Meet Mpumie Njobe, isiZulu language activist

Photo provided by Mpumie Njobe.

In 2019 as part of a social media campaign to celebrate linguistic diversity online, African language activists and advocates will be taking turns managing the @DigiAfricanLang Twitter account to share their experiences with the revitalization and promotion of African languages. This profile post is about Mpumie Njobe (@MpumieNjobe) and what she plans to discuss during her week as host.

Rising Voices: Please tell us about yourself.

After spending many years in the corporate environment in a variety of positions from administrative to executive, I decided to venture into teaching. In 2010 I obtained a Certificate for Teaching English to Speakers Of Other Languages Certificate. In 2011 I joined the WLS team as an IsiZulu trainer and administrator. I led and managed the team that taught IsiZulu at Goldfields Mining using the communicative language teaching approach developing IsiZulu training material, CDs and DVDs for IsiZulu lessons.

I led the team that developed isiZulu and Sesotho picture dictionaries. In 2013 I joined the African, Asian and European Unit where I continued to develop IsiZulu teaching material.

I hold a BA Honours Degree in Translation & Interpreting from Wits University, and am studying a Master’s Degree in Translation.

In January 2019, I established Learn EzeeZulu a company specialising in facilitating speaking of isiZulu within business environment.

RV: What is the current status of your language on the internet and offline?

IsiZulu has a very limited presence both on the internet and offline. At times on the internet you will find non-isiZulu speakers have posted low quality resources. I would say we mostly have poor quality resources on the internet. Offline we have better resources but it is not as well developed as it should be.

RV: On what topics do you plan to focus during the week that you’ll manage the @DigiAfricanLang Twitter account?

I would like to post about isiZulu ‘sayings’ and idioms.

RV: What are the main motivations for your digital activism for your language? What are your hopes and dreams for your language?

I want to keep isiZulu alive and also expose the richness of the language.

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