Role of KLCDA in Promoting TjiKalanga

Updated: February 13, 2014

Presentation at the BaKalanga Mukani Conference 1 February 2014

By Tshidzanani T. Malaba


Mihingo  yaBapostoli 17:26-28

The Kalanga Language and Cultural Development Association (KLCDA), also known as the Kalanga Association, is an association of baKalanga volunteers who sacrifice their time and resources to save a language and culture facing extinction and to be servants of the Kalanga community. For the past ten years, the Association has become the official voice of Bakalanga. Some have spent the better part of their lives in the language battle field just to get tjiKalanga to be accepted as a language worth recognition and teaching.

I am grateful to say this dream is shaping into reality. Slowly from the education circular of 2002 to the amendment of the Education Act, the cultural festival s in 2004, 2005 & 2006, the restoration of some chiefs in 2007, the approval of our initiated textbook project in 2008, the reconstruction of Kalanga history 2012,  the cream of all –the constitution which accepted Kalanga as one of the official languages in Zimbabwe  2013 and the official launch of text books to schools last week (24th January 2014) have become beacons of assurance. We are heading somewhere.

This was not an easy task, but I am grateful to the living  great man of Bukalanga such as  Anderson Senegedze Moyo, Clement Majahana, Dr. Mclean Bhala, Pax Nkomo, Tshonono Tshuma and the  living pioneer visionaries Saul Gwakuba and Raphael Butshe and the late Million Nsala Malaba, Butsilo Dabudabu, Judea Lebani, J.Z. Moyo and the great researcher and writer of the 1920s Kumile Masola.

The current association formation was inspired by Tapson E. Moyo former Bulilima Education Officer and under secretary in the Ministry of Finance. This was equally following the footsteps of Kalanga Promotion Society (KPS), BUDA, VETOKA and the general direction of ZILPA.

The association’s role in the promotion of tjiKalanga is summarised in the Association’s preamble and objectives.  (Read preamble).


1.1           To promote the teaching of Kalanga in schools, colleges and universities.

1.2           To promote and assist in the development, production and translation of literature for use in the education system and any other societal spheres of influence

1.3           To encourage the use of Kalanga in everyday life including but not limited to print and electronic media, information technology, and religious services.

1.4           To promote the revival and practising of Kalanga culture through cultural festivals, collection of artefacts and historical documentation.

1.5           To network with other organisations of similar objectives in Zimbabwe and the world over.

1.6           To work closely with the government of Zimbabwe in achieving the above.

Assimilation on names, surnames compromised or wiped out our original and praise totems under duress, involuntarily through fear or as recognition for excelling in policies of the new masters. “Dokonobe” must be declared a heritage site for all of us to fully appreciation how we partially lost our language and culture.  Clement Doke’s recommendation on languages in 1931 to parliament is a must read. It was partially amended by the education act and the new constitution gives a ray of hope. Don’t bask on this “glory” until the education act or languages act is explicit because the constitution is not water-tight.

Concerning the government of the day, I would say as we progress let us befriend, engage, respect and remind them on their obligations and promises from all angles that can champion our cause. They have governing power; they have the financial muscle and all authority.  At the stroke of a pen you can prosper or fail. Above all, and out of love let us seek wisdom from the Almighty that we may understand our times and know what should be done just like the sons of Issachar (1 Chronicles 12:32)

  • As we leave this place let us go and research about our origins, totems, country history, lost legacy , vocabulary, culture, songs, foods, dress code, marriage ceremonies, disease and pestilence management, medical and technological advancements of yesterday, governance systems, community living and sharing
  • Identify heritage sites and add meaning to them
  • Identify distorted names of places, rivers and engage the Surveyor General for correction
  • Get our children to go and learn archaeology to accurately unearth our yester years – UZ is ready for us
  • Engage ministry of information and ICT, media houses etc for proper and prominent recognition of tjiKalanga in the media
  • Engage the ministry of Higher and tertiary education and relevant colleges and Universities to take Kalanga on board
  • Engage the Ministry of Local Government for full restoration of Kalanga Chiefs of which some are currently Headman or Village Heads
  • Engage Ministry of Home Affairs for the use of our language in policing us, immigration boarders and for mass correction of our names and surnames if need be with little hustles.
  • Our local authorities must acknowledge our existence through signage, street and suburb naming
  • Urgently look into the textbook  and novel production for Secondary schools
  • Translation of the Bible and different denominational hymn books into Kalanga
  • Dictionary production , thank God for the efforts of Mabed Ngulani  its more than halfway through
  • Collection of artefacts and setting up of baKalanga museum
  • Get Kalanga for science and technology we were heading there anywhere.
  • Establish Kalanga emphasis preschools, schools and colleges in the cities.
  • The association belongs to all of us, it must be democratic and adhere to the precepts of its constitution. You have that responsibility though membership.

All the above is only possible if we work as a team, individualism, selfishness, self glorification and gratification and personal entrepreneurial stunts on a team work community project like this has no place in the success of the task ahead of us.  “Bawhola babhika pakulani mudle, bawala fukani muwolote zwibuya.”

Lastly let us learn to publicly greet each other with pride and emphasis, wherever and whenever. Make that passerby wish he/she was Nkalanga too.

Ndi – Kumbudzi, Thobela, Mbedzi, Bagudu baNjelele, Mbibhanyi wahongwe, Bankukutu selutombo, Tombo tjisipotelekwe, Tjopetelekwa ikabe mibvumbi. Bakalunji gusipfume ngubo, Gotshindila pfuma pasi, Bampani usina mhako, Wakatjidza sindi yanyala ………….

Tjidzanani, unkololo waThompson, waMasola, waMfunda, waTjedu, waHonyedzapasi, nkololo waMalaba wakabva buVenda enaSabasi naLubimbi beyila Ndou bakahala tuna Whudo yematombo inotanga bona mwedzi. Bakahha ne ntolo wakaMwali bakawutula kuTjizeze, kuDula muhango yeNdzimwane bekanotandabala pa Njelele!

Iwe uyani???????