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29 September 2021
President Cyril Ramaphosa says aweh to UWC-led team involved in first Kaaps dictionary
President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated the team from the Centre for Multilingualism and Diversities Research (CMDR) at the University of the Western Cape and the community NGO Heal the Hood Project, for the launch of the first Afrikaaps dictionary

“This is a language synonymous with Cape Town and it draws on the languages of the Khoi and San, Dutch, Portuguese, English, Arabic and South-East Asian languages,” he said during his Heritage Day speech on 24 September. 

Ramaphosa went on to say: “This important resource will not only contribute to our heritage and to the historical record, but is also a beacon of pride for the many residents of Cape Town who speak Afrikaaps.” 

View the clip HERE.

Afrikaaps project lead and CMDR Director, Quentin Williams, said Kaaps is a language in Southern Africa created in the 1500s.

“For decades, activists, academics, artists, authors campaigned for the empowerment of Kaaps speakers and the transformation of schools, universities and the economy. With this dictionary project, launched on 26 July, we are taking the first real step in that direction.” 

The president’s high praise comes as UWC this week celebrates research and innovation with a four-day programme focusing on its contribution to fighting and understanding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

UWC Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, Professor José Frantz, said: “The essence of Research Week is the contribution we make to society through our research. If we relate this to the notion of Afrikaaps, we would say: “Sal jy mind as ek vir jou ‘n klein vragie vra? Waar brand dit met die Covid ding?” This speaks to us ensuring that as we share the information from the research we conduct, it must be at the level that communities can understand.”

Researchers will present and discuss their work, thereby addressing many of the common COVID-19 myths and concerns. The programme also creates a platform for engagement and active scholarship.

For more on UWC Research Week, visit UWC Research Week 2021 schedule.