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UKZN launches books to advance isiZulu

The Language Planning and Development Office at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) recently launched two isiZulu publications at a function hosted on its Howard College campus. These books form part of the university's drive to promote isiZulu as an integral tool for knowledge production and dissemination, and as a language used in teaching and learning.

The works comprise a bilingual glossary of law terminology, titled A Glossary of Law Terms, and an isiZulu poetry anthology, titled Zidla Inkotha.

The glossary was compiled by UKZN lecturer Khulekani Zondi "to assist students doing legal studies as well as ordinary South Africans with a limited understanding of law, by providing them with basic explanations of legal terms in both isiZulu and English".

Added Zondi: "The glossary will also be of great value to districts located in rural areas where magistrates encounter litigants who only have a command of indigenous languages."

Zondi said the work would be of little value if it was not used by the courts as well as the youth, who are the custodians of SA's future.

Professor Langa Khumalo, director of the university's Language Planning and Development Office, said he was grateful to the leadership at UKZN for their commitment and support in publishing the works.

"The glossary will assist in isiZulu legal discourse and allow students access to legal knowledge in a language they are familiar with."

The poetry anthology, edited by UKZN's Dr Gugulethu Mazibuko, is a celebration of the creative genius of isiZulu authors and poets. It comprises the top 30 submissions chosen from more than 110 entries for publication in the book.

Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize, the deputy vice-chancellor and head of the College of Humanities, congratulated the Language Planning and Development Office team, responsible for producing the two books, saying: "The knowledge of who you are is embedded in your language and your community. At the heart of everything we do is language."

Professor Managay Reddi, dean and head of the School of Law, also congratulated the team and thanked them for playing a role in transforming South African society; for putting the university at the forefront of this transformation; and for their contribution to the decolonisation and Africanisation of higher education.

During the event, directed by renowned poet Dr Gcina Mhlophe, the 30 chosen authors and poets received prizes. The top three were awarded with laptops.

Words: Sithembile Shabangu