What will be of our language in years to come?

The development of this country is no doubt incredible. If you decided to sleep for an entire day, you would wake up the next morning and find something new that you did not witness the previous day. That is how fast Rwanda is growing. Blessed so are we to be part of it and to live to tell the story of its climb to great history.
Anita Umunyana
Anita Umunyana

The development of this country is no doubt incredible. If you decided to sleep for an entire day, you would wake up the next morning and find something new that you did not witness the previous day. That is how fast Rwanda is growing. Blessed so are we to be part of it and to live to tell the story of its climb to great history.

However, one thing worries me; one of the core characteristics that mark this nation is slowly but surely perishing; our beloved language Kinyarwanda. The language still defines us as one when once before, we considered ourselves different. It is the only aspect that confirms our unity, our togetherness, our wholesomeness. Oh, what will we be when it is gone?

It is dying out like a burning candle. I say this judging by today’s youth because they are the Rwanda of tomorrow. Languages such as English and French have been put at the peak of must knows, which indeed should be the case, but this has blinded our acknowledgement of Kinyarwanda.

Most people, nowadays, do not consider Kinyarwanda important. They do not know that it is what makes us the nation we are. It is one of our many assets as we continue to learn such things as construction, fashion, and so on from the Chinese, Americans, Indians, Germans, among others.

Why don’t we also recognise that such people also never lose their culture? Scattered all over the world, a million miles away from their origin, such foreigners still maintain their mother tongues whereas we are already speaking diluted Kinyarwanda. What a shame?

You may be wondering how on earth I presume that our language is perishing; yet majority of the people you know speak it. But take a moment and analyse it. Can the Kinyarwanda spoken today be comparable to that spoken back in the days? I bet you the answer is a BIG no. It has been influenced by other foreign languages such as French, English, Swahili, Luganda, and so on; languages we largely adopted from other countries we once sought shelter from in times of trouble, education and pleasure. Therefore, the Kinyarwanda of today has been blemished and in the years to come, it may lose its character. While other languages retain their uniqueness, ours is having difficulty due to foreign influence. No one cares about it anymore.

We boast about being one people with one language. What will we boast of once it is gone? Look at the bigger picture. Our children can barely complete a vernacular sentence without inserting a foreign word. Where do you think the journey will end?

Dear leaders, teachers, parents. No one can save us from this taking place but you; those who we look up to. It is not too late to straighten a bent piece of metal when it is still hot, please don’t let it get frosty. The Ministry of Education should take serious measures by emphasising the knowledge of Kinyarwanda in schools, both spoken and written.

May we not be so keen and taken up at being better lest we forget where we came from, who we are and who we will always be…Rwandans. One Nation, One Love, One Language.

writtenwithsoul@yahoo.com

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