Movement for Democratic Change Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa on Saturday charmed a pre-dominant Ndebele speaking crowd that attended his Bulawayo rally as he attempted to address them in their own vernacular.
Though unpolished and still in need of serious tongue beating to master the clicking language which he admitted, thousands of supporters who thronged White City stadium would leap, scream and shout whenever the youthful leader recited phrases in Ndebele.
“Pardon me, my Ndebele is still being perfected,” he said after attempting a few Ndebele lines.
He promised that in his government, it will be compulsory for every national leader to be able to speak both Shona and Ndebele.
“In the new dispensation (MDC government) we want to make sure that it is compulsory for our national leaders to speak all the languages.
“We do not want language imperialism in the new dispensation, no language should be superior to the other, where you dwarf other people’s languages but you want to advance your own. We are correcting that and it starts with your president” said Chamisa.
He also urged fellow Alliance principals to immediately start some Ndebele lessons to secure positions in the Chamisa led government.
“So Mr Biti you must be serious, you can’t be a leader without leadership. Leadership is about the ability to connect with a community and understanding the culture and traditions of the locals,” said Chamisa to wild cheers from the crowd.
Most politicians in Zimbabwe have come under heavy criticism for failing to master Ndebele language as some are accused of using Shona and English while addressing rallies in Matebeleland region.