On February 21, the University of Nairobi community joined the world in celebrating International Mother Language Day- A special day set aside by UNESCO to celebrate and promote the awareness of language and cultural diversity across the world.

The theme for this year’s celebration was “the Beauty of the Mother-Language” and the celebrations were led by department of linguistics which scheduled dozens of events for the day including, scholarly presentations, poems, songs and dance among other artistic performances.

Dozens of students and staff among others attended the event held at ED213 and moderated by Prof. Helga Shrouder.

In his presentation, Dr. Mwaniki Isaiah Ndung’u a linguistics scholar, observed that “We are increasingly witnessing parents who are concerned that the quality of English proficiency will be ruined if their children learned their Mother language. They have a narrow view of institutional heritage function and social as well as cultural language maintenance processes.”

Dr. Mwaniki in his closing remarks noted that, “Linguistic and scientific information shows that indigenous languages are custodians of cultural knowledge of immense socio-cultural and economic resource which remains untapped.”

The clarion call during the event was for Kenyans to embrace mother language because it is the true definition of who we are as a people.