Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education

  • Posted: Feb 13, 2017

Public discourse at Iziko Slave Lodge, 18 February 2017

Iziko Museums of South Africa will host an International Mother Language Day panel discussion on 18 February 2017. The theme for this year is “Towards sustainable futures through multilingual education” The event intends to provide a forum for critical discourse about the importance, promotion and preservation of indigenous languages of the country.

The event will be held in collaboration with the Pan South African Languages Board, the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport: Language services, and Cape Town Festival. It aims to create a multi-layered opportunity to share and explore various perspectives.

A series of short presentations about: The preservation of the isiXhosa linguistic heritage through stage performance; The preservation of the Nama Language and Culture; Afrikaaps, and Decolonising South African literature, will form the basis of this facilitated discussion. Performances will, among others, include traditional dances and poetry readings.

The event will bring together artists, researchers and scholars, historians, heritage practitioners, cultural activists and policy makers. The half-day programme will take place at the Iziko Slave Lodge Museum, from 11:00 until 14:30.

International Mother Language Day is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) initiative that is celebrated annually on 21st February.  The founding purpose of this global initiative is to promote use of mother language in various domains, encourage and create awareness of the usage and preservation of our rich and diverse linguistic heritage across the world. 

This public engagement draws its inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s observation that, “without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savour their songs.”


Media Enquiries: Brighton Khoza 0214813838
Issued by:  Melody Kleinsmith
Marketing and Communications Manager, Institutional Advancement,
Iziko Museums of South Africa
Tel: 0214813861 Cell: 0731074955 Email:

On behalf of:  Office of the CEO, Iziko Museums of South Africa

Notes to editor:

About Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko)

Iziko operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium, the Social History Centre and three collection‑specific libraries in Cape Town.  The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections that reflect our diverse African heritage.  Iziko is a public entity and non-profit organisation that brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure. The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, (*excluding the Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium). Visit our webpage at, join our online community on Facebook ( or follow us on Twitter (@Iziko_Museums) for regular updates on events, news and new exhibitions. 

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