Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My TEDxDar Nominations (7 of 7): Professor Pete Mhunzi

TEDxDar is happening in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, on 22 May 2010. The organizers are asking us to nominate speakers we think will be relevant to the mission, in particular relating to the session themes:

"What would Nyerere do?"

"Hadithi Zetu: Creating content to narrate our stories"

"The In-Between Spaces"

One of the people I nominated is Professor Pete Mhunzi.

Professor Mhunzi is a Nyerere scholar and teacher of Kiswahili with more than thirty years of professional experience. He proposes to speak at TEDxDar on "The Need & Rationale for Equal Bilingualism in Tanzania." To quote from his abstract:

"Tanzania under the leadership of the late founding father, President Julius Kambarage Nyerere took on a daunting responsibility: To elevate an Eastern and Central lingua franca to a national language. This effort has been admired and applauded all around the world. The role that Kiswahili has played in bringing ethnic groups together in a united effort to build a national culture and identity is undeniable. Today, the status of Kiswahili has suffered because of the world-wide usage of English. English has become the lingua franca of the world.

"This paper does not intend to discourage Tanzanians from learning and mastering the English language. It proposes equal bilingualism; the mastery of both Kiswahili and English..."

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