by Siba Nkumbi
Need I remind you that there is no rule for pronunciation?
Why do you feel the need to auto-correct me in the middle of a sentence, because that is not how you pronounce a certain word?
Let me tell you this: Pronouncing the word FILM with an ‘I’ (FILIM) doesn’t make me less of a filmmaker.
I am not white; ENGLISH is not my mother tongue.
Just because you were fortunate enough to go to white schools and learn the correct Grammar, I wasn’t.
See, English was taught to me as a second language in isiXhosa i.e. “Namhlanje sizakwenza ii- FIGURES OF SPEECH bantwana bam” instead of “ Class, today we are going to learn FIGURES OF SPEECH”.
It wasn’t easy reading between the lines but I managed.
So excuse you for thinking there is something hilarious when I pronounce some words in a way that you’re not used to. Be glad that you were taught in English. Forgive me if I don’t sound intellectual enough for you when I pronounce my FILM with an I (FILIM)!
Unlike you, I stand corrected. To be precise, I will not conform into pronouncing words with a twang so that I can fit in a certain box. When I speak, I speak because I want to make sense and I am getting the message across.
Maybe before you chuckle to yourself as you find my pronunciation ‘strange’ consider this. The only luxury I ever had when I was growing up in the dusty streets of Lingelihle in Cradock was the ability to go to school.
Barefoot as I might have been at times I endured. You know, Momma made sure that my siblings and I went to school with money she got from selling fish and Russians (Pork sausages) so that at least we’d be able to wear a school uniform and pay school fees.
I wrote this note to you so that you take time to think twice.
I didn’t write this note because I was angry.
I want us to work together so that we can make this world a better place for the next generation.
That is called wisdom.
I don’t blame you for your ignorance. It is a deadly human flaw. In fact some humans are so unfortunate to a point that they take it to the grave.
You have a choice to learn my fellow Black person and repair your faults.
Let us make a great contribution to the brothers and sisters out there that are struggling with self-esteem.
Let us do it for that speaker who is afraid to speak in public simply because s/he’s scared to be laughed at when s/he speaks.
My fellow Black person, it is now time to wake up. Let’s stop killing our own nation. I didn’t write this to offend anyone, I wrote it for freedom of expression. Let’s work together to break the chain
From a filmmaker, a writer and a poet that pronounces FILM with an ‘I’ (FILIM).
Previous articles by Siba