EKEGUSII ENCYCLOPEDIA PROJECT
OCTOBER 2011 BULLETIN
A brief update on work done since July:
We have presented a paper about our work at a symposium in Mombasa. We have been invited to attended a conference in Bamako, Mali. More on this below. We will also be showcasing our work, again, at Kansas University next summer.
NEWS OF EEP IS SPREADING
On Friday 30th Sept we had the opportunity to present a paper to a language and culture symposium in the city of Mombasa. Our title was "The Need to Revitalize and Document Kenyan Indigenous Languages".
Mrs. Gladys Machogu, our lead researcher, accompanied me after we received an invitation from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage.
The symposium brought together culture and language activists, community members and social workers in the region of the Coast Province of Kenya.
Among the presenters was Prof. A S Nabahany, a renowned Kiswahili professor, whose latest book's launch we have been invited to attend on the 15th October.
I was excited by the reaction from my attentive listeners, and there were many positive comments following our presentation, about the dictionary and our achievements. Once again we realised that slowly we are reaching out to other communities who can take a leaf from our book to start their own similar projects.
OTHER INVITATIONS RECEIVED
EEP hs been invited to attend a small conference in Bamako, Mali on translation of constitutions into indigenous languages prior to general elections, later this month. This is in the wake of our country embracing a new constitution which needs to be translated into as many indigenous languages as possible.
Once again EEP will be headed to Kansas University next Summer to showcase our works.
Meanwhile the dictionary is much enriched. We continue to work on it every day. It is good to see our project coming to fruition.
For those who cannot remember why we are doing this work, I give a gentle reminder of our aims below...
Finally, here's a picture from one of our workshops at the University of Nairobi, earlier in the year.
Ekegusii Encyclopedia Project (EEP) is dedicated to Ekegusii; aiming to encourage its use, promotion, preservation and revitalization.
The language is endangered, because although young people are aware of Ekegusii, the world does not encourage its use. Kiswahili and English are the languages of commerce in Kenya, and they are slowly causing Ekegusii to fade away. Already it is a language spoken mainly by the elderly.
If Ekegusii is to survive, authoritative reference materials must be available as paper copies in libraries, but also on-line, so that the young will be encouraged to use them. For the Abagusii, their language is part of their identity and their reality.
Ekegusii must be preserved, and action has to be taken now, whilst enough fluent speakers remain to oversee it.
You can support our effort by making a voluntary donation, by buying promotional materials, or becoming a member by subscription.
Please support us. All donations will be used to preserve, promote and revitalize this language.
NOTE FROM ND:
During September, a meeting of the Vintage Radio Programme Collectors' Circle was held in Leicestershire. Twenty people attended, including members from Belgium and Portugal. A collection was taken, and after meeting our expenses, the surplus was donated to EEP. We are in the process of arranging the money transfer (8 Oct 11).
Emails about the project are welcome.
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