Fifty years of Kiswahili in regional and international development.
Abstract: Kiswahili is undoubtedly one of the most developed and expansively used indigenous African languages nationally and internationally. At the dawn of African states political independence, the founding fathers of the nations led by Kwame Nkrumah considered Kiswahili as an appropriate language for African states unity. Adoption of Kiswahili as the universal language of African continent could have gone a long way in realising the dream of the founding fathers of one people, one nation, one language. However, as history bears witness, their dream remained just a wish. On the contrary, Kiswahili, though not accorded Africa continent political recognition, has continued with its linguistic conquest and expansion further from its indigenous base in the East Africa's coast to various countries in Africa and beyond. The status and usage of Kiswahili has shifted and grown with the political, social and economic growth of nations which use it for various purposes. Currently, it is a regional language in East African countries where it wears several hats as a vernacular, national & official language, lingua franca and a vehicular in various spheres of life. Internationally, Kiswahili has curved for itself a linguistic sphere in the field of academia and international communication. This paper therefore seeks to document and asses Kiswahili's participation in the last fifty years in national, regional and international developments.
Article Type: Report
Subject: Bantu languages (Political aspects)
Bantu languages (Social aspects)
Bantu languages (Usage)
Regional development (Analysis)
Author: Chebet-Choge, Susan
Pub Date: 01/15/2012
Publication: Name: Journal of Pan African Studies Publisher: Journal of Pan African Studies Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 Journal of Pan African Studies ISSN: 0888-6601
Issue: Date: Jan 15, 2012 Source Volume: 4 Source Issue: 9
Topic: Event Code: 290 Public affairs
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Africa Geographic Name: Africa Geographic Code: 60AFR Africa
Accession Number: 306596685
Full Text: Introduction

Kiswahili is a language of the Niger-Congo family which Ethnologue has classified as ISO 6393: SWA (Lewis 2009). It is a lingual franca in Eastern Africa and Central Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is also spoken in some parts of some Southern Africa countries i.e Mozambigue, Malawi and Zambia. Presently, it has spread to Southern Sudan through the returning refugees from Kenya. (Choge, 2007-2008, Moshi, 2006 & Kishe 2003). Presently, there are many international speakers of Kiswahili in countries outside the main Kiswahili geolinguistic zone in Africa. It is estimated that it has about 150 million speakers (Choge 2007-2008). It is currently an official language in DRC, Tanzania and in Kenya (Mulukozi, n.d & Kenya Law Report 2010). Kiswahili origin is the East Coast of Africa. Its presence in East Africa coast dates back to many years into the dispersion of Bantu ethnic groups that had settled at Shungwaya. After this dispersion, later day Kiswahili speakers migrated east and settled along the East African Coast along the Indian Ocean from Mogadishu in Somalia to the North and to the Mouth of River Lurio in Mozambigue to the South and in the various island that dot this coastline (Choge 2007-2008, Chiraghdin & Mnyampala 1977).

The outside world (China, India Arabia, Persia, Rome) had a long history of barter trade with this East coast of Africa for centuries trading in:- porcelain, cowry shells, beads, cloths, wheat, rice, sesame oil, wine, cotton cloths reed honey called sacchari, spices kitchen ware and weaponry i.e hatchet, daggers and awls in exchange for animal products-rhinoceros horns, elephant tusks and tortoise shells, wood products, minerals- gold, copper, ivory and diamond and later in human beings during the era of slave trade (Kiango 2005 & Schoff, 1912) Kiswahili was spread into the hinterland of East Africa during this time by Kiswahili speakers who were either porters or leaders of caravans. The caravans established centres in the hinterland for replenishments, collection and holding points for goods. These points also became centres of islamization. Kiswahili therefore served both religion and business. These contacts with the outside world left a lot of material and linguistic relics in Kiswahili culture which are still evident today. (1) This paper therefore discusses the roles Kiswahili has played regionally and internationally since the last fifty years when most African states secured their independence.

Kiswahili in Regional and International Development

Kiswahili's role in regional and international development and cannot be underestimated. Its developmental role started with East Africa where Kiswahili was a language of trade, religion and later colonial administration during the German rule in Tanzania 1884-1918 and later the British rule in the whole of East Africa from 1884-1964. Presently, Kiswahili's role in development has expanded immensely beyond the earlier domains. This section therefore, discusses in depth roles in various domains regionally and internationally that Kiswahili has executed for the last fifty years since the start of independence period in Africa.

Kiswahili was instrumental in the creation of Tanzania nation and its culture. Right from 1954 when he was TANU's president, Nyerere envisioned Kiswahili as a medium through which Tanganyikans would free themselves from colonialism and build a nation whose foundation would be African socialism. Being a multi-ethnic and multi-racial country with about 135 languages spoken by different ethnic groups, Kiswahili cuts across linguistic barriers and enabled Nyerere to create unity out of diversity, a nation out of tribal groups with competing interests. In 1961, TANU led by Mwalimu Nyerere declared Kiswahili Tanganyika's national language and in 1962, he declared it an official language (Chacha 2003, Mazrui & Mazrui 1993, Mulokozi 2002 & Lodhi 1993). This language policy was also extended to Zanzibar when it merged with Tanganyika in 1964. At independence, Nyerere delivered republic day speech in Kiswahili thus setting the pace for Kiswahili's future roles in nation building.

Nyerere established the position of Kiswahili promoter whose responsibility was to promote and expand Kiswahili's usage in all institutions. He used Kiswahili as a tool to propagate his socialist ideology. He himself adopted the Kiswahili honorific Mwalimu (teacher) which reflected his earlier career as a teacher. This title was still significant in his new role as head of state because he had assumed the role of directing and guiding the new nation just the same way he did to his learners as a teacher. He also adapted Kiswahili kinship terms ujamaa (kinship) and ndugu (sibling). (2) to underscore his social, economic and political ideology of self-reliance (Ngonyani 2002). He mapped an institution that people easily understood and related to onto a nation he hoped to create out of diverse ethnic and race groups. Metaphorically all Tanzanias became relatives. He believed that if Tanzanians lived together and pulled resources collectively they will be self-sufficient in all provisions. Ndugu (sibling) became an honorific for all Tanzania to serve both political and social purposes. From the 1960's to 1980's, Tanzanians addressed themselves as; Ndugu Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Ndugu Abedi Karume and ndugu so and so... Internationally, ndugu was also used to address people and nations that shared socialist and communist ideologies and those that were friendly and supportive of Tanzania's socialism. There were; Ndugu Mao Dze Dong, the Chinese leader, Ndugu Fidel Castro, the Cuban President, Ndugu Kim II Sung the president of North Korea, Ndugu Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe. Those that were not pro Tanzania and socialist ideology were addressed by the standard gender honorific either in English or Kiswahili as Bwana (Mr.) Ronald Reagan, Bibi (Mrs.) Margaret Thatcher, Bwana (Mr.) P.W Botha and Daktari (Dr.) Kamuzu Banda. Thus Kiswahili became embedded in all spheres of Tanzanians lives i.e social, economic, political and governance (Chacha 2003). Kiswahili became rooted in Tanzania and became the main tool of public engagement and one in which Tanzanian culture is articulated and defined.

In Kenya too, Kenyatta adopted Kiswahili as a development tool for national integration and cohesion. He addressed the gatherings in Kiswahili and declared it a national language in 1969 followed by KANU's declaration in 1970 that Kiswahili be made the official language of Kenya and urged all Kenyans to communicate with Kenyans and non-Kenya in Kiswahili (Lodhi, 1993). In 1974, Kenyatta decreed Kiswahili the language of National assembly and that, parliamentary debates be carried out both in English and Kiswahili (Mazrui and Mazrui 1993).

Kenyatta come up with his ideology of Harambee (togetherness/ together we pull) to whip people to collectively build the nation together. Harambee spirit saw Kenyans fundraise for construction of Schools and health centre's and raise fees for needy students and medical bills for needy patients. Today, there are many schools categorized as Harambee schools and polytechnics which were building via this means (3). Harambee has also become a political slogan since many politicians invoke it in rallies even when there is no fund raising going on but as a way of urging the people to always work collectively. At independence, President Kenyatta gave the enemies of Kenya Kiswahili names as; Ujinga (ignorance), Umaskini (poverty) and Ugonjwa (disease(s). The Kiswahili names made conceptualization and concretization for Kenyans faster and easier since they had been contextualized in the language they understood well. It became easier for everyone to tackle since they had understood them. Kenyatta created out of all Kenyans a family by calling them ndugu zangu (My brothers and sisters/my siblings) as such cordial relationship existed among all Kenyans. He came up with a slogan uhuru, kazi na maendeleo (Freedom, work and development). This slogan in particular cautioned Kenyans against assumption that uhuru (freedom/independence) freed them from working because at independence many people had the impression that after independence, the government would provide everything. The order of the three words is also significant. Independence was the first to be achieved, this freed people to work and work brought development. Therefore, there is no development without work even if there is independence!

His successor president Daniel Arap Moi followed suit and gave his political philosophy, ideology and slogan Kiswahili names. His philosophy was Nyayoism (footprint system) which was born out of his ideology nyayo (footprints). In it, he stated that in his leadership he would follow the footsteps of the late president Kenyatta. His slogan was Amani (peace), upendo (love) and umoja (unity). He used the three words to urged Kenyans to always maintain peace. This paid off since when many neighboring nations i.e Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan and Somalia were warring, Kenya was peaceful. As a result, he equated Kenya with an Island of peace. He extolled Kenyans to love one another regardless of their ethnic differences. He also urged Kenyans to remain united. Kenya, diversity as a result of its multi-ethnicity and multi-raciality was glued and bonded together by these three virtues into one nation.

In Uganda, Kiswahili's instrumental role within the disciplined forces (army & police) dates back to the days of British rule. The 1971 military coup de tat against Milton Obote by Idi Amin Dada ushered in an era of Kiswahili rise following a lull it had taken after independence in 1962 (4). For the short period of his presidency, Amin declared Kiswahili Uganda's National language against the strong opposition from the Baganda (Mukuthuria 2006 & Pawlikova-Vilhanova 1996).

Kiswahili is the language of parliamentary debate in Kenya and Tanzania. Kenyatta decree it in 1969 and legislation was passed on its use in parliament in 1974 (Amidu 1995). In Tanzania, Kiswahili was first used in parliament during the LEGICO period in 1945. After independence in 1962, Nyerere addressed the first independent parliament in Kiswahili and in 1963 the government decreed that Kiswahili and English are Tanganyika's official languages. Following the joining of Zanzibar and Tanganyika to form Tanzania in 1964, Kiswahili became also the official language of Zanzibar (Mwansoko & Tumbo-Masabo 1996).

Kiswahili became the language of war in the two world wars of 1914-1918 (WW1) and 19391945 (WW2) and freedom struggle for independence in colonized Africa at the end of WW2. Soldiers from East Africa in the two world wars returned with two knowledge weapons; that of war fare and the ability to speak Kiswahili. The two decades (1940's-1960's) of struggle for independence in Africa witnessed the formation of many freedom movements which used Kiswahili as their vehicular (Legere, 2005 & 2006). People of diverse ethnic groups came together to demand freedom from British colonialists. Various resistance movements and political parties to advance this cause were formed. In Tanganyika, TAA (Tanzania African Association which was transformed to TANU-Tanganyika African National Union in 1954) adopted Kiswahili as its language of communication orally and in print. He propagated the ideals of the new party in Kiswahili. He published several newsletters two of which are Sauti ya TANU (Voice of TANU) and Mali ya Taifa (National Wealth). By 1961 party slogans in Kiswahili had emerged. There were Uhuru (freedom), Uhuru and TANU (Freedom/independence and TANU) and Uhuru na Nyerere (Freedom/independence and Nyerere) (Legere 2006, Chacha 2002). Later, Nyerere underscored the pivotal role Kiswahili played in Tanzania's struggle in the following statement (Nyerere 1971 in Legere 2006), Lugha hii (Swahili) ya watu wote ilikuwa na thamani kubwa sana katika juhudi za kupigania uhuru na katika kuliunganisha Taifa letu changa [this language (Swahili), a lingua franca was of great value in the struggle for independence and in unifying our young nation].

In Kenya, Mau Mau (Muthungu Athii Ulaya, Mugikuyu Ahoote Uthamaki) resistance movement was formed in the 1950's by the Kikuyu, the Embu and the Meru. In late 1950's, it changed its Kikuyu name to a Kiswahili translation of the same Mzungu Aende Ulaya Mwafrika Apate Uhuru (Let the white man go to Europe and Let the African get independence). This was in an attempt to take the revolt outside central Kenya and remove the ethnic tag. In 1960, KANU (Kenya African National Union) was born from three ethnic based parties which dissolved namely; KAU (Kenya African Union, Kikuyu based, led by Jomo Kenyatta), NPCP (National People's Convention Party, Luo based, led by Tom Mboya, but with a good following from workers) and KIM (Kenya Independent Movement, mixture of Luo and Kikuyu, led by Oginga Odinga and Julius Kiano). The main objective was to consolidate the African effort in seeking independence and Kiswahili was its main language of operation. With the formation of KANU, Kiswahili was transformed into the language of political struggle.

In 1959, Sekou Toure convened a meeting of all African freedom movements at Conakry Gunea. In attendance were leaders from the two linguistic camps; francaphone and Anglophone. Due to linguistic barriers the meeting did not take place for about an hour until Kanyama Chiume, a Malawian proposed the use of Kiswahili. Himself he spoke English and Kiswahili and Patrice Lumumba from Congo spoke French and Kiswahili. The two saved the day by using their linguistic competence in Kiswahili to translate from French to English and vice versa. Lumumba translated Francaphone delegates' speeches into Kiswahili for Chiume to translate the same to English for the benefit of Anglophone speakers. Likewise, Chiume translated Anglophone speeches for Lumumba to translate the same into French for the benefit of Francaphone speakers. With the facilitation of Kiswahili, the meeting went on successfully (Mulokozi n.d [1]).

Kiswahili's role in the liberation struggles of other countries extended beyond Kenya and Tanzania to other countries of the East, Central and Southern Africa. During the struggle years, many resistance movement fighters lived and trained in Tanzania. The University of Dar-esSalaam became the centre for the guerrilla-intellectuals and activists of African liberation movements. Many of them learned and inducted their training of their troops in Kiswahili. Liberation movements hosted in Tanzania included FRELIMO of Mozambique, the ANC of South Africa, ZANU and ZAPU of Zimbabwe, the MPLA of Angola and SWAPO of Namibia (Bunting, 1970) (5). Even the world celebrated guerrilla without borders Che Quevera who had learned Kiswahili in Congo lived in Dar Es Salaam for some time after he failed to organize the Congo revolution in 1965. The country also gave safe haven to US civil-rights activists, Black Panther party-members and Vietnam War resisters (Bunting 1970). Many of them by the time they left they were already fluent in Kiswahili and they became ambassador of Kiswahili in their home countries.

Kiswahili as a language of liberation struggles was instrumental in facilitating the Argentiniancum-Cuban revolutionary without borders Che Guevera to export his revolution to Congo in 1965 after the murder of independence hero Patrice Lumumba. Che Guevera himself and his Cuban revolutionaries learned and communicated in Kiswahili through Freddy Ilanga his sixteen years old Kiswahili translator ( uk/1/hi/world/Africa/ 3/10/2010. Kiswahili also enabled the Ugandan, John Okello, another revolutionary and guerrilla fighter without borders to aid the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in the 1950's and to organize and lead a Afro-Shirazi Political Party (ASP) in Pemba Island. Beside this, Kiswahili also enabled him to organize his revolutionaries to overthrow the Sultan of Zanzibar on 12 January 1964 and transfer power to the African majority under the leadership of Abeid Karume ( 18/11/2010). This revolution made it possible for Zanzibar and Tanganyika to join together under the 1967 Arusha Declaration to form Tanzania state. (6)

In the 1980's, during the National Resistance Army's (NRA) struggle against the government of Milton Obote of Uganda led by Yoweri Museveni, Kiswahili facilitated trans-ethnic communication within the army (7). Upon its victory in 1986, it declared Kiswahili as its official language (Mazrui & Mazrui 1993). The role Kiswahili played during this period is underscored by the Weekly Topic's editiorial of October 1, 1986, which stated (Mazrui & Mazrui 1993:281), Faced with a practical problem of communication and unity while in the bush, the NRA was bailed out by Swahili.

Kiswahili is also a language of peace. Through its proverb, Kiswahili enhanced world peace when its wisdom caused certain nations of the world not to take sides during the cold war period of 1950-1990 of between USSR and USA. This decision bore a third force of non-aligned states which checked the two superpowers volatility by not supporting either side and therefore ensured there was world peace and stability. In Africa, Nkrumah advocated this non-alignment by use of the slogan We face neither east nor west, We face forward. Each of the two superpowers sought to win the allegiance of the newly independent states of Africa and Asia. Each played checkmate against the other. Many critics including African leaders realised that the fight of the two superpowers was not good for Africa and applied the Kiswahili proverb Ndovu (wawili)wanapopigana, nyasi ndizo ziumiazo (When elephants fight, the grass suffers) to underscore inherent dangers for Africa and developing world in the superpowers fight. In the 1990s when Soviet Union and USA started developing warm relation to each other, African critics were quick to notice this and underscored the greater dangers for Africa inherent in this new relationship. They innovated the 1950 Kiswahili proverb to capture this danger. The 1990s proverb of the East-West relationship became ndovu (wawili) wanapojamiana/wanapofanya mapenzi, nyasi huzidi kuumia (when elephants make love, the grass suffers just as much) (Schraedar 1994:247) (8). The two versions of the same proverb underscores the principle that neither the two superpowers enemity nor friendship was good for Africa and furthermore their friendship would even hurt Africa much more than their enemity.

Kiswahili is the language of mass media regionally and internationally. It is in print, broadcast and telecommunication. In East Africa region, Kiswahili is the language of print media-daily newspapers, weekly papers and periodicals-is prominent in Tanzania followed by Kenya. About 75% of Tanzania's print media is in Kiswahili (Europa Publications 2000, http://www. 06/06/2010). There are thirteen dailies, nine of which are in Kiswahili examples are; Nipashe (Inform me/Information) na Mtanzania (The Tanzanian). Weekly papers are thirteen, seven of them are in Kiswahili i.e. Kasheshe (Showdown) na Mzalendo (The Patriot). Periodicals are seventeen and thirteen are in Kiswahili; i.e Habari za Washirika (Union News), published monthly by the Co-Operative Union of Tanzania, Kiongozi (The Leader), published fortnightly by the Roman Catholic Church; and Mwanaspoti which is an entertainment and sports paper that contains news and analysis on UEFA, FIFA and premier leagues.

In Kenya, Kiswahili played a major role in print media before and after independence. In the 1970's UNESCO sponsored the publication of many Kiswahili papers which focused on rural development activities such as agriculture and adult literacy (Luganda 2001). In 1974, Kisomo (education) a bilingual paper was published in both Kiswahili and Kikikuyu in Muranga, Central province. In 1976, UNESCO published several papers focusing on various regions of the country with the help of UNESCO. They were; Sauti ya Kericho (The Voice of Kericho), Sauti ya Pwani (The Voice of the Coast), Sauti ya Gusii (The Voice of Gusii), Nyota ya Mashariki (Coast Star), Maarifu (Experience), Habari (The News/ Information), Jicho (The eye), Nuru (Light), Mwangaza (Light) and Ngao (Shield). From the 1960's, the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), published Lengo (Target/purpose/ objective) an English version of their Target paper. It was a very analytical paper and often exposed many ills in the government. As such it was attacked by the government machinery of having sympathies for communism. This paper wound up in 1997 due to lack of funding and changing objectives of NCCK. Before 1990's the East African Standard (present day The Standard) published Baraza (public gathering) a Kiswahili daily ( Gu-Ku/Kenya.html 18/11/2010). Over the years, Kiswahili print media has shrunk that currently Kiswahili print mass media is slimmer than that of Tanzania. Out of the five dailies one is a Kiswahili paper Taifa Leo (Nation Today), a sister paper of Daily Nation Newspaper. Up to 2003, there was Kenya Leo (Kenya Today), a Kiswahili daily which was a sister paper to the Kenya Times Newspaper owned by the then ruling party KANU. Of the eight weeklies, two-Taifa Jumamosi (Nation on Saturday) and Taifa Jumapili (Nation on Sunday) are Kiswahili papers. There are no periodicals in Kiswahili.

However, Kiswahili is also used in the English print media in Kenya. It is used the writer may wish to contextualize certain meanings and capture the intended messages correctly or because equivalent English translations are lacking. Many of what is in Kiswahili would have lost its original meaning or become meaningless if translated into English. In Eve Weekly, a pull out in The Standard on Sunday, in the article 'Sweet-talk her to submission', 26/09/2010, the author used the phrase kaa vizuri (sit/stay well/properly) pg 26. The contextual meaning is brace yourself. In this case, the husband is telling the wife early to prepare well for major bedroom activity. In almost all cartoon works, Kiswahili, English and SHENG and at times ethnic languages are used such as in Madd's world works in The Standard on Saturday and kids Mchongoanoz in The Standard on Sunday. Mchongoanoz (deride each other) is a SHENG word. Morphologically, the word has five morphs {m-chongoa-an-(a)-oz}. It has the Kiswahili verb chongoa (deride). {m-} a noun derivative prefix, {-an-} a verb conjugative morph which denotes each other, an embedded{-a-}which is an obligatory end vowel in verbs of Bantu origin (Choge 2010, 2009, 2007-2008) and a corrupted English plural morph {-s/-iz/-z which in this context has appeared as--oz}. In this context, mchongoanoz conveys the meaning of say something funny about one another. In the Living pullout family magazine of Daily Nation newspaper 08/09/2010, in the story 'A few lessons on etiquette from a child' the following Kiswahili words have been used; sema ahsante (say thank you), karibu (welcome), hapana (no), and nataka kuoga kwanza (I want to bath first) (9).

These Kiswahili words are used with no translation. This reflects the common practice in Kenya of code-switching and code-mixing which has become the normal form of conversation. This means that the readers are competent in both English and Kiswahili. Outside East Africa, Da'awa tul Islamiyah in Tripoli Libya publishes newspapers in Hausa and Kiswahili.

Kiswahili has its place too in the broadcast media regionally and internationally. Kiswahili is the language of Television broadcasting in the East Africa Region. It is the main language of Tanzania television as opposed to Ugandan which English and local languages take precedence ITV ( 06/06/2010 & Chibita, 2006). Kenya television has accorded space to the two languages. In Kenya, many broadcast houses air their evening news at 7.00 PM in Kiswahili. Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) has Darubini (Pinoculars), Kenya News Agency (KTN) has KTN Leo (KTN Today), Nation Television (NTV) has NTV Jioni (NTV this evening). Since the promulgation of the new constitution, this broadcast is now called NTV Jarida la Jimbo (NTV County Edition). Citizen TV has Citizen Nipashe (Citizen Tell me/enlighten me). Some of the stations have also morning programs in Kiswahili which run up to 9 AM or 11 AM. There are NTV Alfajiri (NTV this Morning) and KBC Pambazuka (KBC at dawn). Other theme and area specific TVs such as Family TV and K 24 broadcast mainly in English with a few programs in Kiswahili.

Kiswahili is also the language of radio broadcasting regionally and internationally. Radio is the mass media with high penetration and accessibility in the rural setting in East Africa as opposed to television which is still an urban and elite mass media. In Kenya, Kiswahili radio broadcast began in 1950's with KBC Idhaa ya Taifa (10) (KBC Natioanal Service) started in 1954. Presently, Kenya has over fifty radio stations with all of them broadcasting in Kiswahili, English, Vernacular and SHENG. In most stations, each language has been given specific programs but in many others, code-switching and code-mixing are applied. Apart from KBC idhaa ya Taifa, other Kiswahili radio stations in Kenya are Citizen and Radio Maisha.

Several international radio stations broadcast in Kiswahili. Radio Cairo (Egypt) was the first radio station to broadcast in Kiswahili in the 1950's during the decade of Africa's greatest struggle for independence (Brennan 2008) and became very instrumental in Tanzania's independence. Other stations which broadcast in Kiswahili are:- BBC Kiswahili service (UK), the Voice of America (U.S.A.), Radio Deutsche Welle (Germany), Radio Moscow International (Russia), Radio Japan International, Radio China International, Radio Sudan, Radio South Africa, Radio Iran, Radio Vatican, Radio India, Radio South Korea (Kiango 2005).

Kiswahili has served the sentimentalist purposes among people of African descend across the world. By learning and applying Kiswahili in many of their activities, they claim their Africa identity and advance pan-Africanism call for a return to Africa without getting off the ground; that is embracing African cultures without relocating to Africa. Many in the African Diaspora have studied Kiswahili as part of this realization. African Americans have instituted Kwanzaa (or Kwaanza) holiday which is celebrated from December 26th to January 1st and gives African-Americans an opportunity to celebrate their African roots and their Africanness (11).

The name derives from the Kiswahili word kwanza which means first. Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga (12) at the height of the Black power movement in the 1960s. It has taken elements from different African cultures in order to create a festival that is unique and able to represent cultures of various African societies. The purpose of Kwanzaa is to give AfricanAmericans an opportunity to unite in meditation and study around principles that are rooted in African traditions (Asante 2004 & http://www. 27/09/2010). Karenga gave Kwanzaa the meaning of Matunda ya Kwanza (first fruit of the harvest) probably as a thanks giving to God and as a way of coming together as an African people (13). Kwanzaa is celebrated in seven days, and it has Nguzo saba (seven principles), seven symbolic objects and seven-fold paths. Kiswahili names are used in almost all of Kwanzaa's naming practices.

The seven principles of Kwanzaa:

* Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, and nation.

* Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and to speak for ourselves.

* Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together.

* Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.

* Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

* Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

* Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

The seven symbols of Kwanzaa are:

* Mazao (produce) symbolized by fruits and vegetables which represent product of collective labor.

* Mkeka: (the straw place mat/basket) holder of mazao. It represents respect for tradition.

* Muhindi (an ear of corn) represents children in the family, one for each child.

* Zawadi (simple gifts), symbolizes African generosity.

* Kikombe cha umoja (a communal cup) symbolizes act of sacrifice and represents unity of people of African descent.

* Kinara (a seven branched candleholder) symbolizes the continent and peoples of Africa and

* Mishumaa saba (the seven candles) symbolizes the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

Other Kiswahili names relevant to Kwanzaa are; ungamana (be united), dhati (determination), madaraka (responsibility), shime (we pull together), ungana (combine), niamoja (one purpose), sababu (reason), aminifu (faith, belief) and dini (religion, faith) (http://afrikannames. com/wpcontent/uploads/2009/12/784035781.jpg 11/11/2010).

Outside America, people of African descend claim and celebrate their African origin and identity by learning Kiswahili. When Ghana got independence in 1957, Guyana citizens of African descend celebrated this historic achievement by doning traditional African clothing and by adopting African names such as Eusi (Kiswahili for black), Lumumba and Kwesi. Many started learning Kiswahili as a way of relocating to Africa without leaving Guyana and in preparation for the anticipated creation of United states of Africa in which it is hoped Kiswahili will be its official language (Girdhari 2007).

The African diaspora have also claimed their Africa roots through their onomasiological practices. Many have adopted African anthroponyms and given many of their cultural practices and institutions names from many African languages. For instance, Kiswahili word Maafa which is defined by TUKI (14) (2004) in two ways as:-one, an incident which causes loss, misfortune, problems, accident) and two as a bad omen as been used by African diaspora to mean African Holocaust or Holocaust of Enslavement. This holocaust refers to 500 years of suffering of Black Africans through slavery, imperialism, colonialism, invasion, oppression, dehumanization and exploitation. It also refers to the social and academic policies that are used to invalidated or appropriate the contributions of African people to humanity ( 03/10/2010). WADU (World African Diaspora Union) has harnessed African languages in his communication ( 10/11/2010).

Its president Dudley Thompson in his salutation has used Kiswahili words Hujambo (How are you?) when opening his remarks and Kwaheri (bye/ in peace) when closing. Anthroponyms and Honorifics for officials are also drawn from various African languages. From Kiswahili there is the use of baba (father), Mama (mother), Ndugu (brother/sibling) and Mganga (medicine man/witch doctor) such as in; Baba Mukasa Dada, Mama Anna Swanston, Dr. Ndugu T'OforiAtta and Mganga P.D Menelik Harris.

Kiswahili has become the language of publishing and medium of regional and international literature (Ogechi, & Bosire-Ogechi, 2002). This literature is both oral and written. Written literature dates back to 10th century when writing was introduced to the East African coast by Arabs (Mulokozi 1992 & Massamba 2002). Kiswahili written literature is in two forms- created and translated. Earliest available written Kiswahili literature is Siri I'Asirari 1663 (A.D) by Binti Mwana Lemba. Since then, Kiswahili literature has increased in volume and expanded in content. For centuries Kiswahili has captured social, economic, cultural and political realities of the Kiswahili people and those of East Africans. This paper will focus on the Kiswahili literature written in the last fifty years. Over these five decades, Kiswahili literature has critiqued and criticized East African societies' developments.

In the late 1950s and 1960s, most literature criticized the colonial rule and advocated for Freedom. In the 1970's Kiswahili literature centered on neocolonialism in Africa and advocated for true liberation. This period was graced by Ibrahim Hussein's plays Kinjeketile 1969 (15), Mashetani (Devils, 1971), Ngao ya Jadi (Ancestral Shield) and Jogoo Kijijini (The Village Cock, 1976). These books interrogated challenges that rose in Tanzania following the Arusha Declaration of 1967. Social and psychological aspects of society was criticized by Kezilahabi's books such as; Rosa-Mistika 1970 (16), Kichwamaji (The Lunatic, 1974), Dunia Uwanja wa Fujo (The World is an arena of chaos, 1975), Gamba la Nyoka (Scale of a snake, 1979). Kiswahili literature has also captured the struggles of the working class in Africa through the works of Abdillatif Abdalla's Sauti ya Dhiki (Voice of Agony 1973), Shafi Adam Shafi's Kasri ya Mwinyi Fuad (The Castle of Mwiny Fuad, 1979), Said Ahmed Mohamed's poetry collections Sikate Tamaa (Don't lose Hope, 1981) and Kina Cha Maisha (Depth of Life, 1984).

Kiswahili literature has also interrogated the dictatorship of African leaders, exploitation of workers, inter-ethnic conflicts which are purposefully ignited by leaders for their selfish gains and gender discrimination. Literature in this group includes Al-Amin Mazrui's Kilio Cha Haki (A Cry for Justice, 1981) and Khaemba Ongeti's Visiki (Stumps, 1982).

In the 1990's Kiswahili literature tackled the many ills of African governemnets i.e; corruption nepotism, tribalism, extravagance, over-dependence on foreign aid, poor infrastructure such as in; education, medical care, etc. A notable literature in this period is Amezidi (17) (he/she/it is too much/excessive, 1997) by Said Ahmed Mohamed a renowned Kiswahili linguist and literary artist and Walenisi (They are us/We are them, 1995) by Katama Mkangi. (18) In the 21st Century, Kiswahili literature has captured issues of globalization and technological advancement and their impact on African.

Works of this time are; Binadamu (Human Being(s), 2001) by Wamitila, Babu alipofufuka (When Grandfather resurrected, 2002) and Dunia Yako (Your World, 2009) by Said Ahmed Mohamed. Gender issues such as gender roles, HIV/AIDS, social classes have featured prominently in the literature of this period as captured in Unaitwa Nani? (What is your name/who are you called?, 2008) text by Wamitila.

Kiswahili has promoted inter-cultural interaction and communication through translation of Kiswahili literature into other languages and by also translating other languages literature into Kiswahili. The sample of translated literature from European languages to Kiswahili are:- from Russian Mama (Mother, 1980) by Maxim Gorky, Mkaguzi Mkuu wa Serikali (Government Inspector) by Nikolai Gogol which was first translated into Kiswahili in 1979 by Christian Mwakasaka and second translation was done in 1999 by Joshua Madumulla. Postamasta (Postmaster) by Pushkin was translated into Kiswahili in 1992 by Bernard Mapalala (Gromova 2004 & Mulokozi n.d). During the cold war period most Russian books beside literature texts were translated into Kiswahili. Many of which were about Lenin and communism (Mazrui 2007). From Arabic, there is Alfu-Lela-Ulela (A Thousand Year and One).

Kiswahili has over the years increased it translated literature from English. Stevenson's 'Treasure Island' has become Kisiwa chenye hazina , Haggard's 'King Solomon's mines,' has become Mashimo ya Mfalme Sulemani, Shakespear's 'Julius Ceasar' and 'Merchants of Venice' has become Juliasi Kaizari and Mapepari wa Venisi respectively. George Orwell's, 'Animal Farm' has become Shamba la Wanyama and Katama Mkangi's 'Betrayal in the City' is Usaliti Mjini and Ngugi wa Thiongo's 'Devil on the Cross' has become Shetani Msalabani. Kikerewe's indigenous literature Bwana Myombekere na Bibi Bugonko, Ntulanalwa na Bulihwali (1980) by Aniceti Kitereza has become Kiswahili literature via translation (Traore 2005: 101). This book has been translated from Kiswahili and Kikerewe to other languages. It has been translated into German by J.G Mohlig in two volumes as Die Kinder der Rgenmacher. Eine afrikanische Familiensaga (1991) and Der Schlangentoter, Ntulanalwo und Bulihwali (1993). From German this book was translated into French by Simion Baguma and Oliver Barlet as Les Enfants du faiseur de pluie (1996) and Le tuer de serpents (1999). Gabriel Ruhumbika translated it from Kiswahili to English as Mr. Myombekere and His Wife Bugonoka. Their son Ntulanalwo and Daughter Bulihwali. The Story of an ancient African Community (2002).

Other Kiswahili literature has also been translated into other languages of the world (Traore, 2005, Mulokozi n.d(2)). Said Ahmed Mohamed's Utengano (1980) has become in Italian, Separazione (2005) by Flavia Aiello Traore. Beside this, several other Kiswahili books have been translated into Italian by students of Bertoncini-Zukhova at University L'Orientale of Naples (19). Adam Shafi's Kasri ya Mwinyi Fuad (1978) became in French Les giroflier de Zanzibar (1986). This novel was also translated into German by Karin Boden as Die Skaverei der Gewurze (1997). Euphrase Kezilahabi's Nagona and Mzingile have also been translated into Czech language by Xavier Garnier who has also translated the same books into French. Several of Shaaban Roberts books have also been translated into Russian in two volumes;- Moya Zhizn (My life, 1968) comprises of Kusadikika (Ideal Lands/Ideal Nation/State), Adili na nduguze (Adili and his siblings), Maisha yangu (My Life), Wasifu wa Siti binti Saad (A biography of Saad's Daughter Siti), Mwimbaji wa Unguja (Unguja's singer) and some essays. In 1981, the second volume Izbrannoye (Selected works) was produced. It comprises of Maisha yangu Baada ya miaka Hamsini (My Life after Fifty Years), Siku ya Watenzi wote (The Day of all Poets), Utubora Mkulima (Utubora the farmer) and Wasifu wa Siti Binti Saad (20) (Zhukov 1998). These translated texts are used for teaching Kiswahili literature in other languages in various universities.

Kiswahili is studied in various countries of the world for both sentimental and instrumental purposes (Mazrui & Mazrui 1993). It has found a place in many countries curricula as a subject of study or a language of instruction at various levels of education. In East Africa Community (EAC) member states, Kiswahili is a subject of study and examination from pre-school to university (Choge 2009, 2008-2009, Chacha 2002, Temu 1995, Mazrui & Mazrui 1993, Lodhi 1993). In Tanzania, Kiswahili is the language of instruction in primary education since 1967 and primary teacher colleges since 1977 when Universal Primary Education (UPE) was adopted (Amidu 1995).

It is a language of instruction for itself at the secondary school and university levels of education (Legere 2006, Mulokozi 2002, Amidu 1995 & Roy-Campbell 1995). The presidential commission on education of 1982 recommended that Kiswahili be used as a medium of instruction in secondary schools from 1985. However, this recommendation was not implemented. In 1988, the government came up with a language policy for 1988-2003. It recommended that Kiswahili be used in all spheres of life such as education, administration, politics, recreation and legal affairs. It reiterated the presidential commission's recommendation that Kiswahili be used as a medium of instruction at secondary level of education. Translation of teaching materials was done from 1988 and by 2003 all books for teaching had been translated into Kiswahili with the exception of Biology and Mathematics textbooks (Kiango 2005). However, due to political ideology changeover in Tanzania, this recommendation and policy has not been implemented.

In Kenya, Kiswahili by policy is a medium of instruction in lower primary from class 1-1V by policy. It is also a medium of instruction in pre-school in areas where it is the dominant language of the catchment area like the urban areas. Throughout all levels of education, Kiswahili is a subject of study. It is a compulsory subject of study and examination in both primary and secondary levels of education. It is one of the three core subjects (English, Mathematics & Kiswahili) which a student must be examined in and pass to qualify to get a grade and a certificate in (KCPE) and (KCSE) (21). Kiswahili is also significant in university degree placements. To meet language requirements an applicant for a degree program must have passed highly in either Kiswahili or English or both. In Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Kiswahili is taught as a subject. Rwanda and Burundi introduced the teaching of Kiswahili as one qualification for joining the EAC since Kiswahili is the official language of the community (Choge 2008-2009, Temu 1995). Kiswahili is also one of the four official languages in the democratic republic of Congo (DRC) (Mulokozi 2002).

In EAC universities, Kiswahili is an academic discipline which many students pursue for instrumental purposes. It is taught in all public some private universities of EAC countries. In Kenya there are; Nairobi, Kenyatta, Moi, Maseno, Egerton, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST). University of Eastern Africa-Baraton (UEAB) and Catholic University are some private universities which teach it. In Uganda Kiswahili is taught in both public and private universities i.e Makerere and Islamic University of Uganda.

In the rest of Africa, Kiswahili is mainly taught at university level. Libya is the leading African country outside East Africa region in the promotion of Kiswahili. For the last 25 years, Kiswahili has been taught in the Department of Languages and African Studies at Libya's oldest university Sebha alongside other African languages such as Hausa and Fulani. Kiswahili, enjoys greater popularity than the other African languages and high student enrolments. (http://www. asp ?c=4&i=3041 16/10/2010).

It is also taught at Al-Fateh University, Nasser University, the Academy of Graduates Studies and Aisha Secondary School in Sebha. Currently, there are two Libyan lecturers with a Ph.D in Swahili. Libya has also advertised many Kiswahili teaching jobs in the internet. In advancing Kiswahili's growing position in Libya, the Libyan government publishes various Kiswahili books for teaching. Other African Universities that teach Kiswahili are University of Ghana in Ghana and Cape Town University in South African.

Outside Africa, Kiswahili is mainly taught and learned mainly for instrumental purposes. The two superpowers, Soviet Union (USSR) and United States of America (USA/US), introduced the teaching of African languages which Kiswahili is one of them for different purposes. The Soviet Union introduced at its universities the teaching of Kiswahili earlier than the USA as a means of exporting communism to East and Central Africa. The US introduced the teaching of Kiswahili and other African languages as a means to counter the Soviet Union's exportation of communism communism to Africa. Kiswahili's teaching for security reasons emanated from American legislation of National Defense Education Act 1958 (NDEA). It was enacted following the launch of Sputnik on 4th October 1957 by the Soviets. This launch shook the American belief that the USA was superior in Math and Science to all other countries. It created the feeling that their education was inferior. Sputnik became a symbol of two things; soviets intellectualism in science and technological prowess and a profound and unprecedented military threat to the United States. Discontent, anger and desire to counter the Soviets intensified among the American public. At this time, Cold war between USA and the Soviet Union had set in after WW2. The linguistic challenges which American Servicemen faced during WW2, and which lead to adoption of Audio-Lingual method as a rapid strategy of imparting listening and speaking skills in foreign languages to servicemen, had now become real threats to National security (22) ( asp?docid=146488 01/09/2010 & http://ezinearticles. com/?Audio-Lingual-Method&id=4373784 01/10/2010).

To overcome this barrier, NDEA made it a requirement for any student in high school and university to study and be examined in a foreign language. Some of the African languages taught from K-12 level are; Kiswahili (East Africa), Arabic (North Africa), Hausa (West Africa), Wolof (Senegal), Yoruba (Nigeria), and Xhosa and Zulu (South Africa). Federal legislation since 1970 has provided funding to K-12 teachers for African language instruction.

Apart from security reasons, the learning of foreign languages is aimed at enabling American students meet the needs of globalization which require greater human understanding and interaction. The American learners need to be exposed to other cultures of the world as a way of introducing internationalism within American populace. It is a way of broadening American world view and accepting other people's cultures. Beside exposing learners to new cultures, foreign languages also enables them to understand English better and acquire new horizons.

Support and growth of Kiswahili in the USA has been facilitated and enhanced by the activities of organisations such as The African Language Teachers' Association-ALTA and Summer Cooperative African language Institute-SCALI. ALTA organises conferences to discuss the teaching of African languages and SCALI organises for the annual congregation of teachers and students of African languages during summer. Besides these activities, there are also scholarships such as those of Fulbright-Hays which support the learning and researching of African language. In this year's call for proposals, Kiswahili was one of the seventy eight languages selected by the U.S department of Education to receive funding under the the Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship Program, Fiscal year 2011 ( 01/10/2010). Currently, over one hundred universities teach and carry out research on Kiswahili in North America. Examples of which are; Yale, Stanford, Michigan, Minnesota, Harvard and Colombia and in Canada there is the University of Toronto.

Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway & Finland) have supported the development of Kiswahili for decades for economic and social reasons. Nordic countries have many investments in East Africa and for decades, have carried out many infrastructural developments in the region through their development agencies SIDA, DANIDA and NORAD23. Nordic countries have participated immensely in the development of Kiswahili such as in Sponsoring Nordic Journal of African Studies (NJAS) which publishes Kiswahili contents and funding various researches on Kiswahili especially in Tanzania. Kiswahili is also taught in many Nordic universities such as Trondheim in Norway, Goteborg and Oslo in Sweden and Uppsala and Helsinki in Finland (Hurskainen 2001). In the rest of Europe, Kiswahili is taught in many universities such as; SOAS-University of London in the United Kingdom, Hamburg and Bayreuth in Germany, Leiden in Netherlands and Zurich in Switzerland. In Poland, it is taught at Lepzig, In Austira it is taught at the University of Vienna. In Italy it is taught at the university L'Orientale of Naples and Calabria (Traore 2005). In Russia has been taught at St. Petersburg and Leningrad Universities (Morison 1963). Asia continent is witnessing an increase in the number of universities teaching Kiswahili. Currently, China is teaching it for economic purposes. China is currently the biggest investor in Africa especially in military ware, infrastructural development and electronics. In China Kiswahili is taught at Tianjin Normal University. In South Korea, it is offered at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and in Japan, it is taught at Osaka and Tokyo universities.

Kiswahili's globalization has provided career opportunities and a source of income for many people across the world. It has provided jobs for people as lecturers, teachers, translators, interpreters, contents writers and curriculum developers. In the U.S an advert was posted on Wavuti website for a Kiswahili/ content writer on 17/06/2010. The Swahili/Content Writer was required by Northrop Grumman to provide assistance in creating and developing a web based educational interactive language course for the U.S. Military. The writer would design content, translate, edit, transliterate, and record content.

The same website also listed jobs for Kiswahili translators and Kiswahili voice pronunciation producers and Jobs for translation into Kiswahili from other languages 17/11/2010. Many Kiswahili scholars from various parts of the world have found careers and sources of income by teaching Kiswahili in and outside Africa. Below is a sample of these scholars with information on their nationalities and names of universities where they are based.

For many years, Tanzanians were the dominant Kiswahili scholars in Kenya till early 2000. It was Prof. Said Ahmed Mohammed who started Department of Kiswahili and other African languages (KOAL) at Moi University in 1987. He was soon joined by other Tanzanias namely; Prof. Abdallah Mohammed, Prof. Mbogo, the Late Prof. A.G Gibbe and Mr. Ngozi.

Knowledge of Kiswahili facilitates social interactions on transnational movements. Kiswahili has served this purpose since the time of explorers in the 19th Century. Burton managed to traverse the East Africa region and Island of Zanzibar because of his knowledge of Kiswahili. In 1840 he asserted the utility of Kiswahili as follows; ( 03/10/2010) 'My principle being never to travel where the language is unknown to me, I was careful to study it (i.e. Swahili) at once on arriving at Zanzibar; and though sometimes in the interior question and answer had to pass through three and even four media, immense advantage has derived from the modicum of direct intercourse'.

Prof. Mulokozi of Tanzania has also experienced this utility of Kiswahili in his transnational travel (Mulokozi, n.d (1)). In 1986 in Glasgow, Scotland, 1998 in Zimbabwe and 2000 in South Africa, he encountered citizens of these countries who spoke Kiswahili and were able to have social interaction with them in Kiswahili. These people had learned Kiswahili either in East Africa or in learning institutions outside East Africa. In 2007 Goteborg Sweden and this year at Schiphol International airport in Amsterdam and in Accra Ghana, the author of this paper had the same encountered with non-East Africans who are competent in Kiswahili and were able to interact with them in Kiswahili.

Kiswahili has become the language of ICT. It is now the language of the web. It is one of the languages used in Globa Voices (Sauti za Dunia) virtual community in which over 300 international bloggers and translators around the world work together to bring reports from blogs and citizen media everywhere, which are less heard in international mainstream media 17/11/2010. BGSU hosts internet resources for eight languages one of them being Kiswahili _links.html 17/11/2010. Wavuti is another online bilingual website (Kiswahili and English) which advertises products and gives news briefs 17/11/2010. KIKO (Kiswahili kwa Kompyuta) is a multimedia course which integrates the use of video, audio, and text. KIKO is a online self-tutored course on basic Kiswahili. It uses both English and Kiswahili to guide the readers but its course contents are in Kiswahili. it has also recorded pronounciation of Kiswahili words kikoteam.html.18/11/2010. There are also online Kiswahili dictionaries such as English-Swahili living dictionary which is managed by Yale University and Swahili-Italian dictionary developed by Prof. Madalena Tuscano of University of Naples (Kiango, 2005). Kamusi project is one of the online Kamusi developed by Kiswahili lovers online. On its website it advertises various teaching and learning materials for Kiswahili. Various Kamusi (Dictionaries) authored by East Africans which rarely get out of East Africa have been put on the world market http://www. 18/11/2010. Examples are; Kamusi Ya Kiswahili Sanifu (Standard Kiswahili Dictionary) by TUKI, Kamusi ya Methali ya Kiswahili (A dictionary of Proverbs) by Ahmed Ndalu, Kamusi ya Visawe (A Dictionary of Synonyms) by Mohamed Abdalla Mohamed. Beside dictionaries, the website also hosts text books for teaching Kiswahili Grammar such as Simplified Kiswahili by Peter Wilson, Teach Yourself Kiswahili by Russell, Swahili learners' Reference Grammar by Katrina Daly Thompson and Masoma ya Kisasa (Todays learning) by Ann Biersteker. There are also online ICTs for the teaching of Kiswahilli such as audio cassettes and Rosetta Stone-a Swahili Explorer instructional software. Wikimedia Foundation has developed Kiswahili version of Wikipedia http://sw.wikipedia. org/wiki/Mwanzo 10/09/2010. Google has also developed a Kiswahili version of its search engine http://www. 02/06/2010.

Computer softwares have also been developed in Kiswahili language for Kiswahili users. TUKI in conjunction with University of Helsinki have developed SALAMA (Swahili Language Manager) program for analysing language data morphologically and syntactically and also for creating data bases from scanning books and newspapers. At Dar es Salaam University, the departments of Computer Science in conjunction with TUKI are translating LINUX operating system into Kiswahili (Kiango 2005). TuKsi Koti la Rangi is a Kiswahili drawing software for children Other programs are; Jambo OpenOffice a Kiswahili localisation of OpenOffice software, Jambo Spellchecker a Kiswahili spellchecker for Jambo OpenOffice, Kiolesura Fungasha Kiswahili cha windows XP is a Kiswahili interface Pack for Windows XP and Mradi wa Kuswahilisha programu huria (The Open Swahili Localization Project) & http:// 18/11/2010.

Kiswahili has advanced to the mobile phone industry in East Africa. In Tanzania there is TiGo, Vodafone, MTN and Airtel (25) In Kenya, there are four mobile service providers namely Safaricom, Airtel, Orange and Yu. They use English, Kiswahili and SHENG in varying degrees. Safaricom which is the giant of them all uses Kiswahili mainly in naming its products. Its name Safari is a Kiswahili word for travel (26). Its tarrif names are; Jambo (halo), Taifa (nation), Ongea (speak) and Uwezo (ability/power). It mobile phone money transfer service-M.Pesa has a Kiswahili word pesa (money). Therefore, M.pesa means Mobile money. Its airtime credit facility has a Kiswahili name okoa jahazi (safe the boat) and its mobile phone tunes collection is called Skiza (listen) which is short form for the Kiswahili word sikiliza. Its reward system is called bonga points (conversation points), bonga is a Kiswahili word for converse In August this year in partnership with Equity bank, Safaricom introduced the M.Kesho account (Mobile Kesho. kesho is tomorrow in Kiswahili).This is an Equity bank account but all transactions are carried out from the account holder's mobile phone. Other mobile companies also appropriate Kiswahili extensive in their attempt to compete with Safaricom though their Kiswahili terms are not very appealing like those of Safaricom.

The banking industry in East Africa has appropriate Kiswahili also to their advantage. Kenya has over fifteen banks- two international (Barclays Bank (BB) and Standard Chartered Bank(SCB)), three indigenous but regional banks (Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Cooperative Bank and Equity Bank) and several national banks and microfinance institutions (Family Bank, Kenya Women Finance and K-Rep Bank among others). All these banking institution use Kiswahili in naming and advertising their products. In Kenya and Tanzania all ATMs are bilingual in Kiswahili and English. The ATM screens would read in Kiswahili tafadhali ingiza kadi yako and in English Please insert your card. Account and loan names in many of these banks are in Kiswahili. BB has pepea (fly) and Uwezo (ability) accounts. SCB has safari savings account, hifadhi (save) and eneza (spread) loans. KCB has mapato (income), masomo (education), simba (lion) accounts and mavuno (harvest) and masomo (education) loans. Promotions and adverts are also in Kiswahili, there is nguruma tena na KCB (roar again with KCB) and Shinda acre na KCB (win an acre with KCB). These were promotions in 2009 which were aimed at rewarding with a pick up car and an acre of land the account holders who frequently debited a certain amount of money in their accounts.

Kiswahili was envisioned by many Pan Africanist as the official language and lingua Franca for the yet to be formed United States of Africa (USAF) or United African States (UAS). At the dawn of African states independence, Kwame Nkrumah, the radical pan Africanist who wanted the achievement of unity of Africa soonest possible, advocated for the adoption of Kiswahili as the language of independent Africa as a medium by which the African person and his/her culture will be defined and articulated. African Union has put into effect this pan-african linguistic view by decalring Kiswahili one of its languages of business. President Chissano of Mozambique put into action this pan-Africanist view when he addressed the Africa Union assembly in Kiswahili in 2004 meeting at Addis Ababa (Daily Nation 2004 7th July: 12).

To advance this pan-African linguistic, Kwame Appiah Boateng a Ghanian and a present day pan Africanist has formed and named the political party for the envisioned UAS/ USAF Uhuru African Convention (UAC). Uhuru is a Kiswahili word for freedom. He opines that Freedom shall be the slogan of the first Political Party for a Continental African Government and shall be declared in UAS language (http://mobile. 28/10/ 2010). Advocacy for Pan African linguistics have come from all fronts. While addressing the union of African Writers on 26th 1976, Wole Soyinka-the Africa's Shakespeare-called upon all writers of Africa to promote the use and enrichment of Kiswahili for the present and future communication needs of the continent. Africans within and without Africa continent are learning Kiswahili in prepartion for this eventual happening. May be Africa did not adopt the radical pan Africanist approach of Kwame Nkrumah and Nnamdi Azikiwe of Nigeria in the formation of African states but the gradualist approach advocated by Nyerere may bear fruit if going by the formation of organised blocks of nations such a s East African Community (EAC), Economic Organisation of West Africa States (ECOWA), Common Market for East and South Africa (COMESA), South Africa Development Commission (SADC), Inter-governmental Agency for Development (IGAD) and New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) that have come together mainly for economic and technological reasons, Equally, the change over from Organisation of African Union (OAU) to African Union (AU) many be a pointer to the realisation of five decade dream.

Kiswahili has also found a place in the art domain. Various musician across the world have appropriated Kiswahili to advance the messages of their songs. Kiswahili words and phrases have been used in songs of international singers. Michael Jackson's Liberian Girl has Kiswahili phrases; Nakupendapia, nakutakapia, mpenzi we! (I love you, and I want you, my dear!). Lionel Richie has used the word karamu in his hit All Night Long. The 1960 Fadhili William's Kiswahili song Malaika was put in the international stage by Miriam Makeba in 1966. Other musicians of international repute-Helmut Lottie, Rocco Granata Henry Belafonte, Pete Seeger, Boney M and Anngelique Kidjoo-have joined her in globalising Malaika makeba+malaika/1/video 01/11/2010 & 17/10/2010. Malaika is a very popular song in many international radio stations in many African countries during various celebrations. In Ghana, it is one of the popular songs during any celebrations such as in school and college activities (27). During the two decades-1940-1960-of struggle for Africa's independence, most African Diaspora composed song of freedom for the African continent whose titles and certain words were in African Languages.

A notable example of the time is Randy Weston's 1960 recording of Uhuru Afrika (Freedom Africa) jazz album with for songs-Uhuru kwanza (Freedom first) emphasized the determination of the African people to free themselves from colonialism, Africa Lady was a tribute to the African women for their tender love and care, Bantu was a tribute to all Africans and Kucheza Blues (To dance Blues) focused on celebration throughout the African world when freedom is finally achieved and Africa continent secures its independence. Randy chose Kiswahili because he was assured by the African ambassadors at the UN at that time that it is the language that adequately represented the whole of Africa. (http: // pages/randy-weston-uhuru-afrika.html 12/10/2010.). Uhuru Africa is celebrated fifty years of its existence this year.

Kiswahili has also found a place in the international film and movie industry. Many movies and films whose settings are African continent appropriate Kiswahili. In the Disney movie The Lion King, many Kiswahili words, phrases, characters names such as; simba (lion), rafiki (friend), hakuna matata (No troubles or no problems) have been used. Kiswahili has also been used in the film Out of Africa. In the East Africa region, especially Tanzania and Kenya, Kiswahili is the main language of locally produced films and movies such as those aired by Citizen TV such as; Beba Beba (Cary Cary) and Mother-in-Law. Both apply code-switching and code-mixing of English, Kiswahili and SHENG, though the main language is Kiswahili.

Over the years, Kiswahili has played a significant role in the Kanga (leso) industry by advancing linguistic creativity in Swahili women's attire and effective non-verbal communication. Its roots in East Africa dates back to the 200 years of Portuguese rule in the East Coast of Africa from 1497-1698. Its name leso is adapted from the Portuguese word lenco (handkerchief) and kanga is a Kiswahili name for guinea fowl. The Swahili people Africanised the leso by calling it Kanga because the first lesos had dark backgrounds and white spots like the plumage of a guinea fowl ( kanga-aka-leso.html 20/11/2010). The Kanga alias leso is a rectangular piece of flowered and patterned cotton sheet with printed Kiswahili words along the bottom of one length. These words originally were proverbs, metaphors, aphorisms, slogans and sayings such as mapenzi hayana macho ya kuona (love is blind), mtaji wa maskini ni nguvu zake (a poor man's capital is his body strength) and usimlaumu sisimizi sukari haimalizi (don't blame the ant, it won't finish all the sugar) ( 06/06/2010).

Presently, other writing are used such as statements, salutation and congratulatory messages i.e upendo na amani ametujalia Mungu (God has given us Love and Peace) na Hongera Barak Obama (Congratulation Barak Oboma). This last message was printed on lesos to celebrate and congratulate Barak Obama for his election as president of the US. As the whole world embrace globalisation so do Kanga printers and users. Today, English is getting its place in the Kanga message printing as it is in the case with the Kanga printed no one but you.

Kanga/leso uses have expanded over the years. Originally Swahili women used Kanga to wrap themselves not necessary as a piece of cloth to cover oneself but for Identity and communication. The various social issues especially those related to intra women relationship such as competition among co-wive or women over a man's love, spite, remorse and expression of emotions are printed on the lesos. This is a communication art that have been with Waswahili women for many centuries. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Arabs and Swahili traders introduced the leso into the hinterland of East Africa as an item of barter trade. Presently the Kanga alias Leso is used for different purposes by women across East Africa region. It is used as a medium of communication and attire of identity as do Coastal women of Swahili origin; it is also used as; an apron, as a mat, head scarf, shawl, bed cover and baby carrier. Presently the leso is undergoing a revolution in its uses. In this new millennium, the kanga is used to make women and men's outfits.

Observations and Conclusions

Form the above discussion, Kiswahili is steadily claiming and asserting its position in the family of essential global languages. For centuries, it has enhanced trade between East Africa and the outside world. During colonial times, it was instrumental in colonial rule and in the struggle for independence mainly in East Africa. Presently, it is still an important language for political, economic and social discourse in East Africa. Internationally, Kiswahili has been instrumental in expounding African Diaspora identity. It is increasingly becoming the language of the internet. Currently, there is no continent that does not house Kiswahili as either one language spoken by some of their citizens or a subject of study in their learning institutions. It is becoming an important language that facilitates ones journey into the African soul and culture. In East African, there is growing Kiswahili linguistic nationalism and more and more people are accepting Kiswahili as an important language to mediate their issues. Recently Kiswahili nationalism was asserted by Kenyans when Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) issued a circular that Deaf students would be exempted from sitting Kiswahili examination in 2010 KNEC examination. Many Kenyans, including the parents of the students objected to the move terming it a way of denying the students a claim of part of who they are and continue marginalizing them. This rise in Kiswahili nationalism made it easy for people not to object to its inclusion as an official language alongside English and Kenya Sign Language in Kenya's new constitution.

Is evident that Kiswahili will continue with its linguistic conquest for many years to come cause of the many reasons which I can summarize into five:

* Pan-African linguistics: Kiswahili is getting accepted as a language to represent the African person.

* Globalization: Present technological advancement in communication has made the one big village which requires of people and nations to have a greater understanding and tolerance of other people and cultures in order to enhance stability and promote world peace.

* Security reasons: The security concerns which caused the U.S to legislate the teaching of Foreign languages are still there but in different forms and source. In the 1950's America's threat came from the Soviet Union and communism, Today's major threat come from Al-Qaida and its global terrorism directed at the U.S but majorly achieved by targeting American interests and its allies or friends globally without remorse for hurting innocent people and nations in the process. Several of these attacks have been executed in East Africa i.e. the 1998 twin bombings of US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; 2002 bombing of Israeli Paradise Hotel-Kikambala and the failed downing of Israeli plane; 2010 attacks by Al-Shabab-an affiliate of Al-Qaida in Somaliaon people watching World Cup final match 2010 in an Ethiopian Restaurant in Uganda

* ( 12/uganda-bomb-blasts-kampala13/12/2010). The instability in the horn of Africa and the recent findings that the cream of Al-Qaida have been hosted in this region, forces the international community to learn Kiswahili for security reasons.

* U.S-China competing interests in Africa: China seems to be the new threat to American world supremacy after the Soviet Union. Like the former competitor, China is also a communist country and a rising technology superpower with great economic prowess. The threat of the 1950's from the Soviets which forced American to teach Kiswahili and other foreign language has come full circle but in spiracle form. China is taking up the teaching of Kiswahili seriously and introducing the teaching of Chinese in Kenyan universities. It's Radio China international (CRI) has very good Kiswahili programs and also Chinese language lessons. China is currently the biggest investor in Africa. From the Wikileaks dossier, the U.S is not happy with China's ever growing business investments in Africa (Sarturday Nation, 11th Nov 2010). Therefore, US-China competing interests in the region will advance Kiswahili has each invests in the development of the language for business purposes and mainly for check-mate objective.

The formation of the East African community is also a fertilizer in the growth and advancement of Kiswahili. Kiswahili is the official language of the EAC (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi). This community has a population of 135 million who use Kiswahili as a lingual franca. This is a huge market for any investor! Presently, these states have established a common market with no tariffs for goods produced in the region, and have an objective of establishing a federal government (28). It would therefore be paramount for any investor to have command of Kiswahili. It is evident that Kiswahili will continue with its linguistic conquest abated or unabated in all spheres of life regionally and internationally, probably one hundred years from now it will be an equal competitor in the language market with Mandarin, Spanish and English if it will not have overtaken them.


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Susan Chebet-Choge, M.Phil.

susanchoge@gmail. com

Lecturer, Department of Language and Literature Education

Masinde Muliro University of Science & Technology, Kenya

Kakamega, Kenya

(1) A good number of Kiswahili speakers are of mixed descent. They are descended from cross race between African and Arabs, Indians, Persians, Chinese, Europeans etc. Lamu Waswahili in particular are of mixed Chinese and African descend. This is because the in the 17th Century a Chinese traders ship capsized around Lamu and the survivors settled in the Island intermarrying with Indigenous Waswahili. Recently one Swahili family traced the roots of their great patriarch in China.

(2) Ndugu is similar to comrade, the honorific used in the communist world. However, they differ because ndugu carries the meaning of blood and family relationship which comrade does not.

(3) Presently, harambee schools are called district schools.

(4) Idi Amin was himself a fluent Kiswahili speaker having learnt it in Kenya in the late 1940's when he served in the 21st King's Africa Rifles (KAR) infantry brigade at Gilgil, and in the 1950's when his battalion was sent to quell the mau-mau uprising (

(5) FRELIMO (Frente de Libertacao de Mozambique (Mozambican Liberation Front), ANC (African National Congress), MPLA (Movemento Popula de Libertacao de Angola (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola), SWAPO (South West Africa's Organisation), ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union), ZAPU (Zimbabwe Africa's Peoples Union)

(6) Tanzania is an acronym from Tanganyika and Zanzibar

(7) Museveni himself is a fluent speaker of Kiswahili having learnt it in Tanzania where he was a student at Dar-Es Salaam University and later having used it in his guerrilla warfare against Obote's government and as a guerrilla fighter in the FRELIMO liberation movement in Mozambique.

(8) The Kiswahili versions and the numerical adjective 'wawili (two)'are my own additions.

(9) The English Translations are mine.

(10) KBC was by then known as Voice of Kenya (VOK)

(11) Karenga added an extra /a/ to kwanza to form kwaanza or kwanzaa so as to create seven letters since seven is a significant number in Kwanzaa festival. The seven letters stand for the seven days of celebration, seven principles, seven symbolic objects and seven fold paths. Seven also represents the seven children that were in Karenga's slave movement. Therefore, each child would represent one letter of Kwanzaa.

(12) Karenga is currently the chair of black studies at California State University in Long Beach and also a leading proponent of the Black Cultural Movement. He chose a Kiswahili word for the festival, though many black Americans trace their roots to West Africa, to illustrate the point that African diaspora claim their African identity across the African continent.

(13) Karenga may have been influenced by the religious practices of the Jews as expounded in Deuteronomy in which the Israelite people were told that the first fruit is God's be they of animal or plants. In many Indigenous African religions too, offering of the first fruit was done for religious purposes. Among the Nandi of Kenya, first fruits Tongoanik of plants or animals were taken to the prayer place Kapkoross for offering in exchange for blessings.

(14) TUKI is an acronym for Taasisi Ya Uchunguzi wa Kiswahili.

(15) Kinjeketile was the leader of Majimaji rebellion against the colonial rule in Tanaganyika.

(16) Rosa-Mistika is also the name of the main character in this novel.

(17) Amezidi is a Kiswahili independent clause/sentence she or he or it is too much. It has three morphs {a-me-zidi}. {a} is 1/2 (a-wa) ngeli marker. However, other ngeli and noun subject markers are also used such as in; njaa imezidi (9/10, i-zi) and magonjwa yamezidi (5/6, Li-Ya) (Choge 2010).

(18) Walenisi is an acronym from Kiswahili sentence Wale ni sisi.

(19) Bertoncini-Zukhova herself has translated many Kiswahili short stories to Italian

(20) The English Translations are mine.

(21) KCPE Is an abbreviation of Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and KSCE is an abbreviation of Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education.

(22) Audio-lingual is also known by the names Army Method, New Key and Aural-oral

(23) These abbreviations refer to:-SIDA> Swedish International Development Agency, DANIDA> Danish International Development Agency & NORAD> Norwegian Agency for Development.

(24) Said Ahmed Mohamed has written Kiswahili literature texts extensively and many of his books have been selected as set books for students doing KCSE examinations in Kenya. Example of such books are Utengano and Amezidi. He is currently at Bayreuth University, Germany. From Kenya he went to Osaka University, Japan

(25) Airtel is a new name for what was Zain.

(26) English as also adopted safari as its word with the same meaning from Kiswahili.

(27) I got this information about the popularity of Malaika in Ghanaian social life from Mr. Agana Agana Nsiire from University of Ghana during the Software Localisation training 30th Nov to 3th Dec 2010 at Koffi Annan Centre of excellence in ICT, Ghana.

(28) Rwanda and Burundi have joined ECA making it an open member community and no longer confined to former British colonies in East Africa (Tanzania, Kenya & Uganda). It is believed that independent South Sudan state will join the federation upon its cessation from the Northern Sudan in the January 4th referendum.
Name Nationality University & Country

Prof. Said A. Mohamed (24)      Tanzania
Bayreuth, Germany

Dr. Lioba Moshi                 Tanzania
Georgia, USA

Prof. Farouk Topan              Tanzania

Prof. Karsten Legere            German
Goteborg, Sweden

Prof. Assibi A. Amidu             Ghana
TrOndheim, Norway

Prof. Ruth Mukama               Uganda
Makerere, Uganda

Prof. Arvi Hurskainen           Finland
Helsinki, Finland

Prof. Abdullaziz Lodhi          Tanzania
Uppsala, Finland.

Prof. Maartin Mous              Dutch
Leiden, Netherlands

Prof. Nelly Gromova             Russia
Moscow, Russia

Prof. Ellen Contini-Morava      America
Virginia, USA

Prof. Nathan O. Ogechi          Kenya
Moi, Kenya

Prof. Elena Zubkova Bertoncini  Italy
Naples, Italy

Prof. Nassor Nakazima H.        Japan
Tokyo, Japan
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