Learning Oshiwambo Made Easy for Kids

The Nakapundas are back with another lovely book that celebrates their history and imparts crucial knowledge, with the hopes of ensuring preservation and instilling cultural pride in the new generation.

Panduleni and Eunice’s new release is called ‘Helao’s First Oshiwambo Words’, a children’s book of basic Oshikwanyama and Oshindonga words children can use as a foundation for growing their vocabulary, designed to make learning simple lexicon an enjoyable experience.

This little book packs a major punch by introducing commonly used words in everyday life, acting as a starting point for children to grasp Oshiwambo and expand their word bank.

The book covers a variety of essential categories with vibrant pictures.

Readers can learn to count from one to a thousand through delightful images of a cheerful boy proudly displaying numbers.

Additionally, Helao teaches informal greetings and how to greet during different times of the day, and introduces colours, directions, weekdays, seasons, internal organs, insects, animals, family members, body parts, food, clothes, school items, household items and useful phrases.

Each image is paired with the English word, followed by two translations.

Panduleni Nakapunda, who works closely with his mother, Eunice, says after the success of their first paperback, ‘Ethnic Oshiwambo Names and Their Meanings’, many people expressed a desire to teach their young ones to converse in the vernacular.

“People, and particularly young new parents, want to teach their children Oshiwambo and have been asking me whether I have written any other book for children in our local dialect, and this is where the inspiration for this book came from.

“This, together with my passion to preserve my Oshiwambo heritage, made me think what better way is there to preserve our language, other than making sure the young generation learns how to speak it?” he says.

According to the authors, what sets this book apart is its versatility. Not only is it an excellent resource for teaching children, but it has also proven to be beneficial for adults looking to enhance their own diction.

This expansion of vocabulary ensures that one is exposed to a diverse range of words, making the learning process dynamic and engaging.

With its colourful illustrations, practical categories, and the charismatic character of Helao, this book promises to be a delightful journey into the world of language for children and adults alike.

– Anne Hambuda is a poet, writer and social commentator. Follow her online or email her annehambuda@gmail.com for more.

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