President Yoweri Museveni has defended the African culture and languages, saying their loss could mean the loss of humanity.
“Causing the death of indigenous languages, for instance, is a loss to the victims but is also a loss to the whole of humanity,” Museveni said early in the week while addressing the dialogue of Sudan.
Museveni said he doubts that there is any language in the world that can be richer in vocabulary than some of this African dialects.
Therefore, their suppression or neglect is a big disservice to humanity, he argued.
“During the colonial times, when I was in the primary school system, we would be punished on account of speaking our dialects in school time!! What a crime against our heritage!!”
Museveni said while he speaks Runyankole, he is still a Pan-Africanist and doesn’t see the purpose of suppressing local languages.
“I once told Field Marshal Bashir that my list of harams is much longer than his. This is because you Moslems regard the pig as haram. Being a cattle keeper of the Savanna, I also regard the pig as haram (ekihagaro).”
He went on: “Nevertheless, my list of haram does not stop there. It includes fish. I regard fish as “snake” and do not eat it. It includes sheep, chicken, etc. I do not eat chicken because in my tribe we thought that if you eat chicken, you will be unstable because birds are always flying, not staying in one place.”
Museveni said the difference, however, is that those in the Tropics do not seek to interfere with other people.
“Our neighbouring tribes that eat fish, chicken, etc., are not only respected but are, actually, assisted to get what they want. I will assist my neighbour to fish in my dam although I do not eat the fish myself.”
He said those who stick to this culture avoid trouble.