The Wits School of Sign Language says the graduation of its first masters student proves that it’s time for sign to be recognised as the 12th official language. Nyeleti Nokwazi will today graduate with a Master of Arts in South African Sign Language. The subject was only introduced at schools a year ago.
Nokwazi’s lecturer Ruth Morgan says, “It shows that South African sign language is a language that is capable being used. People always argue that it’s not developed language and it lacks vocabularies, it’s just not the case. It’s a fully-fledged language that should be an official language.” South African Sign Language is the official sign language used by Deaf people in South Africa. It is not an official language of South Africa.
The South African government added a National Language Unit for South African Sign Language in 2001. South African Sign Language is probably our oldest indigenous language, and is the most basic human right of the deaf community.