Category Archives: Tribal conflict

Ndebele versus Shona – the language debate

On the flip side some people ask me why I bother speaking in Shona. Why should it even be an issue? Why can’t we all speak two or more local languages? I do not believe any language is superior to the other. We can blame politics for the language puzzle, but I believe we also have a part to play in perpetuating the status quo. We can change it. Anyone can learn a language, if one is really keen. If I could speak Shona within six months, why can’t someone speak Ndebele after working with Ndebeles for six years? From my experience though, the challenge is that three Ndebeles will normally speak in Shona to accommodate one Shona person. So there are not many opportunities to learn Ndebele.