Groundbreaking Sesotho Colloquium promotes indigenous languages

The School of Languages and the Language Directorate at the North-West University (NWU) recently hosted the very first Sesotho Colloquium, a significant milestone in promoting and celebrating the Sesotho language.

Held at the Riverside Hotel in Vanderbijlpark, this event marked the first time a conference of this scale was conducted entirely in an African indigenous language.

Notable keynote speakers included Prof Sol Chaphole, Dr Rethabile Possa and Dr Kea Seshoka, who outlined crucial strategies for advancing the use of Sesotho and Setswana in academic research and teaching.

Prof Chaphole emphasised the establishment of a research unit to promote the use of indigenous languages in academic studies, while Dr Possa provided valuable insights into writing research papers and dissertations in Sesotho. Additionally, Dr Seshoka highlighted the support available from the Language Directorate to advance Sesotho and Setswana as languages of learning and teaching at the NWU.

One of the key outcomes of the colloquium was the adoption of resolutions to further the promotion of Sesotho. Attendees agreed to request certain journals to consider papers presented at the colloquium for a special issue, and a steering committee was appointed to ensure the implementation of the resolutions.

Dr Johannes Tsietsi Mahlasela from the Language Directorate expressed excitement over the active interaction and discussions that took place during the event, and said participants and attendees showed interest in enrolling for postgraduate studies at the NWU.

Dr Mahlasela added that Setswana and Sesotho are already being promoted through short learning programmes available on the Unit for Continuing Education platform, with the potential establishment of a research unit to further enhance the university's academic offerings. Notably, attendees showed a keen interest in holding similar events to continue promoting indigenous languages and academic research.

"The event was a huge success. It not only underscored the importance of preserving and celebrating indigenous languages, but also paved the way for significant advancements in the academic sphere. With the momentum gained from this successful event, it is evident that the NWU is poised to play a pivotal role in championing the use of Sesotho and Setswana in academic research and learning," said Dr Mahlasela.


From left are Dr Tsietsi Mahlasela, Linda Thekiso, Dr Johannes Mahlasela, Lebona Mafisa, Prof Linda du Plessis, deputy vice-chancellor for operations and Vanderbijlpark Campus operations, and Lebohang Mathibela.

Submitted on Tue, 07/02/2024 - 10:35