N Cape to honour Ouma Elsie Vaalbooi

Elsie Vaalbooi
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Khoisan language activists have called on government to celebrate the N/uu language during this year’s Heritage Month.

Only four people are still able to speak the ancient language fluently.

The language is estimated to be around 25 000 years old.

Language activist, David Van Wyk, says a commitment was made by former Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Rejoice Mabudafhasi to put the spotlight on the language, and honour Ouma Elsie Vaalbooi – who was the first to resurface as a speaker of the language, however, this never happened.

This year is International Year for Indigenous languages and the community feels having N/uu honoured, would go a long way in trying to preserve it.

The Northern Cape Arts and Culture department’s Conrad Fortune has committed to honour Ouma Elsie Vaalbooi.

“This year as part of our plans is that we would like to honour her, and in the form of doing that we are going to erect a tombstone – in the month of heritage – and also to see how we preserve that language, because there are only four people who can speak the language.”