I have had the privilege of spending a few minutes with a young group of students who go to D’Kar Primary school. These students are San by ethnicity, and their responses to what I talked to them about were brilliant. The big question was to find out whether they are allowed to exercise part of their culture at school and/or are taught some aspects of their culture. It was unfortunately as I expected: they are not taught about their culture at school.
These responses resonated with my yesteryear experience while at school. Back then it was worse than it is now because we were forced to learn the language and culture of the mainstream society, not through any clandestine way or policy, but in public view. When you deprive children of their heritage, you take away their essence of being and deny them the opportunity to know where they are from. Denying children their culture allows you to take away their very roots of existence and, in a scary way, cleanse them their right to belong.
I’m a native speaker of Naro from Botswana’s Ghanzi District. I’m a defender of of Indigenous rights and a strong supporter of inclusive social policy. As a young person from a very marginalized group, I have grown to understand the importance of culture in todays society. Whereas I know that change is inevitable, without the knowledge of where you come from and ideals that you represent, can bring harm to the very fight of the right to self-determination. I support all those who advocate towards them.