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'Multiration' kindergarten always lifts up my spirits

By unknown | Feb 04, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

A SPITTING distance from my home there is a sign that always cheers me up, no matter how depressed I could be.

A SPITTING distance from my home there is a sign that always cheers me up, no matter how depressed I could be.

It is emblazoned on the wall of a now disused crèche, and proudly declares: "Multiration crèche."

Anyone who has been to the townships has seen these signs ... under courage (carriage) wash, clash repairs, machanic, bilder, engine overall, brek flute (brake fluid), loan mowers, kitchen carbods ...

If a man can build your house, you do not worry if he thinks he is a bilder.

Those who are fastidious about language would fret at the smorgasbord of linguistic liberties our people take.

Of all the funny-ha-ha signs I see each day, "multiration" takes the cake.

I have seen it a trillion times, yet it never fails to lift my spirits and give me a nice chuckle. It was obviously put up at a time in our history when apartheid was beginning to crumble and parents jostled to get their children out of township schools to afford them a better education.

The "multiration" kindergarten is nestled in a sparsely populated smallholding, and was ostensibly meant to entice parents from the nearby township. The expectation is that a "multiration" school will have English as the medium of instruction.

I often wondered if the smart aleck who ran the outfit managed to haul them in by the dozens.

Poor sods.

The crèche owner could have been a con artist, or he or she could have been an honest individual with nothing but good intentions.

It could well have been someone with the guts to do their bit to contribute to a new society, when many of us take the back-seat and hurl criticism.

On reflection, there is not much of a difference between the "multiration" guy and the well-schooled Afrikaner teacher who taught my daughter Setswana at a highly respected school, and told her that cool drink in Setswana is "namonate".

Now, that is arrant nonsense, and as a Motswana I should know. It is not only wrong, but no such word exists.

Either the teacher was being creative to wangle her way out of a pickle, or she was just a liar. There is a chance, too, that it was an honest mistake borne of ignorance and miseducation.

You could suppose that is how life pans out sometimes - unschooled teachers, dentists with rotting teeth, dirt- poor financial consultants, mechanics who drive skodonks, cobblers walking next to their shoes, cops who steal, sickly doctors, blind opticians and moral regeneration leaders with degenerating morals. The latter, as we all know, sometimes end up as presidents.

Parting shot:

Dear sis Dolly

"I am a gentlemen in his 60s. I am married with five wives and have 20 kids. The latest baby is from a relationship with a 39-year-old whom I am not married to. I have just married my latest wife and engaged to another. Now I am not sure if I should marry the 39-year-old. She is the child of my friend and I don't want to cause a rift between me and my friend. Please help.

Anonymous, Enkandla.



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