Sue me if you think I have allowed English to permeate my son’s development

November 24, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja



There is nothing more difficult than having to overcome the challenges of raising your child in the presence of peering eyes too woke to allow one to raise their child as they see fit. These people feel the need to dictate to parents how they should raise their children.

My latest gripe has been the way in which a South African language has had to defend itself. On the world’s stage, I may not be fluent in the language, but cannot ignore its existence. In all of this, we are told it is because our children do not learn their mother tongue, but gravitate to English.

So fast forward years later, I am a mom and I speak more English than Sesotho. In turn my son is also taught in English – 80% of his day is verbalised in English. Sue me if you think that I have allowed the glamour of the English language to permeate the development of my son.

ALSO READ: Charlize is wrong – Number of Afrikaans-speaking people is actually growing, says Language Council

Granted, our country has a diversity in the sphere of languages, the very seat of power allows for the utilisation of African languages on the very same level as any other European language. Our mother tongues have come a long way… but in the eyes of our peers, for every English word spoken by our children, we nullify the advancements made. What a silly assumption. Why can we not live and let live.

My brother and I were for the longest time the only children in our family who predominantly spoke English in our home. Today, we can sit around a table with our relatives who converse only in Sesotho. I have even married into a Swati family and my tongue has swiftly adapted.

But here is a society, ready to judge, lynch and bury my two-year-old who responds to English far better and quicker than he does an African language. Where are we in a rush to? Can we not give him and his generation some time before we lay our insecurities on their shoulders?

ALSO READ: Twitter reacts to Charlize Theron saying Afrikaans is a ‘dying language’

While the English language is no measurement for intelligence and academic excellence, the ability to converse in an African language, most of the time diluted in city lingo, is no measurement for how African one truly is. Give us a break, we have bigger struggles to overcome.