The University of Cape Town (UCT) has introduced Swahili as an elective language course starting from 2023, said vice-chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng in her opening address during the Africa Month panel discussion.
The panel discussion, taking place at the university, shone the light on the role of language and music in liberating and integrating the continent.
Phakeng said Swahili would be offered through the School of Languages and Literatures in the faculty of humanities jointly with the Institute for KiSwahili Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
In her address, Phakeng said for centuries South Africa had welcomed different European languages and that the time has come for the university to do the same for African languages. “Becoming fluent in Swahili is one way to reclaim our identity as Africans,” said the vice-chancellor.
UCT’s dean of humanities professor Shose Kessi told the panel discussion that there are also plans to introduce a Swahili studies research programme at postgraduate level.
“However, we are still in the process of finalising our plans and agreement with the Institute of KiSwahili Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam,” said Kessi.
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