Ulimi ‘lwesiSwahili’ lwenza abaningi bacabange ngezwe lase-Afrika nangezilwane zasendle ezizulazula emathafeni aseSerengeti. Noma kunjalo, kunokwengeziwe ngesiSwahili nabantu abasikhulumayo.

ISISWAHILI siwulimi olukhulunywa abantu abangaba izigidi eziyikhulu emazweni angaba ngu-12 aphakathi ne-Afrika nempumalanga yayo. * Siwulimi olungokomthetho emazweni amaningi afana neKenya, iTanzania ne-Uganda. Emazweni angomakhelwane, siwulimi oluvamile olwenza abantu abavela ezigodini ezihlukahlukene bakwazi ukuhwebelana futhi baxhumane kalula.

IsiSwahili sibe nengxenye ebaluleke kakhulu ekwenzeni abantu baseMpumalanga Afrika babe munye. Ngokwesibonelo, eTanzania iyodwa kukhulunywa izilimi zesigodi ezingaba ngu-114. Ake ucabange nje, usuka kwakho uhamba amakhilomitha angu-40 kuya kwangu-80, uhlangana nabantu abakhuluma ulimi oluhluke ngokuphelele kolwakho! Kwezinye izimo bonke abantu abakhuluma ulimi olulodwa bahlala ngamaqembu amancane ezindaweni ezithile. Ubungakhuluma kanjani nje nabo? Kulula ukubona ukuthi kungani kuzuzisa ukuba nolimi olulodwa olwaziwayo.

Umlando WesiSwahili

Kuthiwa isiSwahili besilokhu sikhulunywa kusukela ekhulwini leshumi. Saba ulimi olubhalwayo ngekhulu le-16. Labo ababefunda ukukhuluma isiSwahili ngokushesha baqaphela ukuthi amagama amaningi aso athi awafane nawesi-Arabhu. Eqinisweni, cishe  amaphesenti angu-20 amagama esiSwahili avela olimini lwesi-Arabhu, kuyilapho amanye enomsuka wase-Afrika. Ngakho, akumangazi ukuthi kungani kwaphela amakhulu eminyaka isiSwahili sibhalwa ngezinhlamvu zesi-Arabhu.

Namuhla, isiSwahili sibhalwa ngezinhlamvu zesiRoma. Kwenzekani? Kungani kwashintshwa? Ukuze sithole impendulo, kumelwe sibuyele emuva phakathi nekhulu le-19 lapho izithunywa zevangeli zokuqala zaseYurophu zifika eMpumalanga Afrika, ngenjongo yokuxoxa ngezindaba zeBhayibheli nabantu bomdabu.

IZwi LikaNkulunkulu Lifika Okokuqala EMpumalanga Afrika

Ngo-1499, phakathi nohambo oludumile lukaVasco da Gama lokuzungeza ichopho eliseningizimu ye-Afrika, izithunywa zevangeli ezingamaPutukezi zafika nenkolo yamaKatolika eMpumalanga Afrika ngokwakha ikhaya lezithunywa zevangeli eZanzibar. Nokho, ingakapheli iminyaka engu-200, amaPutukezi kanye “nobuKristu” kwaxoshwa abantu bendawo ababephikisa.

Kwakuyothatha eminye iminyaka engu-150 ngaphambi kokuba iZwi likaNkulunkulu liphinde libuye eMpumalanga Afrika. Kulokhu lafika nesithunywa sevangeli esingumJalimane uJohann Ludwig Krapf. Lapho efika eMombasa, eKenya, ngo-1844, abantu abaningi ababehlala ogwini lwaseMpumalanga Afrika babengamaSulumane, kuyilapho abantu abaningi ababehlala maphakathi nezwe babegxile kakhulu emasikweni abo nasezinkolelweni zabo zobulwane. UKrapf wayekholelwa ukuthi kubalulekile ukuba iBhayibheli litholwe yiwo wonke umuntu.

UKrapf akachithanga sikhathi, waqala ukufunda isiSwahili. Ngo-June 1844, ngokushesha nje ngemva kokufika kwakhe, waqala umsebenzi oyinselele wokuhumusha iBhayibheli. Ngokudabukisayo, ngenyanga eyalandela, wavelelwa into ebuhlungu kakhulu—umkakhe ayeseshade naye iminyaka emibili washona, kwase kulandela indodakazi yakhe ngemva kwezinsuku ezimbalwa. Nakuba lokhu kwambangela usizi, waqhubeka nomsebenzi wakhe obalulekile wokuhumusha iBhayibheli. Ngo-1847 kwanyatheliswa izahluko zokuqala ezintathu zencwadi kaGenesise futhi kwaba incwadi yokuqala eyanyatheliswa ngesiSwahili.

Inguqulo yango-1847 kaGenesise 1:1-3 eyahunyushwa uJohann Krapf ngesiSwahili

UKrapf uyena owokuqala owasebenzisa izinhlamvu zesiRoma kunokuba asebenzise ezesi-Arabhu ezazivamile lapho kubhalwa isiSwahili. Esinye isizathu esenza ukuba angazisebenzisi izinhlamvu zesi-Arabhu lapho ebhala isiSwahili ukuthi “kwakuyoba nzima kubantu baseYurophu ukuqonda izinhlamvu zesi-Arabhu” uma kamuva befunda ulimi lwesiSwahili futhi “izinhlamvu zesiRoma zaziyokwenza kube lula ‘ngabantu boMdabu ukuba bafunde izilimi zaseYurophu.’” Abanye baqhubeka besebenzisa izinhlamvu zesi-Arabhu iminyaka eminingi; ezinye izingxenye zeBhayibheli zanyatheliswa ngazo.  Noma kunjalo, ukusebenzisa izinhlamvu zesiRoma ngempela kwenza kwaba lula kwabaningi ukufunda isiSwahili. Akungabazeki ukuthi izithunywa zevangeli eziningi nabanye ababefunda isiSwahili bajabula kakhulu ngalolu shintsho.

Ngaphezu kokuba umuntu wokuqala ukuhumushela iZwi likaNkulunkulu olimini lwesiSwahili, uKrapf wababekela isisekelo abahumushi ababeyolandela. Wenza incwadi yokuqala yohlelo lwesiSwahili, kanye nesichazamazwi salolu limi.

Igama LikaNkulunkulu NgesiSwahili

Ingxenye kaMathewu isahluko 1 ngesiSwahili ebhalwe ngezinhlamvu zesi-Arabhu, yango-1891

Encwadini yokuqala eyayinezahluko ezintathu zikaGenesise, igama likaNkulunkulu lalihunyushwe ngokuthi “uNkulunkulu uMninimandla onke.” Nokho, ngasekupheleni kwekhulu le-19, kwafika amadoda amaningana eMpumalanga Afrika ezoqhubeka nomsebenzi wokuhumusha iBhayibheli eliphelele ngesiSwahili. Phakathi kwawo kwakukhona uJohann Rebmann, uWilliam Taylor, uHarry Binns, u-Edward Steere, uFrancis Hodgson, no-Arthur Madan.

Kuyaphawuleka ukuthi ezinye zalezo zinguqulo zokuqala zazilisebenzisa igama likaNkulunkulu hhayi ezindaweni ezithile kuphela kodwa kuyo yonke imiBhalo yesiHebheru! Labo ababehumushela eZanzibar bahumusha igama likaNkulunkulu ngokuthi “Yahuwa,” kuyilapho labo ababehumushela eMombasa balihumusha ngokuthi “Jehova.”

Ngo-1895 iBhayibheli eliphelele lase litholakala ngesiSwahili. Emashumini eminyaka alandela kwenziwa ezinye izinguqulo nakuba ezinye zazo zingasakazwanga kabanzi. Phakathi neminyaka yokuqala yangekhulu lama-20, kwenziwa umzamo omkhulu ukuze ulimi lwesiSwahili lufane eMpumalanga Afrika. Lokhu kwaholela ekubeni ngo-1952 kukhiqizwe inguqulo yeBhayibheli i-Swahili Union Version eye yasakazwa kabanzi. Lokhu kwabangela nokuba igama elithi “Yehova” libe igama likaNkulunkulu elamukelekayo ezinguqulweni eziningi zesiSwahili.

Isigaba esinegama likaNkulunkulu elithi Jehova, ekhasini lokuqala lenguqulo “iSwahili Union Version”

Ngokudabukisayo, lezo zinguqulo zokuqala azizange zisanyatheliswa, ngakho igama likaNkulunkulu laqala ukunyamalala. Ezinye izinguqulo ezintsha zazilisuse ngokuphelele kuyilapho ezinye ziligcine ezindaweni ezimbalwa. Ngokwesibonelo, kuyi-Union Version igama likaNkulunkulu lalivela izikhathi ezingu-15, futhi lapho ibukezwa ngo-2006, leli gama lavela izikhathi ezingu-11. *

Izinguqulo zokuqala ezibonisa igama likaNkulunkulu elihunyushwe ngokuthi “Yahuwa” nangokuthi “Jehova”

Nakuba leyo nguqulo ilikhipha cishe kuzo zonke izindawo elivela kuzo igama likaNkulunkulu, kunokuthile okuthakazelisayo ngayo. Kwelinye lamakhasi okuqala kuvela ngokucacile ukuthi igama likaNkulunkulu uJehova. Lokho kuye kwabasiza labo abafuna iqiniso ukuba bafunde igama likaBaba wethu osezulwini emaBhayibhelini abo.

Nokho, lokhu akukhona ukuphela kwendaba. Ngo-1996 kwakhululwa INguqulo YeZwe Elisha  YemiBhalo YamaKristu YesiGreki ngesiSwahili. Lena inguqulo yokuqala yesiSwahili eyabuyisela igama likaJehova izikhathi ezingu-237 kusukela kuMathewu kuya kusAmbulo. Lokho kwalandelwa ukukhululwa kweBhayibheli eliphelele, INguqulo YeZwe Elisha YemiBhalo Engcwele yesiSwahili ngo-2003. Kuze kube manje sekunyatheliswe amakhophi angaba ngu-900 000 e-Nguqulo YeZwe Elisha YemiBhalo Engcwele ngesiSwahili.

Manje igama likaNkulunkulu alisafihliwe iziqu noma limane lifakwe esanduleleni. Manje, lapho abanhliziyo ziqotho befunda INguqulo YeZwe Elisha ngesiSwahili, basondela nakakhulu kuJehova isikhathi ngasinye lapho befunda leli gama elivela izikhathi ezingaphezu kuka-7 000.

Le nguqulo iye yasebenzisa isiSwahili sesimanje okulula ukusiqonda, esiqondwa yibo bonke abantu abakhuluma isiSwahili eMpumalanga Afrika. Ngaphezu kwalokho, izimfundiso eziningi eziyiphutha ezikhona ezinguqulweni eziningi zisusiwe. Ngenxa yalokho, umfundi angaqiniseka ukuthi ufunda “amazwi eqiniso okuyiwonawona” njengoba ephefumulelwe uMdali wethu, uJehova uNkulunkulu.—UmShumayeli 12:10.

Abaningi bayakujabulela ukusebenzisa “INguqulo Yezwe Elisha YemiBhalo Engcwele” ngesiSwahili

Abantu abaningi baye bazwakalisa ukubonga nge-Nguqulo Yezwe Elisha yesiSwahili. UVicent, isikhonzi sesikhathi esigcwele soFakazi BakaJehova esineminyaka engu-21, wathi, “Ngajabula kakhulu nge-Nguqulo Yezwe Elisha ngoba inesiSwahili esilula futhi iye yabuyisela igama likaJehova endaweni yalo lapho abanye ababelikhiphe khona.” UFrieda, umama wezingane ezintathu, unomuzwa wokuthi le nguqulo ikwenze kwaba lula kuye ukuchaza amaqiniso eBhayibheli kubantu.

Kusukela esiqalweni esiphansi, umsebenzi wokuhumusha iZwi likaNkulunkulu ngesiSwahili usuqhubeke iminyaka engaphezu kwengu-150. UJesu wathi ‘wayelenze laziwa igama likaYise.’ (Johane 17:6) Manje, ngokusebenzisa INguqulo Yezwe Elisha, oFakazi BakaJehova abangaphezu kuka-76 000 abakhuluma isiSwahili abahlala maphakathi nasempumalanga ye-Afrika, bajabulela ukuhlanganyela ekwenzeni igama likaJehova laziwe kubo bonke.

^ isig. 3 Kusetshenziswa izinhlobo ezihlukahlukene zesiSwahili kula mazwe.

[Imithombo Yesithombe ekhasini 28]