Late last week the University of Cape Town (UCT) introduced a short course in isiXhosa as part of the institutions new language policy.

This week UCT has introduced an indigenous language short course on Khoekhoegowab, which is an indigenous Khoisan language at its Centre for Extra-Mural Studies (EMS).

According to IOL News, the Khoisan language activists have welcomed the institution’s introduction and hoped that it will help to save the culture.

“Unfortunately many of the continents indigenous languages are endangered. We cannot celebrate things that are African without celebrating the languages. One third of the world’s 6 000 languages are spoken in Africa,” said Khoisan heritage activist, Bradley van Sitters.

IOL News adds that the first course will run from this month to August, and that the long-term goal was for Khoekhoegowab to become a fourth language at UCT after isiXhosa, English and Afrikaans.

“I was informed that there wouldn’t be enough interest in the language, and now years on they introduce this course, although it’s not enough. UCT must establish a department for teaching, research and restoration of this language, added van Sitters.

“There were about 167 000 speakers of Khoekhoegowab, of whom roughly 39 percent were Nama and 60 percent were Damara,” noted retired University of Namibia professor Wilfrid Haacke.

[Source – IOL News] [Image – CC BY SA 2.0 Ian Barbour]