A Kenyan radio broadcast that makes you fall in love with Kikwayu language and culture · Global Voices

Shaggs Blogs: Kenyan radio broadcast in Kikwaiu. Photo posted with approval

Editor’s note: From April 28, 2022, Shaggs Blogs will use a Twitter account @DigiAfricanLanguage To share her experiences in reviving and promoting African languages. It is part of an ongoing campaign on social media to celebrate online linguistic diversity. For more information on the campaign, click here.

Shaggs Blogs is a radio show featuring presenters on the origins of Gikwayu (Kikwayu) speakers — the third largest of the country’s languages ​​— in rural Kenya in the 1990s, presented by Watiomo and Gyudi (pseudonyms), a duet on a propaganda program.

We were intrigued by a lot of what was happening around us. This (podcast) is heavily borrowed from being young, curious, imaginative, mocking us and appreciating the environment around us.

We were more passionate about what was happening around us, as this radio broadcast required a youthful, curious, creative and sense of humor and greatly appreciated the surrounding environment.

As part of our ongoing series confirming the work of activists supporting African languages ​​in the digital arenas, we have reached out to radio hosts.

Rising Voices (RV): Please tell us about yourself and your language related work?

Shagz Chronicles (SC): Shagz Chronicles is a podcast that aims to make people fall in love with the Gĩkũyũ (Kikuyu) language and to use language as a stepping stone to understand their culture. We strive to teach, learn and connect with others who engage to be part of the conversation. We make the language fun to learn through stories, common sayings, proverbs, etc. The stories that are part of our education within an indigenous setting as a way of advancing our language within the digital space.

blogs disagreementShaggs Blogs: Radio Broadcasting was created to make people love the Gikwayu (Kikwayu) language, and to use the language as a cornerstone to understand their culture. Our goal is to teach, educate and connect with influential others involved in the dialogue. We also made language learning enjoyable through stories that mostly contained gossip and aphorisms, etc. The stories we share stem from our education within the original component as a way to support our language through the digital arena.

Rising voice: What is the current state of your language on the internet and in reality?

SC: We have made some good profits both offline and online. The language is often spoken offline and it has made progress in terms of young and old who use it to communicate especially in business due to the prejudice “Mkikuyu ni wa biashara” (A Kikuyu person is only concerned with making money / business management).

In terms of online, there have been significant contributions to the language from around the world. It’s through podcasts and poetry. On YouTube, for example, you will find many storytelling channels, such as Jeff Kuria TV, Kikuyu digital TV, among others. It shows the potential for growth. Thanks to the internet, you can feel at home from anywhere in the world.

broadcast: We have made good profits at both the real and online level, the language is mostly spoken by those who are on the offline scene, who have spread widely to reach young people and adults who speak it to communicate, especially at work as as a result of the “Mkikuyu ni wa biashara” approach (i.e., the interests of the Kikway-speaking person are limited in addition to making money / running a business).

As for the internet connection, it is striking the contributions to language from around the world through the broadcasting of programs and poetry.For example, on YouTube you will find many channels that offer stories, including Jeff Korea TV. Kikuyu digital TV, This shows the possibility of its development. Thanks to the internet, we can feel at home anywhere in the world.

Rising Voices: Describe the challenges that prevent your language from being fully used on the Internet. Is there a lack of the right framework from a policy-making perspective:

SC: A good number of people within the digital space have negative attitudes towards the use of indigenous languages ​​as they associate it with tribal affiliation.

broadcastA large segment of the people within the digital arena have negative attitudes towards the use of indigenous languages ​​as they associate it with tribal life.

Rising Voices: Describe some of the technical and technological challenges that prevent your language from being fully used online.

SC: Translation of the language. Only a handful of online users understand the language. If indigenous languages ​​are given an opportunity to be translated just like Kiswahili, it would make a huge difference and impact. This will ensure growth of the language.

broadcastLanguage translation: There are only a few internet users who understand the language. But if it provided the opportunity to translate the mother tongues, as is happening in the Kiswahili language, it would have made a huge difference and impact, and would have ensured the development of the language.

Rising Voices: What are some of the reasons why you chose to use the broadcast medium among other platforms like blogging, floving, etc.?

SC: For us, we chose podcasting because it allows our listeners to immerse themselves fully in the programs. Our listeners can listen to us anywhere, whether in Kenya on a train or anywhere else in the world on the beach, as podcasting listeners can also engage passively.

broadcast: For us, we chose to use it because we would allow the listeners to immerse themselves completely in the program so that the listeners could hear us from anywhere in Kenya on the train or anywhere else in the world on the beach where the broadcast allows listeners to tune in emotionally.

Rising votes: List some of the assumptions that made you say either yes or no? Are there any surprises as well?

SC: Our assumptions were that we would naturally take a while to have an impact since we are such a niche. Also that we would upload content at our own pace. Little did we know that our content was unique in its kind and we had to increase the rate of impact of this content.

We were surprised by the recording of our content. Our fans get involved with our content and share it even further and wider. It is humble to know that we are making an impact out of our passion.
Another surprise is that we are talking to three generations, as in our people [gen X]millennials and Genl Z.

broadcast: Our assumptions naturally gave us time to make an impact that would make us a niche, and we carried the content our own way, and so little did we know that our content was unique, which forced us to increase its production content.

What surprised us was the extent to which our content accommodated our audience’s integration of our content and shared it more and more widely, and we did not think we made an impact with our passion, and the other surprise is that we are talking to three generations, our generation (Generation X), Millennials and Generation Z.

Rising Voices: What technological steps do you think could encourage more language use online by either Internet companies or digital platform owners?

SC: Digital platforms can start by designing native digital tools and also continue to support accessibility and connectivity.

broadcastDigital platforms can be created with native digital design tools, and they can continue to support access and connectivity.

Rising voices: The current growth of online and offline language tends more towards the oral and auditory aspects of language, so what impact can it have on its written and read aspects?

The Shagz Chronicles Podcast Logo

Logo Podcast Shaggs Blogs

SC: Of course, because of the education and social systems, the majority are more inclined towards audio than writing. Writing is an aspect that is primarily reserved for scholars.

The growth of oral language has a positive effect on written aspects of the language because it provides a much-needed foundation for writing skills

The leaning towards oral also means that we have a great opportunity to turn oral speakers into writers

Broadcasting: Due to educational and social systems, most people naturally tend more towards the audio part than the written part. The written aspect is mainly devoted to scholars.

Oral development of a language has a positive effect on the writing aspects of a language because it provides an essential foundation for writing skills. The tendency towards oral aspect also means that it has a great opportunity to transfer oral speakers to writers. wear.

Rising Voices: Does it matter to some of the speakers you meet online or offline? And if so, what can / what happens to make sure that people who use or want to learn the language are not set on listening?

SC: The majority of language speakers are concerned that we have fewer and fewer people who can write the language. We need a platform that develops both oral and written aspects of the language, e.g. poetry, for us, that transcends both written and oral skills

broadcast: Most language speakers fear that only a very small group can write the language, we need a platform to develop the oral and written areas of language such as poetry for our written and oral skills.

Rising voices: What firm steps do you think they can take to encourage young people to learn their language or maintain language use?

SC: The use of our language in everyday activities. Exists and thrives in everyday spaces. To teach and pass on language in a way that young people understand.

Broadcast: The steps are to use our language in daily activities by demonstrating its presence and incorporating it well in everyday arenas, as well as teaching and communicating the language in a way that young people understand.

Leave a Comment