Leo tarehe 23 April ni siku ya Umoja wa mataifa ya kusherehekea lugha ya Kiingereza. Sina mengi kuongelea kuhusu hii siku lakini imenikumbusha safari yangu ya kujifunza na kuelewa lugha hii adhimu inayounganisha mataifa mbalimbali yenye tamaduni tofauti.

Safari yangu ya kuelewa na kuzungumza Kiingereza haikuwa rahisi. Vitabu vya grammar vilisaidia kujenga msingi. Nyimbo na filamu za Kiingereza zilisaidia kuimarisha kiingereza changu. Niliweza kupata maneno mapya kupitia kusoma hadithi za Kiingereza kwenye magazeti, vitabu na kila andiko lolote liloandikwa kwa lugha hiyo.

I made it my life mission kwamba before I leave this planet I must be able to communicate through the English language.

Changamoto kubwa niliyokuwa nayo ni kwamba I was born and raised in a village where everyone spoke their mother tongue —Kisukuma. There was no interaction with English native speakers

One fact about my tribe ni kwamba, Wasukuma are very reluctant to speak a new language even if they know it. Ukienda huko leo, watakusemesha Kisukuma, watakusalimu kwa Kisukuma na watakushangaa kwanin haujui Kisukuma. Na kama hutoweza kuzungumza basi wao wataendelea na mazungumzo yao na kukuacha ukijiuliza wanaongelea nini.

I never went to English medium pre-schools. I attended an overpopulated and underfunded primary school where at standard one, no student could utter two English words —let alone Kiswahili expressions.

Kwakuwa hamu na mapenzi ya kutaka kufahamu lugha hii adhimu yalizidi kiasi, nilianza kujikuta napendelea zaidi English songs, English movies, na English story books.

Ikafikia mahali nikachukia nyimbo za Bongo fleva na Bongo movies cause niliona kama zinanikwamisha kwenye safari yangu ya kuwa fluent kwenye Kiingereza. Learning is a behavior change.

Mapenzi yangu kwa hii lugha, yaliweza kuakisi maamuzi yangu ya kitaaluma (career choice) kwani niliamua kuchukua shahada ya kwanza ya ualimu katika lugha ya Kiingereza pamoja na Fasihi ya Kiingereza ambayo niliweza kuhitimu vizuri mwaka jana.

So as we are celebrating the United Nation’s English Language Day, I am celebrating my own achievement in being able to master the analytical and descriptive aspects of English language (I am a linguist) na pia kuwasiliana na wazungumzaji wa lugha hiyo kwa ufasaha.

But that is not all, I am still learning new English words words kila siku. Napenda literature. Napenda kusoma. Never a day goes by that I do not read anything written in English. From poems to online articles, fictions, non fictions, instagram captions – I read everything!

SWALI; Ni kitu gani unajivunia kuweza kukimilisha/achieve?