Kiswahili language specialists from the Kiswahili Associations in East Africa (Chama cha Kiswahili Afrika Mashariki – CHAKAMA), are planning to form a Kiswahili Council to foster cooperation and develop the Swahili language.
Speaking at the Maasai Mara University, where Kiswahili scholars are gathered for a conference today, the CHAKAMA Chairman Dr. James Ontieri, said the Kiswahili Council will expand the Swahili boundaries to the entire African Continent in order to develop the language and improve communication in the region.
“We will defend Kiswahili space in this region jealously in order to advance development of the language for the coming generation,” he vowed.
Dr. Ontieri who is a Swahili lecturer at the Maasai Mara University, added that Swahili scholars should observe the Sheng language, commonly used by the young people in the streets, in order to come up with a way that Sheng code can be used without destroying the Swahili language.
A renown Kiswahili scholar, Wallah Bin Wallah, who has published several Swahili books used in schools by teachers and learners of Kiswahili, urged the students to embrace the Swahili language while still young so that as they grow up, they will achieve maturity in the language.
Regarding the new education system in the country, the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), Wallah praised the system, saying it will enable students come up with creative ways one can use their knowledge as compared to earlier on when teachers taught without regard to the capabilities of the students.
“This new system will succeed and thrive only if the plans and procedures set down are adhered to,” he added.
The two-day conference is attended by specialists in Swahili from the four East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda and are expected to elect new CHAKAMA leaders tomorrow.
By Mabel Keya – Shikuku and Joseph Kariuki