Those who follow me on social media know my passion for the English language.
Many have accused me of being ashamed of my mother tongue (Lugisu) or the other mother tongue (Luganda).
The English language controls International Commerce and Navigation. Have you ever wondered why all the conferences you attend have people to translate into English? Or even better, the Call Signals use English.
Uganda has 80-90% unemployment among the youth who comprise 70% of the population and they refuse to read or write properly. Any wonder?
When that fake company Shell and Bolton advertised for jobs for Administrative Assistants with a business degree indicating that only foreigners could apply, Ugandans flew off the handle. Saying it was racist. Get this, so many were saying “it is a foreign language”, “wat do u min?”, “dis gays r jokes”. No wonder the best jobs go to the foreigners in your country.
We had the Africell manager in Uganda come on media and say “Ugandans are black monkeys and idiots”. This after Africell took over from Orange and proceeded to fire 49 engineers. They were replaced by people from Lebanon. Mind you, Lebanon is Arabic and French. Then a slew of translators were hired to help the imported people work with Ugandans. What I found interesting about this was some of the people who lost their jobs were posting on social media things like “dat campani knows noting abt Uganda”. What the heck is that even?
For as long as Ugandans refuse to recognize the English language as the controller of commerce, they will enjoy their poverty.
Imagine even if you are an investor or employer, you are faced with a group which cannot write a proper report in English claiming that Lugisu is their mother tongue and you should not force English on them.
I have attended many conferences and workshops and not once have I seen Lugisu being used in those places.
Think about it, even when the Chinese come to Uganda for business, either they speak English or they have a translator. You might want to remember that Uganda is only a province of China.
I have been to the Boston Seafood Show many times. All the booths had people fluent in English. Our meetings which were organised by the Government of Canada with the Asian potential buyers also had translators. Not from our side but the potential buyers had PhD students translating in the meetings.
So Uganda with its high unemployment thinks that they should use Unglish. Pray, tell me, you have been independent since 1962 so why did you not develop your own languages into international languages? Can you tell us how to say pie squared in your language?
Uganda needs international business partners so let us do the right thing. Write properly and read as if your life depends on it. Because it does.
Information you can use.
Martha Leah Nangalama
The writer reads and writes Lugisu, Luganda, English and French. All my opinions are mine and mine alone.