Tanzanians must be proud of Kiswahili

Tanzanians must be proud of Kiswahili

Addressing a function, the ‘unlikely’ , Branch Manager of the CRDB Bank, Dodoma Branch, Ms Rehema Hamis, called on Tanzanians to love and cherish Kiswahili as it was "the major pillar of unity, peace and togetherness that has remained the symbol of national identity’’.

The bank’s official, who was officiating at a ceremony to award three university students who emerged winners of an essay on 50 years of independence, couldn’t have said it at a more appropriate moment. Kiswahili was one of the unifying factors during the struggle for independence in a country that is home to more than 120 tribes.

It helped a lot during the decade-long struggle for complete independence as it was easier for the freedom fighters to convey the message to the majority of the people of Tanganyika, as Tanzania Mainland was then known, in all corners of the country.

No wonder the pre-independence colonial government waged a campaign against the language, describing it as inferior to English and a language for the uneducated. In reality, they feared that it would unite the people more and more and expedite the independence process.

As the country fast approaches its 50th independence anniversary, Tanzanians have every reason to be proud of the language that is being used and understood in Pongwe, Tanga, and Kamachumu in Kagera Region, thousands of miles apart with different traditions and culture. No doubt Kiswahili has unified and continues to unify the nation. It is a good thing that after independence, the country’s new leaders made Kiswahili the national language and ensured its growth and acceptance all over the country.

It has gone from strength to strength with an expanded vocabulary. It is the medium of instruction in a number of school subjects. The bank’s gesture is a fitting reminder that more must be done to strengthen the language by encouraging its use as a medium of instruction in other areas than schools. Tanzanians must be proud of their national language and should ensure that it prospers.

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Author: Editor

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