In my blog about vernacular in private schools I was wrong. I had it all wrong. This blog is my highest read blog, ironically followed by my dating after divorce blogs. I was blown away at the speed at which the dating after divorce blogs made it to the number 2 and 3 spot. It seems my sordid affairs with Bloemfontein Haka and Optimus Prime were intriguing. I might start a guy’s guide to divorce blog. I have many stories to share.
I digress, in vernacular in private schools blog I said we needed private after care schools that kids indigenous languages. Whilst that is still an important finding and something we really need pursue. But it turns out we have an even more immediate problem. By the time kids get to school it is too late. There is a reason why they call your primary language your mother tongue. Kids will generally speak what their mothers speak. The problem is, black people are not homogeneous. There are Zulus, Pedis, Xhosa’s, etc. This means like in my case a Sowetan Zulu boy had married Tswana girl. Firstly, if you are from Soweto let’s be honest you don’t really speak iSizulu. Then you go to a private school, and that’s like grating cheese boy all over your language. Then you meet a Tswana woman. Guess what the common language denominator is going to be?! English.
You see Afrikaners, Italians, Greeks, Jews…don’t have this problem. They all tend to marry within their homogeneous groups. The countless both speaks the same language to each other and therefore the child. They also have same values, cultural norms and belief systems. Being Shangaan and marrying a Venda woman is a joint “Vensha” It might as well be an Italian marrying a Swiss.
Getting children to speak their mother tongues is the parents responsibility obviously. So it’s starts with the couple. But as we have seen in my previous blog “who’s your daddy?!” Dads are not there. In comes the education system. The most impact in a child’s life is zero to six years old. That means they are learning the most at this stage, particularly language. We should be looking at crèches as the language schools. We should have crèches that focus in vernacular. Crèches is where we can make the fastest impact on a child’s language, culture and values. This is where it all starts. Even when they go to main stream schools they will not loose their grounding. Yes mom and dad still have to reinforce it and yes we still need vernacular aftercare.
I found out the other day that whilst we’re looking at how successful private education for Curro, a Trojan horse in our midst has been buying up nursery schools! Yup! Think about the maths, I used to R3500 per month for my son at nursery school. He was out by 12. You paid another R1000 for after care till 1:30pm.
The nursery had short terms so out of the 12 months he would attend 8 months. But guess what?! You pay for 12 months! I once asked them how this makes sense, they simply said to me ” You get paid even when you are on leave don’t You?!” I mumbled under my breath that I pay salaries…and that I haven’t taken leave for 5 years mnxh.
All the kids in my son’s school sound alike. It doesn’t matter if they are Indian, white, Chinese or black. They all talk the same and sound the same. If I closed my eyes I couldn’t tell you the race of the child speaking. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing but it does feel a bid sad. It feels like we are raising these vanilla kids. Ok maybe vanilla is a bad choice in words but I’m hoping you know what I mean. Culture and language bring a certain richness to life. Maybe I’m old school. Maybe diversity has divided us more than it has brought us together. Maybe it’s hyped up to more than what it is. Perhaps future diversity will solely be in the realm of intelligence. Race, sex, religion and language won’t matter. My son kicked ass as the lead in Tom Sawyer. He didn’t see an issue playing a white character in a racially questionable play. He propose to pretty blond girl in the play to boot. His girlfriend at school is Taryn, so I’m guessing Taryn is not a Xhosa girl. To think my mother was worried I was going to marry a Xhosa girl.
I guess my big thing is not whom you become it’s the fact that you were a given a solid platform to build from. Not everything about culture is good but I do think identity is important. You can’t truly become who you are supposed to be if you don’t have a rich starting point. Whilst it’s not how you start but how you finish, I do think a good start helps to give you an even better finish.