhance the quality of education.
“This is because language plays an integral part in education and learning, value systems, the transmission of living heritage and all other forms of communication critical in sustainable human relations, associations and socio-economic activities”.
Minister Rakgare expressed gratitude to the leadership of Mmathethe, led by Kgosi Mathiba, the District Commissioner, and the Community Organising Committee, inclusive of MYSC staff and artists, for a successful event.
Along with Minister or government audience and residents also showed gratitude and seemed happy with the celebrations of language day. Some of them showered their happiness or gratitude via comments.
Botshelo Ntebele said, “This idea was 1st initiated by BCP & is part of many beautiful ideologies in its manifesto way back. Not that gory ga a dire sentle, but I believe they should give credit where it’s due.”