SAN language lobbyist Moffatt Banini Moyo of Sanqinyana village in Tsholotsho who assisted in the transcribing of literature to the Tshwao language at the University of Zimbabwe in 2013 has died. He was 68.
TSORO-O-TSO San Development Trust director Davy Ndlovu said Moyo’s work at the University of Zimbabwe represented the first ever San language transcription in the country.
“He was admitted at Tsholotsho Hospital on August 21 and passed away on August 22. He was ferried to his home area of Sanqinyana where he was buried on Saturday after the family struggled to get a burial order due to non-availability of his identity particulars,” said Ndlovu.
Ndlovu said an affidavit had to be signed by relatives prompting registry officials to issue a burial order.
He said most of Moyo’s relatives were reportedly shocked when they saw his remains in a coffin amid reports that he was the first person from his community to be buried in a coffin.
“Moyo was a cultured individual and was very committed to the revival and preservation of the San unique culture.
“He strongly believed in traditional medicines and because of his beliefs, after being diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB), he continued using traditional medicine.”
Ndlovu said his organisation would continue lobbying for the recognition of the San language despite the arrays of challenges they have been facing in crafting the syllabus as there were no intellectuals versed in its clicks and morphology.
He said his trust had been tasked by the Zimbabwe Indigenous Languages Promotion Association to craft the Tshwao language to enable it to be used as a medium of learning.
Ndlovu said because of the challenges and limitations they faced in formulating the language, they were appealing to the Education ministry to facilitate learning visits to Botswana and Namibia where larger San communities live.
He said they were currently using the Ndebele phonology as there was no San orthography.
The vocabulary is largely related to hunting, animals, plants, and various types of terrain as people whose livelihoods are largely influenced and shaped by nature.