“In my house we only speak English and Swahili.”That is a modern Kenyan woman speaking in there day to day chit chats.

What about your native language? Did we get rid of our culture? Or is it just not something worth being proud of?

Those are some of the questions I ask myself every single moment when a friend of mine tells me he is a Luo but can not speak Luo.

Then why are you Luo? Why don’t you just call yourself English? I mean it wont harm to say am English yet you are black.

Many kids of the 21st century are born in towns and cities where we speak the national languages. Rarely make visits to their homelands. A factor that deprives them the opportunity to know and understand their local dialects.

Which makes me ask; to who do we blame for that?

Maybe it is caused by the new culture and probably intermarriages which is a routine in our system nowadays.

If I am to read a CV that someone has indicated that he/she can speak lets say English, Swahili, Luo, Kisii and German or French I will be very impressed and that alone can be an added point to that individual.

In as much as many might argue this in the aspect of tribalism, knowing one’s native language is very important. Because those are our roots. The one thing that holds us.

Native language now is narrowed down to whose role is it to make our kids know their mother tongues? The whites usually use this phrase ‘monkey see,monkey do.’

When a child is growing up, they tend to pick from what they see; for instance if I curse using the F* word in the presence of a kid, it might be a part of their vocabulary the next time they are out playing.

In as much us we would like our children to fit in the society, it is our responsibility to teach them their native languages. Irrespective of our tribal lines.

English and Kiswahili are bound to be learnt in school. Those are subjects in our curriculum. In as much as the government is trying to introduce teaching using our mother languages through CBC we are still not there yet. Parents are still left to play a major role when it comes to this.

I am the greatest and the worst fan of westernization. In as much as it has brought a lot of good things, it has made us abandon our culture. Our heritage. What makes us become Africans.

We are living in the shadows of the white man. We are copy pasting everything.

It is not cool anymore,it is a matter of concern.

7 thoughts on “In The Corners Of Westernization; Part Two”
  1. Nice one Nelly Onjore . I guess one not knowing their mother tongue was viewed as a cool thing or is still viewed as cool .but not by every one.personally I find it shady .That’s why as your Mom i made sure you and your siblings embraced it.

  2. Language is one of various identifiers of culture. Language captures an element of one’s culture, one’s outlook on the world, our inner sense of how relate to each other from our ‘tribe’.
    I see myself as a transplanted Dutch person. I was not born in the Netherlands but Dutch is my first language. I was raised speaking Dutch in my most formative years because my parents did not know enough English to converse in English within the safety and comfort of our house.
    Love your post.

      1. Can’t say I was proud of my nationality when I was in elementary school. It felt too ghettoish. Part of the immigrant experience. That was before I had a chance to visit my homeland. At one point after my teen years I was able to live there for a year, working and studying.

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