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Safeguarding linguistic diversity and multilingualism!


Join Iziko Museums and partners online for a virtual International Mother Language Day celebration


Media images and interview requests, please contact: Zikhona Jafta at

In celebration of International Mother Language Day this year, join Iziko Museums of South Africa – in partnership with University of the Western Cape, The Pan South African Language Board, SupuSupu Khoi Language Project, Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Afrikaanse Taalraad, Swahili Language Board of Southern Africa and National Library of South Africa’s Centre for the Book and Indigenous Languages Action Forum (ILAF) – on Saturday, 20 February from 10h00 until 12h00 for a series of virtual performances, discussions and debates on the safeguarding of linguistic diversity and multilingualism.

Please note that the event is taking place via Zoom – register HERE to join the conversation!

Under the theme Safeguarding linguistic diversity and multilingualism, the virtual event will bring together linguists, writers, poets, artists, researchers, scholars, historians, heritage practitioners, cultural activists, policy-makers and the public – to discuss the importance of South Africa’s linguistic heritage in nation-building, national identity and social cohesion. 

This public engagement draws its inspiration from former President Nelson Mandela, who observed 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 savor their songs.”

For more information, please contact Wandile Kasibe at

Throughout this uncertain period, Iziko has been online and working to showcase our unique work and collections on the website. Visit to explore all that we have on offer, and make sure to like, follow and share our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok!


Issued by: Ellen Agnew
Communications Coordinator: Iziko Museums of South Africa
Telephone: 021 481 3830 Email: 

Issued on behalf of the Office of the CEO, Iziko Museums of South Africa

About International Mother Tongue Day
International Mother Language Day is a UNESCO initiative celebrated every year on 21 February. It has been celebrated since 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity, and multilingualism.  

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 public benefit 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, Groot Constantia and Planetarium and Digital Dome). Visit our webpage at, join our online community on Facebook (, Instagram (@izikomuseumssa) or follow us on Twitter (@Iziko_Museums) for regular updates on events, news and new exhibitions.

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