reclaim their roots
Learners at Hillwood Primary School in Lavender Hill are exposed to Khoekhoe, one of the first languages of South Africa, as part of the school’s extra-mural activities.
The language facilitator, Denver Breda, commended the school for recognising the positive impact that learning your ancestors’ languages have on communities.
“Language loss is when a community stops speaking the languages that were spoken for thousands of years. And losing a language isn't just about the words that's lost but the values, knowledge and guidance that's lost in the process.”
Breda said research suggests that small amounts of language reclamation has significant benefits like reducing violent incidents and substance abuse, better academic performance and staying in school.
The classes started in the first week of February and there has been support from the broader community for the initiative.
“The class was almost full and so it's safe to say the kids are definitely interested.”
Breda expressed the hope that when other schools become aware of the importance of reclaiming KHOE languages, they too would support the call.