South Eastern Nigeria leaders in South Africa have concluded arrangements to sign a cultural exchange agreement with Xhosa kingdom in that country. A chieftain of Ohaneze Ndigbo in South Africa, Chief Udeji Jonas, said this in a statement issued in Johannesburg, South Africa recently.
Jonas said that a delegation of South East leaders had visited the king of Xhosa kingdom in Eastern Cape Province of South Africa and an agreement was reached to put in place an annual cultural exchange program between Xhosa kingdom and the Igbo. According to Jonas, the two parties also agreed to boost trade and investment as well initiatives in the agriculture and health sectors. He also said that a cultural programme would be held in October 2016 at Mbasuo Municipality in Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.
“At the end of the meeting, the two groups were happy and we are working on the final documents to sign the agreement, the aim is to make youths of Nigeria and South Africa learn the different cultures, exchange ideas and interact as fellow Africans. We believe that this program will strengthen Nigeria-South Africa Bi-National Commission and make the people of the two countries to be closer,” he said.
He also said that two universities in Xhosa kingdom would train Nigerians on investment as well as agriculture and health as part of the agreement reached.
The Xhosa are the second largest cultural group in South Africa, after the Zulu-speaking nation. The Xhosa language (Isixhosa), of which there are variations, is part of the Nguni language group. Xhosa is one of the 11 official languages recognized by the South African Constitution, and in 2006 it was determined that just over 7 million South Africans speak Xhosa as a home language. It is a tonal language, governed by the noun – which dominates the sentence. Although they speak a common language, Xhosa people belong to many loosely-organized but distinct chiefdoms that have their origins in their Nguni ancestors. It is important to question how and why the Nguni speakers were separated into the sub-group known today. The majority of central northern Nguni people became part of the Zulu kingdom, whose language and traditions are very similar to the Xhosa nations – the main difference is that the latter abolished circumcision.