‘Zimbabweans should be multilingual’
The Herald, December 6, 1980
THE Minister of Education and Culture, Mr Dzingai Mutumbuka, last night called for Zimbabwe to become a more multilingual society.
“It makes no sense for a Zimbabwean to speak only one language,” he said, adding that lack of communication was preventing the people of Zimbabwe from growing together.
He condemned those who felt it lowered them to speak another language, saying, “you can’t be more ignorant than that”.
The minister was speaking at the prize-giving of the Rhobank Senior Schools Essay Competition.
He praised the bank for going out of its way to encourage the development of language and suggested that next year the bank might choose themes with a more Zimbabwean emphasis.
The competition was won by Claver Chitambo (18) of Mufakose High School, Salisbury, who wrote on the theme, Why I want to be a doctor.
Second prize in the competition, which had entries from more than 25 schools, went to Leigh Cremer (16) of Marandellas High and third prize went to Robert Manhundu (18) of Holy Cross High School.
The first prize was $100, the second $50, and the third $25, which was given by the bank towards the pupils’ education expenses.
A corresponding amount was given to the schools of the prizewinners for library books.
LESSONS FOR TODAY
It is believed that multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world’s population.
Being multilingual expands one’s mind and worldview. It opens them up to new cultures, spaces and to the fruits of diversity.
It also boosts one’s confidence and increase self-esteem.
In terms of careers and opportunities, multilinguists have a distinct advantage in terms of landing jobs internationally.