Ms Vinolia Tshifhango won a language and literature award at the prestigious PanSALB Multilingualism Awards on 15 June. Photo: Vinolia Tshifhango.
Former Vhembe FM presenter and Tshivenda language practitioner Ms Lindelani Vinoliah Tshifhango won a language and literature award at the prestigious PanSALB Multilingualism Awards last Wednesday.
The awards ceremony was held at the Galleria Conference and Events Centre in Sandton, Gauteng. She was honoured for her contribution towards the growth of the Tshivenda language as volunteer for the Nalibali literary organization, as well as her contribution as a writer and leading facilitator at the Tshedza Reading Club, which she had founded with the help of Nalibali.
Tshifhango (28) is originally from Tshisahulu, outside Thohoyandou, but now resides in Johannesburg. The award has elevated her to instant celebrity status as she became the talk of the town. “I still cannot believe it. Winning the prize is a dream come true for me because I have been advocating and promoting the Tshivenda language for a long time. Just being nominated for the prestigious awards was enough and a big honour for me; winning the prize was a bonus. This feels great,” she said.
Tshifhango said it would not have been possible without her late grandmother, who taught her to be fluent in Tshivenda and inspired her love and passion for the language. “My deepest gratitude goes to my late grandmother, Ms Nkhanedzeni Nyamukamadi Matsheka, who ensured that I always spoke Tshivenda fluently and taught me everything she knew about the language and culture. I just wish she was still alive to witness this. I dedicate this award to her, and may her soul rest in peace,” she said.
“To all South African youths, our constitution states that all South African languages are equal, which means that your mother tongue is just as important as the medium of instruction, which is English. Be proud of who you are and where you come from, so that the other tribes can learn to appreciate and respect our language through you. I would also love to thank my family and friends for their unwavering support. Not to mention Nalibali for allowing me to form my own reading club and PanSALB for honouring me. Above all, thank you to the God of Mount Zion, who made it all possible,” Tshifhango said.
Date:25 June 2022 - By: Elmon Tshikhudo
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and was a permanent part of the news team until 2019.