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Xhosa language school encourages cultural diversity in Western Cape

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This weekend saw the official launch of Masithethe IsiXhosa (Conversations in isiXhosa) a Xhosa language school in the Western Cape.

Founded in 2015, with the help of Nordex Group South Africa and Small Enterprise Development Agency’s (SEDA, this small enterprise encourages cultural diversity through the speaking of isiXhosa in the workplace and in public spaces.

At the event, provincial manager of SEDA, Alex Qunta said, “As SEDA, we want to grow small enterprises like this to become sustainable businesses, creating more jobs along the way. A truly South African story, we depend on Masithethe isiXhosa, its teachers and students, to resurrect and to preserve our language and mother tongue IsiXhosa.”

Anne Henschel, MD of Nordex Group South Africa, added, “We are all on a journey and languages bring people together. What started out as a conversation has led to the birth of a thriving young business. The support of this small enterprise is in line with the Nordex Education Trust’s BBBEE strategy and its aim to enrich communities within which we operate. Nordex is proud to have played a supportive role in Masithethe IsiXhosa’s journey so far and we look forward to learn with them and to watch their progress. Umnqweno omhle! (Good luck).”

Another important aspect of the school’s work is to facilitate the integration of black people in the workplace and creating better employment conditions through the speaking of isiXhosa.

Nomthandazo Thandi Ndlebe, founder of Masithethe IsiXhosa summarised, “We believe that we can break the walls of communication through language, bridging those cultural gaps. Understanding each other better will transcend some of the problems we have in the workplace.”

Part of the reason for its success is the assistance it has received from the private sector. Nordex has played a significant supporting role with a R60,000 interest-free loan as seed funding, mentorship (including a current full-time mentor) and other business incubation activities, as part of its enterprise development efforts. Nordex also funds the rental of premises for the company’s operations. As part of the Nordex Education Trust, which holds a 20% shareholding in its South African operation, Nordex has completed several socio-economic upliftment projects.

The school offers African cultural and language courses to individuals, governments and corporates. For more information, go to www.speakxhosa.co.za.

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