When Angad arrived in Pretoria in 2011 with his father Tejinder and teacher mother Amarjeet, he opted for Afrikaans, rather than Zulu, as a second compulsory language at Theresa Park Primary School.
His father was on a three-year contract, working as an engineer for a Tata company. “With Zulu, I was quite confused when we were shown the options I had, so the same day I told my Dad that I would do Afrikaans and make a success of it, even though I only first learnt it in my last year at primary school,” Sena said. “I did a lot of reading after learning the basics, which helped me a lot,” he said. Afrikaans came easily to Angad, who speaks English, Hindi, Marathi and Punjabi. In 2012, after having studied the language for just two years, he came first in a national contest for public speaking titled “Radikale Redenaars” (Radical Debaters). This year, he entered again and came second nationally after speaking about his own success in mastering Afrikaans.
“We will miss Angad next year. He is definitely one of my best students,” said Mariska van Vuuren, his class teacher.
Afrikaans, developed from Dutch, is largely seen as the language of the white minority that enforced it as a compulsory language in all-black schools across South Africa during the apartheid era. (PTI)