Nongcebo McKenzie celebrates her right to speak her mother-tongue


Nongcebo McKenzie, Ukhozi FM presenter is inspired by the South African Constitution and the fact that our right to speak the language of our choice is enshrined.

Nongcebo McKenzie
Nongcebo McKenzie, Ukhozi FM presenter tells us why she loves talking and listening to South Africa’s 11 official languages. (Image: Nongcebo McKenzie, Facebook)

Nongcebo McKenzie

I’m lucky enough to work for Ukhozi FM; the biggest radio station in South Africa. Also the second largest station in the world, Ukhozi FM is a national isiZulu radio station that is part of the SABC Public Broadcast Services portfolio of radio stations.

I love working for the Ukhozi FM brand because as a public broadcast services station, we get to create nutritious and tasty content that empowers and educates our listeners. More than that though, I love broadcasting in isiZulu – it’s just so colourful for me. My job is to share information with 7.5-million listeners in a language that they love and enjoy; isiZulu. A truly beautiful language that is so rich with its many shades.

That’s the beauty of our African languages; whether it be Tshivenda (which I really would love to learn one day) or Afrikaans (which I find so rhythmic) or the way SeSotho speakers roll the ‘r’ from the back of their throats, I find our African languages fascinating.

I enjoy listening to our SABC sister station Umhlobo Wenene and I particularly enjoy their live sport commentary because I love the isiXhosa analogies

I’m glad that I live in a country with a Constitution that guarantees the right to speak all our 11 official languages and makes them all equal. The South African Constitution provides for 11 official languages in our beautiful country: Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, sePedi, seSotho, seTswana, siSwati, tshiVenda and xiTsonga.

Section 6 of the Constitution states that everyone has the right to use the language and participate in the cultural life of his or her choice – though no one may do so in a manner inconsistent with any provision of the Bill of Rights.

Ngiyaziqhenya ngokuba ngowaseNingizimu Afrika. Ngiyaziqhenya ngoMthethosisekelo wezwe lethu, meaning, “I beat my chest with pride because I am a child of South Africa. I stand tall when I know that ours is the best Constitution in the world”.

I am inspired by my Constitution.

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