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Let's use Kenyan languages as a tool to preach peace

UREPORT
By veronica Onjoro | June 19th 2016

Kenya is one of the countries with the highest number of tribes, 42, in Africa. Statistics have showed that the leading tribes are kikuyu, luhya, luo and Kalenjin. But with the different cultures emerging, languages in Kenya will become extinct in the next 20 years. Language is not a tool of the communities any more.

There was a proposition that children should be taught in their mother tongue but this brought a storm and it was opposed vehemently. With the reasons that nowadays communities are scattered everywhere around the country. You may find a luhya in kilifi or a Taita in Kiambu or a Luo in Makueni .English and Kiswahili have remained to be used in schools for teaching and examinations.

Furthermore teachers coming from a particular community cannot teach thoroughly in that language. This is because you may find similar word in that community but with different meanings. Other people find it difficult to express themselves in their mother tongues.  Recently Mp for Gatundu south Mr. Moses Kuria used his mother tongue to express his own opinion, though it landed him in trouble.

Children are very quick to know other languages, because of friends and in the community they live. Most of the students now in the universities cannot express themselves in mother tongue. In the next decade children will be tribe less; they are used to English and Kiswahili and that’s what they are using and will always use.

 Language should not be used to bring diversity but togetherness. Language should be used to bring unity and peace. Vernacular radios should preach peace and have lessons to those who do not know the language of the community. People will be happy to learn other people’s languages, the way visitors greeting the locals in their languages.

Kenyan languages should be used to preach peace. During the music and drama festivals, teachers use languages to showcase different cultures and beauty of the community. You can choose your friend but you cannot choose your mother, father or the tribe you come from. So let’s use the Kenyan languages to unite Kenyans.               

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