Ikalanga Bible launched
Thirty three years after its translation, the IKalanga Bible has officially been launched.
It was launched at the Francistown old stadium under the theme “Ndzimu uno lebelekabo Ikalanga” loosely meaning God also speaks Ikalanga.
The Bible was translated in 1985 under the supervision of the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa and the United Bible Societies.
Speaking at the launch, city mayor Sylivia Muzila said the Ikalanga Bible is a welcome development for Bakalaka and those interested in learning the language.
“I am certain they have long wanted to read the Holy Bible in their mother toungue and from now they will be able to do so,” Muzila said.
When giving the background of the Ikalanga Bible, Reverend Klaus Pahlen stated that it was around 1980 when the Lutheran Pastor and Missionary Fritz-Adolf Häfner (from Germany, staying in Kanye) travelled the whole country preaching the Gospel..
“He spoke Setswana and noticed that in the Northeast district a large population spoke another language, quite different from Setswana. He did not understand it and at that time many people in the Northeast did not understand Setswana either.
“Then he asked them: Even if you are able to speak different languages, which one do you use in prayers? He even asked the late President Quett Masire this question. And all of them had to admit that the language of prayer was their mother-tongue,” Pahlen said.
He said the process to apply for the translation then started adding that after getting a go ahead, the translation started a few years later with the last books from the Old Testament being translated in 2010 up to 2014.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Gladys Kokorwe said the Ikalanga Bible will bring healing to those who patiently waited for it, joy, laughter to those who are proud of their language and spiritual growth for those who lead bible studies.
“Let the Bible be in your cars, dressing tables, hand bags and cooler boxes,” she closed.
The logo of the KBTP depicts a person filling water from one vessel into another one, with the words: “Dama le Ndzimu – Vula ye butjilo”. – Yes, the Word of God gives you water of life.
The event was also graced by local and South African pastors from different churches.