You may have heard of East Africa and or not...
You are forgiven if you have not – at one point I thought all wazungus (white people) came from Europe. You are allowed to laugh…I was born in Kapenguria, a small town in West Pokot, Kenya and back in the early 90’s, internet connection had not been heard of. I heavily relied on what was taught in class to know how it was ‘outside there’.
Fast forward to 2021, and the world is now a global village. Information is easily available albeit at times distorted. Language is no longer a barrier because thanks to the internet, you can now learn (or sing) a different language. (We know you sing and dance to “Te quiero amor mío, bailamos” better than Enrique Iglesias – true?)
For now, grab your hat, pen and paper – East Africa here we come!
East Africa specifically refers to three countries comprising of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Some parts of these three countries have been renowned for the "big five" – but what do you know about Swahili as a language?
Apart from being Africa’s most widely recognized languages, it is a national and official language in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. Swahili was made a mandatory subject in all schools since the 1980s and now taught in most schools as a compulsory subject alongside English.
This language has even been accepted as the language of debate in some parliaments.
South Africa was lately bitten by the Swahili bug and since 2020, Swahili became the latest language to be taught in South Africa's classrooms!
The name Swahili comes from the Arabic word meaning “of the coast.”
Swahili and its culture is primarily Bantu but like any other language has also borrowed from Arab, Persian, and other migrants’ influences who reached the coast around the 7th and 8th centuries during the Indian Ocean trade.
How Many People Speak Swahili?
This language is debatably spoken by more than 16 million people as their native language and approximately 82 million people as their second language.
Why YOU Should Learn Swahili NOW!
- 1.Swahili is one of the easiest languages, especially for English speakers to learn. It uses a straightforward grammar, spelling and pronunciation patterns. You will notice that Swahili has borrowed from some English words. For example: Radio- redio, week- wiki, dollar- dola etc.
- With the search for greener pastures, many Swahili speakers are relocating to developed countries. Learning Swahili will go a long way in helping you create meaningful relationships (as you showcase your Swahili mastery – bonus right?)
- Job opportunities: Swahili as a language is being embraced by countries and many non-governmental organizations. You could be privileged to work with these firms or better still, as a teacher at https://www.learnswahilinow.com/
- Swahili has some beautiful tunes.
If you don’t believe it, listen to these three songs and let us know:
(Disclaimer: We have not been paid to put up this list – these songs are just awesome!)
*Nakupenda Wewe by Safari Sound Band
*Malaika by Miriam Makeba
*Nikikutazama by H_art the Band (although this one is not in pure Swahili)
5.For the Big Five! Karibu Kenya! Come interact with the locals as you visit the beautiful parks and reserves. It’s been said practice makes perfect – what better way than doing it in the home ground?!
We encourage you to keep the desire to learn and speak Swahili burning! We’ll walk with you.
Where to start:
What you get: Mazuri tele!
When you should you start? NOW!