Miss Debby Oluwatimilehin Akinsola, a 25- year – old Nigerian student , has revealed the secret behind her speaking of 11 official South Africa languages.
Akinsola, who was born in Ibadan , Oyo State , told the News Agency of Nigeria in Pretoria , South Africa , on Sunday that her family ’ s relocation to different southern African countries necessitated her learning of the different languages .
She listed the languages as isiZulu , Setswana, Ndebele , Isixhosa , Sesotho, Tsonga /Xangani , Afrikaans , English , Sepedi, Venda, and Swati.
“ At the age of four in 2002 , my parents moved to Botswana . There, we stayed in locations , known locally as “ Metsimotlhabe” in Gaborone , the capital of Botswana .
“ We were the only Nigerians there and most locals could not speak English . We used hand gestures to interact and communicate . As a child then , I started speaking Setswana , the Botswana language, ” she said .
She noted that things turned around faster , following their relocation to South Africa in 2010.
“ I had just finished secondary school then . My family stayed in Soweto and the popular language was Zulu .
“ In the shops , barbers shop , market , churches and taxi drivers , everybody spoke the Zulu language .
“ As I started school there , it took me one year and a few months to learn and speak the 11 languages in South Africa .
“ I can also speak and write the Yoruba language fluently , ” she said .
Akinsola later read business management at the University of Pretoria and presently , she is studying professional diploma at the Chartered Institute of Secretaries .
According to her , her fluency in the languages earned her the role of an interpreter at her local church.
“ In our local church in Pretoria , Apostolic Faith Church , I am the interpreter of the General Overseer .
“ The GO speaks Zulu and any local language and I interpret in English to the congregation, ” she said .
Akinsola said she and her elder brother, Samuel , a computer expert , are the only children of their parents.
On her future , Akinsola said she would like to marry a Nigerian to continue with her language and culture .
“ The last time I visited Ibadan was in 2008. My parents are now missionaries based in South Africa . I will like to marry a Nigerian . I want my children to know my language and culture .
“ My dream is to become a board member in a firm after getting my professional certificate , ” she said . (NAN )