Swahili Brunch

In preparation for a unit on East African food & cuisine, a Swahili-themed brunch went down at the Many Nations Long House. Swahili students, joined by the International Outlook FIG together with Swahili’s own FIG (Development Swahili) sampled Mandazi, Ndizi za kuchemsha, Chai, Kahawa and a few others. Some pics from the event:


Swahili enters South African schools

Swahili Rising…

Kiswahili will be taught as an optional language in South African schools from 2020 as part of efforts “to bring Africans together”, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has said.

It will be the first African language, from outside South Africa, to be offered at schools.

French, German and Mandarin are among foreign languages already offered in South African schools as optional subjects.

Ms Motshekga said Kiswahili was the most spoken language in Africa after English and Arabic, and “has the power to expand to countries that never spoke it and has the power to bring Africans together”.

“It is also one of the official languages of the African Union. We are confident that the teaching of Kiswahili is South African schools will help to promote social cohesion with our fellow Africans,” Ms Motshekga added.

Last month, South Africa radical opposition leader Julius Malema said Kiswahili should be developed into a “continental language” as parts of efforts to “decolonise” Africa.

“We must have a language which unites Africans… We then do away with speaking to each other in English,” he said

Henry Rusasa

Allow me to introduce Henry Rusasa. Henry is a visiting Fulbright Scholar with the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant program.

I come from Dar es salaam (from Arabic origin meaning the “coast of peace”). This is the biggest commercial city in Tanzania. I speak Hangaza (a language spoken in Northwest Tanzania), Swahili and English. Apart from Swahili being the language which unites the Nation, Tanzania has more than 120 tribal Languages from about 150 tribes found in the country. Back home I am an English Language teacher for high school. From August, 2017 I got an opportunity to come to United States of America to further my academic and profession knowledge and skills by taking courses and assisting teaching Swahili language at the University of Oregon.

Teaching Swahili to non-native speakers has been a rewarding opportunity. It’s a great feeling to see a dynamic transformation of a student from not being able to speak even one word, to the stage of describing themselves, things, and events in detail in Swahili. This is the ultimate goal of any teacher of a foreign language. These classes give me an opportunity to present my country, and unveil its richness in tourism, natural resources, culture and languages. Students gets to cook and taste East African food, too.

I am taking some classes on language culture and literature. These classes help me to connect language and culture and how to select the appropriate literature to be used in the particular topics. In a class with students from across the world, I learn the diversity of the world and how language classes are taught in their countries based on their backgrounds.

I am looking forward to imparting the knowledge and skills I learn in my classes to my students. I am doing my best to make sure that the people I encounter get to know the Swahili Nation, culture and language.

At the end of summer and beginning of fall, I was hiking the beautiful Oregon hills. I hiked Pisgah Arboretum, Skinner butte, Spencer butte and Fuji mountain. But after the weather changed now I like running, watching movies, reading novels and inspirational books. I also like traveling. I have enjoyed seeing the beauty of Oregon by touring around Eugene, Portland and the Pacific coast.

In the Swahili language program, we have a Swahili circle each Friday at 2PM to 4PM in 255 Straub, where by the students are introduced to the Swahili language and culture. In this program we make cultural things, we play cultural games, eat cultural food, watching Swahili films and listen to music. We test our cultural knowledge and language proficiency by participating in these activities.

Current Students – Resources


Winter 2018 Hours

Office: T  & Th 02:00 – 3:00pm

Swahili  Circle : Fridays 1:00- 3:00pm,  151 Straub Hall. Karibuni Nyote!


Need Extra Help?

Here are a few links to help!

BBC Swahili Service: http://www.bbc.co.uk/swahili/

VOA Swahili Service: http://www.voaswahili.com/archive/afrika/latest/2772/2774.html

Mwanasimba (grammar) : http://mwanasimba.online.fr/E_TABLE.htm

Swahili Hub: http://www.swahilihub.com/

Online Dictionary http://www.elimuyetu.co.tz/subjects/arts/eng-swa/c.html


African Studies Lecture Series!

Come out to the Winter African Studies Lecture Series this year!

  • January 22. Sarah Zimmerman. History. Western Washington University. “Gender, Citizenship, and Diminishing Access: Goréen Women in Post-Emancipation Senegal” Knight Browsing Room. Free
  • January 29. Ama de-Graft Aikins. Psychology/Global Health. University of Ghana. “Sugar Disease, Bitter Medicine: living with diabetes in an urban poor Ghanaian community.” Knight Browsing Room. Free
  • February 14. Andre Djiffack. Romance Languages. UO. “Teaching and researching on Mongo Beti”. Knight Browsing Room. Free

The lecture will be taking place in the Knight Library Browsing room from 12-1:15pm!

For more information about the speaker and event visit : http://africa.uoregon.edu/lecture-series-and-events/african-studies-lecture-series