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Macmillan boosts SBIS with Siswati dictionaries


Macmillan Swaziland has partnered with the Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Services (SBIS) in the quest to improve the use of SiSwati by the radio station by presenting them with books worth over E20 000. 

Macmillan Managing Director Busi Simelane said the station was involved in the education of the nation through information dissemination and the proper use of the language which would preserve and develop its use within the nation for future generations. 

“The radio station has its own type of education and the books we are giving will complement this by enhancing the way the language will be used,” Simelane said. 

The books presented to the station comprised of 20 English - SiSwati dictionaries as well as novels which will be stocked in the station’s library. 

Simelane admitted that she at times cringed at the words used by announcers but came to understand that this was due to the different ways of growing up and exposure to use of the language. 

“We want to play a role in improving our indigenous language and don’t want to appear judgemental without giving a helping hand in order to mitigate the situation,” the managing director said while noting that the role of radio in the education sector was huge hence she committed to a lifelong relationship as long as their mission remained similar, to improve SiSwati. 

She said the dictionary was created in order to preserve the language and its appropriate use. 

Receiving the donation, SBIS Director Martin Dlamini said they were grateful for the assistance in preserving the SiSwati language. 

The director said the day signified an important development as the ministry of information communication and technology under which the station operated was involved with ensuring that information was disseminated the country over. 

“The station has a long history on giving the country information to the point that government once had a programme whereby radios were given to pupils in order to improve on the subjects they learnt,” the director said adding that even though the first group of pupils to write SiSwati in the school leaving certificate, the country had come of age in the use of its indigenous language. 

“UNESCO reminds us that a nation that has lost its language is already dead,” Dlamini said.

He said the station’s website as well as government should have a SiSwati page in order to grow the language from what it currently was. 

He revealed that he came from a family which strove to preserve the language as his mother taught Geography and Zulu which was used in times past instead of SiSwati and she was also an author of Siswati books such as Lifa and Siswati Sami. 

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