Seeing the Sunday Times launching in Zulu and that News24 also recently launched a Zulu version made me feel bad about the continued marginalization of other languages, Setswana to be precise, that have not had or seen their embracement such as Zulu, Afrikaans and English have, with dedicated newspapers for its speakers.
I have many a times thought of starting a multilingual newspaper that will provide news in both Setswana and English. This newspaper, I thought at the time and still do today, would give an opportunity for those who are interested in reading news in their mother-tongue language. In this way, the consumers of such news would not feel as neglected, marginalized and not-cared-for as I think they feel now because major news are only consumed in a limited number of official languages, one of which is English.
Further, I would have preferred that the newspaper be distributed in areas where there are many Setswana speakers, but of course without marginalizing other English speakers. That this envisioned multilingual newspaper would have to incorporate Afrikaans is going to be proved difficult as that would need Afrikaans speakers and a proofreader thereof too, sort of. And that, I must say, would not be an easy task.
Anyway, that is an idea I have not explored to date.
However, having shared his project with a friend of mine, she then informed me that she is busy with a proposal that would be forwarded for funding for a local newspaper in/for theNorth Westprovince. This proposal, I suspect, however, I doubt would be a multilingual one as that which I had envisioned. And I am glad that she asked that I be a part of that project, a suggestion I have welcomed with open arms.
Many of my friends say I chose the wrong career. Maybe I did, maybe I did not.
While on the issue of writing, I have recently thought of running a small project whereby I would invite primary secondary and high school pupils to write/contribute their own stories that I would publish in my blog, and for which I will pay a stipend for.
That way, they will not be writing for mahala, however, the stories would have to be VERY original. These stories, I think, can be their own creativity, observations from their surrounding/environment/society or it could just be what they think should happen. In this way, their can improve their writing and Setswana and English language understanding.
Do you think a multi-lingual newspaper is possible?