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Celebrating linguistic and cultural diversity: join Iziko Museums and partners this International Mother Language Day 

South African Museum

In a series of events, this joint programme seeks to highlight the importance of our mother languages

For media images and interview requests, please contact: Zikhona Jafta at

Iziko Museums of South Africa, Indigenous Languages Action Forum Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Pan South African Language Board, Western Cape Language Committee, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, National Library of South Africa, Afrikaanse Taalraad and City of Cape Town Central Library will be jointly celebrating International Mother Language Day through a series of exciting activities. Under the theme, Celebrating Linguistic and Cultural Diversity, the programme seeks to promote linguistic and cultural diversity.    

On Monday, 21 February at 10h00, Iziko and the above-mentioned partners will host a virtual public engagement featuring language activists, poets, historians, academics, and communities in conversation about the significant role played by languages in both the cultural identity and expression of people.  

The virtual discussion will be facilitated by Dr Nomfundo Mali, Western Cape Senior Provincial Manager at the Pan South African Language Board, and features presentations by Riaan Baartman on Khoekhoegowab; Atta Humphries on South African sign language; Dr Xolisa Guzula on multilingual education; and Marc Jacobs on mother languages and entrepreneurship. IsiXhosa podcaster Babalwa Nonkenge, award-winning poet Nathan Trantraal, and academic Dr Masoka will also partake in the discussion.

JOIN HERE TO PARTICIPATE: Virtual Discussion – 21 February 2022

Also included in the joint programme is an in-person event, at the Iziko South African Museum, on Friday, 18 February with a special focus on the experience of learners and teachers in the classroom. This event will be followed by a virtual panel discussion on Saturday, 19 February on indigenous films and the role they play in enhancing the use of mother languages in society. The panel will be made up of film makers whose work has changed the way we think about languages.

JOIN HERE TO PARTICIPATE: Film Discussion – 19 February 2022

We invite all members of the community to join us in this year’s celebration as we join hands with the rest of the globalising world in paying special attention to the pivotal role played by our mother languages.   

For any further information please contact: Wandile Kasibe at



The Iziko South African Museum is open daily between 09h30 and 15h30; please note that Covid-19 protocols apply.

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Please be advised that all Iziko Museums of South Africa will be closed to the public on Election Day,  Wednesday, 29 May 2024.