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International Mother Tongue Day Symposium

Iziko Slave Lodge


International Mother Language Day is celebrated annually on 21 February. Iziko Museums of South Africa, together with the One City, Many Cultures Project will be hosting a public symposium at the Iziko Slave Lodge on Saturday, 24 February 2018 from 10h30 until 13h00.

The symposium will bring together linguists, writers, poets, artists, researchers and scholars, historians, heritage practitioners, cultural activists, policy makers and the public into a space of dialogue to talk about the importance of our linguistic heritage in nation building and social cohesion.

Iziko has brought together this diverse and dynamic group of speakers including  Adv Sonwabile Mancotywa, CEO of the National Heritage Council; Ms Xolisa, Researcher and Educator in Multilingualism in Learning; Dr Mantoa Montintyane, Senior Lecturer and Head of African Languages in Literatures in School of Languages and Literatures at UCT; Mr Martinus Fredericks; Emile Jansen, Founder of Pioneer South African Hip Hop Noise and NPO Heal the Hood Project, Breakdancer, Author and MC and Dr Matthias Brenzinger, Director of Centre for African Language Diversity – School of African Gender Studies, Anthropology and Linguistics UCT.

This year marks the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela  and this symposium draws inspiration from his observation that, “without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savour their songs.” 

For any further information please contact Wandile Kasibe at Tel. 021 481 3804 or email Sthembele Harmans 021 481 3812

International Mother Language day is a UNESCO initiative. The founding purpose of this global initiative is to promote multilingualism, and encourage and create awareness of the usage and preservation of our rich and diverse linguistic heritage across the globalising world.


– ENDS –

Issued by:  Kim Lindeboom
Communications Coordinator: Department of Advancement, Iziko Museums of South Africa
Landline:021 481 38974 Cell: 083 356 6043

On behalf of: Office of the CEO, Iziko Museums of South Africa

Notes to editor:

About Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko)

Iziko operates 11 national museums, the Planetarium and Digital Dome, the Social History Centre and three collection‑specific libraries in Cape Town.  The museums that make up Iziko have their own history and character, presenting extensive art, social and natural history collections that reflect our diverse African heritage.  Iziko is a public entity and non-profit organisation that brings together these museums under a single governance and leadership structure. The organisation allows *free access to all individuals on commemorative days, (*excluding the Castle of Good Hope and Planetarium). Visit our webpage at, join our online community on Facebook ( or follow us on Twitter (@Iziko_Museums) for regular updates on events, news and new exhibitions. 

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Dear Visitor

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