Umbhali ungumgcini wamarekhodi omphakathi
The Author is the keeper of social records
Sekuneminyaka ngenza isinqumo SOKUNGAPHINDE nhlobo ngibhale ngesiNgisi.
It’s years since I made the decision NOT to write in English anymore.
Ngiyajabula ngathatha leso sinqumo.
I’m happy I took that decision.
Ngisalindele ukubona izinzuzo zokuba ngumu-Afrika obhala ngolwimi lwase-Afrika e-Afrika.
I’m yet to see and experience the disadvantages of being an African who writes in an African language in Africa.
Engikwaziyo ukuthi mhla ngiqala ukubhala ngolwimi lami nganambitha inkululeko.
What I know is that the day I began writing in my language I tasted freedom.
Ngathola ukwazi ukuthi kunjani ukuzungeza indaba nolwimi lwesibili phakathi, umxhumanisi.
I got to know what it feels like to tell a story without negotiating with a second language as a go-between, a middleman.
Kwathi lapho nginambitha khona inkululeko ngaqonda ukuthi angisobuye ngibheke emuva.
Once I tasted freedom I knew there would be no turning back.
Umsebenzi wesiNgisi engiyowukhipha iloyo kuphela engawubhala ngaphambi kokunambitha inkululeko.
The only English work I will ever publish was written before I tasted freedom.
Kufana nowesilisa elahlekelwa i-‘virginity’ yakhe – CHA ASIBUYELI EMUVA.
It’s like a young man losing virginity – NO TURNING BACK.
U-Achebe wathi isigodi nesigodi sinezinkuni ezanele ukupheka konke esidinga ukukupheka, kanjalo, lonke ulwimi LUNGAKWAZI ukuba namagama anele ukusho noma yini elifisa ukukusho kodwa angeke libe nalawo magama ngaphandle kokuthi linikwe ithuba lokukhulisa amagama amasha kanti lokhu angeke kwenzeke uma lololimi lungabhalwa.
Achebe said each village has enough firewood for all the cooking it needs to do, so each language CAN have enough words to express anything it wants to express but it won’t have those words unless it is given the opportunity to develop new words and that will not happen unless that language is written.
Nginabo yini abafundi?
Do I have an audience?
Of course yes.
Kunezigidi ezikhuluma i-Sitswana eNingizimu Afrika futhi basakazeke umhlaba wonke.
There are millions of Setswana speakers in Southern Africa and scattered all over the world.
OSolwazi abafundisa izincwadi zami kanye nalabo abathola iziqu bebhale noma abasabhala imibhalo yabo yokuthola iziqu besebenzisa imisebenzi yami njengezifundo kanye nabafundi abaningi abazithengele bona izincwadi zami bangimisa idolo kuloluhambo.
The professors who teach my books and graduate students who wrote or are still writing their theses with my work as their subjects and the many readers who bought their own copies of my books have kept me going.
Ngolwami ulwimi, ngingathi “Bagaetsho ba ntlhokometse”.
In my language I can say “bagaetsho ba ntlhokometse”.
Abahumushi besiNgisi nabesiZulu abahumusha umsebenzi wami basathungatha abashicileli kanti engingakusho kubona “Thatha isikhathi sakho ungaxhamazeli”.
The English and Zulu translators of my work are still looking for publishers and I can only say to them “take your time and don’t be desperate”.
Sabata-mpho Mokae: “Umbhali ungumgcini wamarekhodi omphakathi”
Sabata-mpho Mokae: “The author is the keeper of social records”
isiZulu translation by Mkhulu Maphikisa