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 Davy Nlovu (@NdlovuDavid) and what he plans to discuss during his week as host.
Rising Voices: Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Davy Nlovu and I'm from Zimbabwe. My language group is Tjwao of the Tjwa or San people of Southern Africa. I'm a language activist. I have developed abilities in Khoisan languages and cultural research, documentation and revitalization. I am also a writer and have experience in historical documentation and compilation. I work at peace building, customer service management, and consultancy management. I am a good team player and have good organizational abilities.
RV: What is the current status of your language on the internet and offline?
Tjwao is a critically endangered language with less than a dozen speakers between the ages of 65 to 97. There are no young speakers at the moment. At 53, I'm considered the youngest speaker. We are just starting to use social media to promote the visibility of Tjwao, otherwise there are no tools, and one can not even Google Tjwao on the net.
RV: On what topics do you plan to focus during the week that you’ll manage the @DigiAfricanLang Twitter account?
My focus will be on how to use social media to enhance the vitality of Tjwao so as to attract young people and get them interest in learning the language
RV: What are the main motivations for your digital activism for your language? What are your hopes and dreams for your language?
Early this year, we started making animated language lessons which are available on laptops and this has increase the number of young learners. It is also easier to conduct lessons in digital formats. We are now able to send the lessons to various government departments as proof that our language exists and we need it included in the national curriculum.