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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Scots meets isiXhosa

28th August 2019

During the summer poet and writer Stuart Paterson visited South Africa and stayed at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape province of South Africa. He was able to meet and work alongside students and local poets in the isiXhosa language. IsiXhosa is the language of the Xhosa people of which there were an estimated 8.2 million in 2011 and it is one of the official languages of South Africa of which the late Nelson Mandela was a speaker. The first printed texts in the language date from 1823, in the Latin script, but the oral tradition is far older.

At a special event on 7 June 2019, chaired by English poet Harry Owen and filmed by local newspaper Grocott’s Mail, Stuart Paterson met with isiXhosa praise poets at Amazwi, the South African Museum of Literature. We believe that this is the first time the Scots and isiXhosa languages have shared a platform. Attended by imbongi (praise poet) Dumisa Mpupha, there was a discussion of language, poetry, and activism from the Scottish and South African world views and it is available to watch on Youtube at the following link Http://