Moyaha is a big fan of Sekoto’s art and penned a poem called Mud to Magic to celebrate the late artist's surrealist black urban work.
Maclons, who is a teacher and often interprets for Moyaha, said one of the main challenges in the deaf community was access to education, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The biggest problem is that when schools closed, plans were made for hearing children who were sent home with work or teachers taught them online. But very little was done for deaf children who were very isolated at home as their families are mostly hearing and most can’t use SASL,” she said.
SLED decided to help their teachers with online training to assist learners at home and translated SASL stories into English to help parents over WhatsApp.
PhD student Robyn Swannack from the centre for deaf studies at Wits University said SASL was historically not seen as a real language.
“The first big challenge was getting people to believe that SASL is a real language, with all its linguistic complexities recognised equally as all the other languages in SA,” she said.
“Deaf Federation SA (Deaf SA) played a key role, headed by exceptional deaf leaders with substantial international experience and respect, advocating for SASL to become the 12th official language.
“By recognising the language, there will be more opportunities for equal access. The recognition of our language will encourage all sectors to recognise deaf people and provide accessibility services to us.
“It will promote more awareness in public and provide more leadership roles for deaf people. It will open the doors to improve accessibility to wellbeing and health services, early childhood development, education, employment and economic rights of deaf people in SA.”
Pan South African Language Board CEO Lance Schultz said they had been aggressively lobbying for SASL to be made an official language.
“We can confirm that the bill has been drafted for the amendment of the constitution to include the SASL as the 12th language,” he said, adding that the department of justice and constitutional development will table the matter in parliament.
“We are hoping the deliberations thereof will provide strategic direction to expedite the process,” said Schultz.