Consuming learning material in your mother tongue makes it easier to understand learning concepts, according to online learning platform Diji's market research.
It showed that more than 1 500 people – 94.5% of people surveyed – want to lean in their own languages.
Diji is an online learning platform where African language speakers learn in their mother tongue languages. It is designed to help the general public learn in their languages, in their time and on their cell phones. The online platform offers micro-courses, which means that the courses are short, easy to complete, and focus on skills development.
Diji's research indicated that people wanted to learn business and social media courses in their mother tongue. This also included short courses such as how to prepare for the job market and the basics of digital and financial literacy.
The online learning platform said that while in Africa, English, French and other European languages are the common choice of business, education, advertising and the internet, it may be a surprise that only 0.5% of Africans speak English as their mother tongue.
"There is a clear lack of recognition of African languages, which is something that iAfrika Digital aims to address with solutions it has built for African language speakers – iAfrika and Diji," the company said.
iAfrika is a mobile website where African language speakers can access cultural and historical information about themselves. This type of information – about clan praises, language and customs – is often unavailable in books or on the internet, but is an essential part of people’s cultures, histories, and identities.
iAfrika is available in Zulu, Xhosa and will soon be available in Tswana and other languages. The Zulu version of iAfrika is by far the most popular.
Diji's market research found that over 120 000 visitors read the iAfrica website pages over 500 000 times each month.
"Nearly all of them (94%) come from the provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, the regions of South Africa with the most isiZulu speakers," the company said.
Diji currently offers these courses in isiZulu and isiXhosa and continues to expand to other languages and regions.