Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
4 minute read
1 Jul 2020
5:04 pm

Believe it or not, Afrikaans is black

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

Considering the history of Afrikaans which far precedes its use as a language of oppression, and the fact that it is the third-most prevalent language in the country, Afrikaans could also be used as a tool to help bring South Africans together.

Picture for illustrative purposes

The celebration of Youth Month in South Africa is centred around a historic event sparked in part by the revolt against Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in South African schools. Little, however, gets mentioned about the cultural significance of the language, its role in South Africa’s founding history, and the complexities of its role in racial, cultural, and social identity for a large portion of the population which uses it as a first language. These were the ponderings of sociology scholar Warren McGregor in his argument that contrary to popular and often divisive narratives, the history of Afrikaans is...