Kenyans on Twitter React to Presidential Debate in Kiswahili
After conducting the first Kenyan presidential debate entirely in English, debate moderators relented to calls from Kiswahili scholars who advocated for the use of the national language in the second and final debate. And with that, the candidates tackled the most pressing issues such as land and resettlement of the internally displacement persons in Kiswahili.
The scholars warned that continuous use of English language in official and such debates will push Kenyans to losing their identity and unity.
“We define ourselves starting from the language, Kiswahili is our identity and shunning it is equivalent to killing our identity. We derive our unity from our uniformity in our language as well,” Mbiera said.
Going forward the scholars threatened to move to court to pressure the incoming government to be using Kiswahili in all public speeches in all government communications.
“If they don’t want to empress this language, after our appeal today we the Kiswahili lecturers and enthusiast will use all means to ensure government recognizes this language,” Momanyi said. — The Star reported.
In case you missed the Kiswahili part of the debate, watch it here:
What followed was a field day for Kiswahili ‘graders’ on Twitter. Few cared less what the politicians were talking about.
Swahili and IDPs trending twitpic.com/c6tkhy
— D E B B I E. D E B Z (@Niakabelle) February 25, 2013
Oh dear. Swahili time. Half of Twitter suddenly finds itself in the most unfamiliar of territories. #KeDebate13
— Marcus Olang’ (@marcusolang) February 25, 2013
— KANYI WEST (@kenyaholic) February 25, 2013
— Verified (@njiiru) February 25, 2013
— LARRY(@_LARRYizME) February 25, 2013
— Kenyan_Facts (@KResearcher) February 25, 2013
Ati Kisumu Residents are now watching the guy doing the sign Language as Kiswahili is a Foreign Language!! #KEDebate13
— Dida Roberts™ (@DidaTheBRAND) February 25, 2013
Kiswahili is such a beautiful language.This debate is just making it awkward…#KeDebate13
— LYRAOKO MUSIC (@Lyraoko) February 25, 2013
— Liz(@PinkAhadi) February 25, 2013
Martha amesumgumsia swali ya wakibisi Dani ya Buge ……. Eeeeh kiswahili kitukuzwe…..#kedebate13
— ©©Onyango Rich®® (@RICHROJA) February 25, 2013
Ni aibu kuu kwamba Kiswahili hakichukuliwi kama lugha muhimu nchini Kenya #KEDebate13
— Keith A. Omweri (@papa_strike) February 25, 2013
Kiswahili teachers all over the country are grinding their teeth…#Debate254
— Nonni (@Nsonni) February 25, 2013
— Saddique Shaban (@SaddiqueShaban) February 25, 2013
RAO akianza kiswahili ni VITANDAwili tu coz that’s the only land he owns.. #Debate254
— Abwaan Qowdhan • (@gTownPsycho_) February 25, 2013
Surely, they should have 5 mins when answering in Swahili. I just lost track of what Raila is saying. #KEDebate13
— Chrispin Onyancha (@cribar) February 25, 2013
Kwaba, Shaba, Mabo, Sibabu, Dio – Muite is bossing the Swahili session #Debate254
— travel guru (@njooro) February 25, 2013
Nimerisugumsia hiri swari dani ya buge mara migi…..give it up to Karua’s swahili!!! #bravestladyonearth
— mwangikiara(@mwangikiara) February 25, 2013
Big up to Uhuru’s Kiswahili coach.
— Ory Okolloh (@kenyanpundit) February 25, 2013
In English people sounded bright, switch to Swahili and OMG!! Muite sounded like my mtura guy……..chida ya matamuchi
— Adrian Ochieng’ (@ajochieng) February 25, 2013