Swahili is an indigenous language said to have originated from the coast of Tanzania and Kenya. In 2010 the promulgated new constitution Section 7 declares Kiswahili both a national and official languages.
However I consider Swahili as unpopular language today due to the fact that many don’t love or esteem it. In Kenya people can easily notice any grammatical errors in your English and be quick to lecture you but not in your Swahili; wether in writing or speaking. Thus much attention has been given to a foreign language than the native one.
Well, as social scientists we regard language as important component of culture. Personally I have observed how people are poor in languages; and the most interesting thing is that a good number of them cannot speak either a good Swahili or English.
At this juncture let me give you three reasons why you need to learn and also teach the young ones how to speak and write the correct Swahili language.
First, Language is not a genetic gift, it is a social gift. Speaking your mother tongue well makes you a member of your tribe but learning Swahili language is becoming a member of the Kenyan society. Avoiding war is easy if we are all unified in a language that we treasure and feel connected to.
Secondly, ideas require language. Give me a good musician and I will show you a great expert of a language. If you don’t have a wide knowledge of Swahili, then how are you going to compose a catchy poem or song?. How can you be a good orator when the rules of language are strange to you?. In other words being good in Swahili can help in you in creativity.This is one of the reasons the bongo musicians out shine Kenyans in the music industry.
Last, is that sociologically, language moulds an individual from infancy. The child comes to know most of the things of the world through language. Therefore teach your children the correct language of greetings and other necessary things. I feel embarrassed sometimes I meet children greeting me “mambo mjomba.” Then I ask myself is this the respectable way to great your elders?.
“Mambo” is not a greeting to the elders.
In conclusion the once celebrated Kiswahili orator and mentor Wallah Bin Wallah said “asiyejua ngeli hajui Kiswahili.” That means grammar is the essence of language; inasmuch as you break the grammar you don’t know the language. I love Swahili and hereby say