A young civic leader from Gauteng, Lindelani Vinoliah Tshifhango, won an award for Language and Literature at the recent PanSALB Multilingualism Awards, for promoting the use of her mother tongue.
The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) is an organisation in South Africa established to promote multilingualism, develop the 11 official languages, and protect language rights in South Africa. To further promote the diversity of languages in South Africa, the PanSALB Multilingualism Awards were established in 2002 to promote the use of mother tongue and multilingualism, particularly for individuals or organisations who have excelled in the promotion and preservation of all official languages. This Khoi, Nama, San and South African Sign languages.
Tshifhango, who currently works as a call centre agent within the Gauteng Premier’s office, is passionate about encouraging the use of mother tongue language through literature and storytelling.
“I won the award because I contribute to the growth of Tshivenda as a Nalibali’s literary volunteer, a writer, and a leading facilitator at Tshedza Reading Club. I also worked at a community radio station called Vhembe FM for three years and I used Tshivenda to broadcast all my programs,” commented Tshifhango on receiving her award.
“I would also like to see my reading club expand into a bigger library organisation that can campaign for the usage of our native language on a national scale,” she added.
As part of the NGO, ACTIVATE! Change Drivers’ youth leadership programme (2019 cohort), she is mentored within the organisation with the skills needed to pursue her dreams. Activate has a network of over 4,500 youth which it has trained in core leadership skills to enable them to create meaningful change within their communities.
The PanSALB awards categories covered all 11 official languages in South Africa, including sign language; and a wide range of categories across media, youth, literature, education, technology and business, and even the music category.
The language and literature category of the PanSALB Multilingualism Awards recognises both the written and oral modes of linguistic and/or literary expression. It is aimed at individuals or writers who have contributed to the promotion, protection and preservation of all the official South African languages, i.e., Sesotho sa Leboa, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, and Khoi, Nama, San, as well as South African Sign language.
For more info: www.pansalb.org.
Lindelani Vinoliah Tshifhango