Swahili was developed by the Arab conquerors
Stabroek News
April 12, 2002

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Dear Editor,

I refer to a letter captioned "African languages are dying" [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ] by one Safiya (SN 28.3.2) wherein Safiya asks a number of questions. I shall answer only one of her questions - Why are African languages dying?

The reasons why African languages are dying are many. In most parts of Africa, the languages of the colonialists, whether European or Arab, have been imposed on Blacks and they have accepted those languages.

In parts of East Africa, for example, the Swahili language is destroying the native African languages. Swahili was a language produced by the Arab conquerors and slave-dealers in East Africa. It is a kind of Arab patois. Swahili was used to simplify Arab colonial rule and has a high proportion of Arabic words as well as some English and Indian languages such as Hindi, Urdu and Gujrati.

When the British were leaving East Africa, after having promoted English, they then promoted Swahili. But the greatest proponents and promoters of Swahili were and still are the Indian traders since it was easier to deal with one's customers in one language rather than several. Swahili was a language created by foreigners for the interest of foreigners and has been destroying native African languages.

ACDA has been promoting Swahili, a language which has no connection with the African people of Guyana and a language which bears the historic badge of foreign domination.

May I in turn ask Safiya why she has adopted or retained an Arab name rather than an African one?

Yours faithfully,

Accabre Atta