Dr. Wambi Gulere ku mikolo gy'olunaku lw'ensi yonna olw'ennimi ennansi olw'omwaka 2015
The role of languages in realizing a value-based society
A paper presented at the
Mother Tongue Day Symposium in Uganda
21st February, 2015
By Cornelius Wambi Gulere
Theme: Local Languages for Global Citizenship: Spotlight on Science
What holds our
•A society holds together through the quality of its shared values (virtues), which
are produced through a shared conversation. (Sachs, 1997)
•Values create safe, secure, loving environments
that encourage the development of right character. (Neil Hawkes)
Kisoga philosophy on discipline
Proverb: "Wealth is
discipline" – "Obugaiga Mpisa"
•This proverb embeds truth (amazima), honesty (obutuufu), integrity (obuvumu), love (obugonzi),
peace (obudembufu), justice (obwenkania), cleanliness (obuyondho), hardwork (okukola einho), frugality (okwefubaku), punctuality (obwangu), participation
(okwetabira), care (okufaayo), gentleness (obwikaikamu), compassion (okwendeza), empathy (okusaasira), helpful (obuyambi) unity (obweyimbi),
listen (obuwulize) …
Proverb: "Poverty is discipline" – "Obwavu Mpisa"
manifests negative baviours like: lying (okulimba), corruption (obunanfuusi, obugubuze), glutony (omuluulu), envy (eikoda), jealousy (eighali), hatred (obukyayi),
intolerance (eisini,), time wastage (obwonhoonhi bw’ebiseera), dirtiness (obunhaga), laziness (obunafu), selfishness / pride (okwemanha, obutayendeza), carelessness
(obulagaadhavu), chaotic (obutabangufu / obutabangulo, obuyombi), division (obweyawuze), belligerence (belegye / obukulumbavu)…
4 Way Test of the things we think say and do?
•Is it the Truth?
•Is it Fair?
•Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
it Beneficial to all concerned?
•Self-less service is a value-based vocabulary that we need cultivate
in our languages
•Rotary International founder Paul Harris instituted the 4-way Test to promote "service above self" among professionals and business people.
•Rotary values the rights of others & promotes respect for all individuals.
The Scouts Motto and Promise
•The Scout motto: Always Be Prepared.
•The Scout Promise:
Oh my honour I promise to do my best to do
my duty to always help those in need for God and My Country to obey the scout law.
•Baden Powell founded
the scouts movement on 22 February 1907 in order to promote the values of preparedness and service to those in need. Scouting promotes empathy, love, obedience, diligence, punctuality.
Namasagali College Anthem
•Students are we
•We strife to be
•Wise, pious, pure and true
•To love each other and bring God’s goodness to our dear nation
•Always be there
•On Time and duty’s
•Being in the precincts of Uganda National Cultural Center brings fond memories of my old school whose
main duty was to nurture Ugandans with international values.
•Through Music, Dance, Drama Productions this
goal was pursued to great success.
Uganda National Anthem
•May God Uphold thee
•We lay Our future in thy hands
•Together we stand!
first stanza of the Uganda National Anthem seeks to promote the values of submission, unity, freedom, liberty, togetherness.
•It embeds love, respect, care, … which are universal
Land of Freedom
•Our Love and Labour we give
•And with neighbours all
•At our Country’s call
•In peace and Friendship we live!
vocabulary in this stanza includes freedom, love, labour, give, peace, friendship.
•It promotes good neighbourliness and community.
creates an environment of love and comradeship.
•The land that feeds us
•By Sun and fertile soils grown
our own dear land
•We shall always stand
•The Pearl of Africa’s crown
•In this stanza, the value based vocabulary used is in terms of praise and self-esteem. Adjectives like dear, pearl, crown, fertile, and words that connote unity – us, our, we, own promote the value of togetherness,
Buganda Anthem Chorus
•Twesimye Nnyo x2
•Ekitiibwa kya Buganda Kyava dda
•Appreciation is the value based vocabulary emphasized here.
•It also promotes self-esteem (ekitiibwa) and confidence among the people.
•This leads to a more positive and ethically based conduct.
Busoga anthem Chorus
ba nkabi inho
•Yenga Twesiimye inho
•Olwa Inhaife ono Busoga Kibbumba ye yatugha
•Olw’ekilabo kino ekikologho
•Busoga atebenkerenga ense
•Here, we have the value of appreciation, togetherness, unity, peace.
•The use of language that
reinforces love, self-esteem is key to the building of communities with common goals and purpose.
The East African
•Jumuiya Yetu sote tuilinde
•Umoja wetu ni nguzo yetu
•Idumu Jumuiya yetu.
•Let us all protect our Community
•We should work hard, to Strengthen it.
•Our unity is our pillar
•So sustain/uphold our Community .
•Here, the East Africans are craving for protection, community, working hard, strengthening the community through unity.
•By promoting such value based vocabulary, the EAC can overcome the tendencies toward selfish business activities
and political strife.
•"Let us all protect our community" calls for a civil, caring and compassionate society
The African Anthem chorus
•Let us all unite and
•The victories won for our liberation
•Let us dedicate ourselves to rise together
•To defend our liberty and unity
•Twenatwena twegaite era tusagambire ghalala
•Obughanguzi obwokununulibwa kwaife
•Okutaasa eidembe no obwegaisi bwaife. -
•"Africa Unite" is the famous call that singer Bob Marley from Jamaica left with us.
anthem promotes value-based vocabulary in words like unite, celebrate, victory, dedicate, together, liberty.
•The value words such as respect, tolerance, trust, resilience, compassion
and responsibility are part of our anthems, names, songs, stories.
•We need to project value based vocabulary much more in our daily language use.
Adopting Language with positive human values
•Our future depends on all people living their lives based on positive, rather than limiting values.
•adopting, and living by, a set of community agreed positive human values has a great impact on the development of society.
and Mass media need to use and create awareness of the value of self, others and the environment
•Research undertaken by the Barrett Values Centre (January 2013) showed that British
people thought that Britain was increasingly experiencing a set of limiting values, based on: consumerism, money, greed and a celebrity culture. Limiting values such as bureaucracy, violence and fear were identified as worrying examples of current British
values. Yet, people said that their personal values were generally more positive.
Some Consequences of value-based Language use
I was the Editor in Chief of Kodh’eyo Lusoga Newspaper (1996-8) I rejected any articles that promoted unethical behaviour.
•Hon. Amama Mbabazi recently told
youth who were pushing him into the 2016 presidential contest that, "speed kills, slow down, am a strong NRM member."
•I was sued by some people who felt that I was favouring one side.
•Ofwono Opondo uses very strong language which you can find in the New Vision Newspaper Friday 20 2015, 6
Spokesperson of NRM uses the "I- it relationship" while the former SG uses the "I – thou relationship."
Learn a Common Language
a deep understanding of words, such as respect, by having opportunities to practice them at school, home, workplace, recreation.
the values words the people learn
a common language.
•An ethical vocabulary promotes the development of ethical intelligence
•the ability to live with a heightened awareness of the value of self, others
and the environment constitutes the common language that is devoid of prejudices, selfish interests and the machinations of beliefs and ideology.
•Values are universal. They can be
interpreted and translated from one culture and language to another without being changed.
What is the role of our schools?
schools bring together parents, children in the hands of teachers and school community.
•Schools need to adopt value-based curriculums in order to raise pupils self-esteem and confidence.
•Schools can provide a platform on which staff and pupils develop morally and ethically.
•repetition and reinforcement
of the values words, across the curriculum, is important for reinforcing their meaning.
•The children learn to be polite, produce quality work, respect staff, parents, other people
and they are well behaved
What is the Value of Multilingualism?
•We live in homes, schools, workplaces which are
multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-faith.
•Religions can often divide people but values unite them.
all find respect and harmony by adopting a common set of values.
•Values transcend the boundaries of language and culture.
more languages one is able to use the more sets of values they can enjoy:
freedom, peace, unity, resilience, patience, esteem, care, joy, love, integrity, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness (obwikaikamu), self-control, mindfulness, frugality, punctuality, orderliness.
•Multilingualism promotes personal holistic competence.
What Soft Skills do we need?
•Soft skills include: communicative competence, relational trust, self and other awareness, resilience,
agency and ethical intelligence.
•Mother Tongue should be enriched with soft skilling vocabulary.
play a central role in developing the mindset required by business leaders.
•These values, attitudes and behavioural traits are needed to solve complex personal, social and work related
Compassion and Emotional Intelligence
•Value-based language helps in developing the compassion and emotional
•The ability to work effectively in relationship with others to meet important challenges relies on such intelligence.
and qualities, such as compassion and emotional intelligence cannot be observed or exercised except in relationship with others
•in an ever-increasing complex world people need much
•Language vocabulary and practices that promote ethical and moral values build value-based
•Words like: Love, Peace, Trust, Respect, Care, Community, Empathy, Justice, Integrity, Responsibility, Compassion, Punctuality, Orderliness , Excellence, Selflessness , cleanliness, Enjoyment, Participation and Resilience
•Avoid words that promote hatred, conflict , and destruction. Be reflective and gentle with words.
•The goal of family, local councils , Language
Boards, Curriculum developers, schools’ boards, writers, management committees, associations and policy makers is to develop, promote and model value-based vocabulary.
this is to
promote high ethical and moral standards without borders in all business and professional activities.
Is you Mother Tongue on the Value-Based Society Train?
is transformational power recommended by neuroscientists (Siegel, 2007)
•Body language and emotions have
power to support self-reflection.
•Body language and emotions are based on the value systems in place.
•To strengthen our understanding of values, and to control their responses, we need to quietly reflect on what we think,
say and do (See, Neil Hawkes and RI)
•Mother Tongue based Self- reflection leads to enjoying a happy and
•Wakoze chane chane!
Reflect on the value-based language used with
regards to older persons and challenges of ageing in Uganda?
What value-based language vocabulary in your MT do you use with regards to your children, older persons, spouse, workmates, public
transport, house helpers, service providers, army, police, local leaders, politicians, school teachers, the other, persons with challenged life, relatives, friends, those who hate you etc. The more positive the language used, the more wealth and dignity you