How code-switching acts as camouflage to feel familiar to certain people

Code-switching is when a speaker alternates between two or more accents or languages when engaging in different conversations.

RELATED: 'It is only through languages that you get to understand what a people is like'

To discuss this phenomenon, Eusebius McKaiser facilitates a discussion with journalist and feminist activist Nolwazi Tusini, data analyst and columnist Fumbatha May and architect and lecturer Tuliza Sindi.

Being a Zulu person who grew up in Durban, I code-switch in Johannesburg depending on which space I am in. My Zulu sounds different.

Nolwazi Tusini, Journalist and feminist activist

She says she code-switches in black spaces more than she does in interracial spaces.

May says he code-switches all the time.

For as long as I can remember and initially I used code-switching as a matter of survival.

Fumbatha May, Data analyst and columnist

Sindi says she often code-switches because she is from the DRC, she is half Congolese, half Burundian and grew up in an Afrikaans township so she didn't learn any vernacular languages.

In a sense, my code-switching comes from body language and those particular nuances within language that is more reminiscent within black South Africans. Trying to find the balance between caricaturing it verses deeply admiring it.

Tuliza Sindi, Architect and lecturer

She says for her, code-switching is like a superpower which camouflages a person enough to feel familiar to a certain group of people.

Tusini says code-switching has been the way in which she uses language to navigate the world.

To make myself safer in certain spaces, to decrease my anxiety in other spaces and sometimes to yield the little bit of privilege I might have as the middle-class adjacent black woman in South Africa.

Nolwazi Tusini, Journalist and feminist activist

Listen below to the full conversation:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
More woes for Cricket South Africa as Standard Bank pulls out as sponsor

More woes for Cricket South Africa as Standard Bank pulls out as sponsor

Cricbuzz South Africa correspondent Telford Vice discuses the state of CSA and the challenges they have been facing.

[LISTEN] An examination of Friendship, Love and Loneliness

[LISTEN] An examination of Friendship, Love and Loneliness

Dr Eve speaks of the dynamics between friendship and romantic relationships.

The milk powder I buy now is not the same as that of my childhood, says caller

The milk powder I buy now is not the same as that of my childhood, says caller

Africa Melane on the Eusebius McKaiser Show and listeners reflect on famous brands that bring back childhood memories.

There is no moral justification to earn more than R100,000 per day, says caller

There is no moral justification to earn more than R100,000 per day, says caller

702 listeners debate whether it is ethically acceptable to earn R117,600 a day as a CEO.

Court judgments need to be clear and understandable, argues legal professor

Court judgments need to be clear and understandable, argues legal professor

Professor Sibanda says even some of the greatest legal minds are often perplexed by what he calls 'vanity judgments' in SA courts.

[WATCH] O reng? Christo Thurston talks Twitter fame, SA languages, food and more

[WATCH] O reng? Christo Thurston talks Twitter fame, SA languages, food and more

Azania Mosaka chats with Christo Thurston, an education advocate and self-professed foodie, who has gained notoriety on Twitter.

Popular articles
Considering emigration? Financial planner discusses the affordability of leaving

Considering emigration? Financial planner discusses the affordability of leaving

Can you afford to leave South Africa? Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Barry O'Mahony on what to consider before deciding.

'SAA’s collapse plays nicely into hands of a politically constrained Ramaphosa'

'SAA’s collapse plays nicely into hands of a politically constrained Ramaphosa'

After dithering for fear of spending political capital, SAA is now out of the President’s hands, says Pieter du Toit (News24).

There is no Ubuntu in how Khanya Cekeshe has been treated - Thuli Madonsela

There is no Ubuntu in how Khanya Cekeshe has been treated - Thuli Madonsela

Former public protector says the eight-year sentence was too harsh and it shouldn't matter that he was not a Wits student.

‘South Africans are getting poorer and poorer because of politics’

‘South Africans are getting poorer and poorer because of politics’

SAA is a classic example, says Isaah Mhlanga, Chief Economist at Alexander Forbes Investments.

[VIDEO] People in amusement park thrown off ride in Thailand goes viral

[VIDEO] People in amusement park thrown off ride in Thailand goes viral

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

[WATCH] Couple dancing in traffic has social media talking

[WATCH] Couple dancing in traffic has social media talking

Khabazela shares tweets and Facebook posts that have gone viral.

How to make your first R1 million (after that it just becomes so much easier)

How to make your first R1 million (after that it just becomes so much easier)

Rich. Wealthy. Financially free... Call it what you will; the first million is how you get there. Warren Ingram on his book...