Dictionaries for South African and Zimbabwean schools

Musina Mayor, Cllr Mihloti Muhlope receives copies of Tshivenda dictionaries from the Executive Director and Editor-in-chief of the Univen Tshivenda National Lexicography Unit, Dr Shumani TshikotaMusina Mayor, Cllr Mihloti Muhlope receives copies of Tshivenda dictionaries from the Executive Director and Editor-in-chief of the Univen Tshivenda National Lexicography Unit, Dr Shumani Tshikota

The Tshivenda National Lexicography Unit of the University of Venda (Univen), working together with the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), has distributed single and bilingual Tshivenda/English dictionaries to more than 150 schools in South Africa and Zimbabwe. This was revealed by the Executive Director and Editor-in-chief of the Univen Tshivenda National Lexicography Unit, Dr Shumani Tshikota.

Tshikota was handing over a single language Tshivenda Dictionary (Thalusamaipfi ya Luamboluthihi ya Tshivenda) and a bilingual Tshivenda/English Dictionary to Musina Mayor, Cllr Mihloti Muhlope at Musina Municipality offices.  He said it was befitting to hand over the dictionaries to the political head of Musina before distributing them to selected schools around the municipality. “We respect the local leadership because they are representatives of our government. It is always in the good interest of protocol to introduce yourself to the local leadership before engaging with people on the ground.”

He says by distributing indigenous books and dictionaries, they are simply applying the mandate of the National Parliament and the Provincial Legislature of preserving and promoting indigenous languages. “The loss of languages, along with their unique arts and cosmologies, may have consequences that won’t be understood until it is too late to reverse them. So, it is important for all of us to preserve these languages when we still have time.”

When receiving the dictionaries, Muhlope commended the good work by Univen Tshivenda National Lexicography Unit and PanSALB in preserving the Tshivenda indigenous language. “Indigenous languages showcase the beauty and importance of cultural diversity. As a responsible municipality, we will work with all institutions to make sure that our indigenous languages are preserved at all times.  Language is not just a body of vocabulary or a set of grammatical rules, it is a flash of the human spirit. It’s a vehicle for which the soul of a culture comes through to the material world.”

Mr Ntshavheni Simutha Ndou is the principal of Vhembe High School in Zimbabwe. He travelled all the way to Musina Municipal offices to receive boxes of dictionaries and Tshivenda books. He also thanked the Univen Tshivenda National Lexicography Unit and PanSALB for coming to his school’s rescue. Other schools that received dictionaries in Musina include Makushu Primary, Musina and Eric Louw High Schools.

Frans Baloyi retires

Frans Baloyi (65) captured with his retirement cake during his farewell functionFrans Baloyi (65) captured with his retirement cake during his farewell function

“This is a very big day to me. I am happy and sad at the same time. I am happy because I have ran my race with dignity and it is now time to rest while playing with my grandchildren. I’m sad as I will miss Musina Municipality because it was my second home.” These were the words of Mr Frans Baloyi (65) who served the Musina Municipality with distinction for the past eleven years.

Baloyi, who was a driver attached to the Corporate Services Department, was described by fellow employees as hard worker, team member and a disciplined elder who lives by example. Because of his above average driving skills, Baloyi once served as a driver for the former Musina Mayor, Caroline Mahasela.

When representing municipal management, The General Manager of Community Services, Mr Richard Morolana said young employees should learn from Baloyi that it is possible to serve with loyalty and dedication. “Ever since he joined the municipality, we have never summoned him before any disciplinary hearing. He was one of the most trustworthy staff members we could rely on. Our hearts are grieving because he is leaving us but we are happy that he has served the municipality with pride and dedication. We wish him good health and a happy retirement.”

Speaking on behalf of colleagues, Marcus Ndou said Baloyi was a fatherly figure who was quick to advice young people on anything. “As a budding driver, he taught me how to take good care of municipal vehicles and how to confront other work related challenges. Although we will physically miss him, we will continue to build on the foundation he left for us here at work.”

Baloyi thanked the municipality for giving him the opportunity to realize his potential. “It was really an enjoyable stay but the time to say goodbye has arrived. When I look back, I feel proud because I can see my contributions towards the development of the municipality. With the dedicated team of employees, I have no doubt that the municipality will continue to deliver basic services to the communities out there.” 

Stakeholders confirm vision, mission and values of the municipality

Some of the representatives of the stakeholders who attended the IDP meeting at Madimbo Community HallSome of the representatives of the stakeholders who attended the IDP meeting at Madimbo Community Hall

The vision, mission and values of Musina Municipality are still relevant in advancing the objective of becoming a city in the near future. This was confirmed by representatives of stakeholders from all 12 wards during the recent Integrated Development Plan (IDP) Representative Forum meetings. The first meeting was held at Madimbo Community Hall and another one at Nancefield municipal offices.  Communities in all wards were earlier given opportunities to scrutinize the vision, mission and values of the municipality and it was during these meetings that they gave a positive report back.

Municipal spokesperson, Wilson Dzebu said the municipality is satisfied by the level of community participation on issues that affect them. He said it is important for the municipality to go all out and meet the people and its stakeholders rather than to wait for the reports to be brought to the municipal offices. “Engaging with people personally is one of the best ways to build relationships. The fact that community members and stakeholders come to our meetings in large numbers clearly reflects that they are ready to work with us to deliver efficient services.”

Dzebu says the new approach to local government has to be developmental and should aim to overcome the poor planning of the past. “Meetings like these give communities the chance to participate in identifying their most important needs. The IDP process encourages all stakeholders who reside and conduct business in Musina to participate in the preparation and implementation of the development plan. This type of engagement with the communities help us to plan future developments because it involves the entire municipality and its citizens in finding the best solutions to achieve good long-term development.”

A ward committee member, Johannes Nare is one of the people who attended the IDP meeting at Madimbo community hall. He said: “We are very pleased that the municipality engages us in everything that affects the community. We are always part of the planning process and this makes us feel that we are one family with the municipal leadership.”

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