PALI LEHOHLA | On the language of measurement and the measurement of language

An economic policy that is devoid of culture and geography succumbs to neocolonialism

12 May 2024 - 20:42 By PALI LEHOHLA

In 1988 I attended a conference of linguists in Swaziland. Many were surprised that a statistician would take an interest in a matter reserved for linguists. I have taken a keen interest in place names as carriers of hope and development or lack thereof. My career as a statistician-general was more of regional science and its role in development theory than a number cruncher. Unsurprisingly, in 2018 I was invited to a summit of publishers in Nairobi. The esteemed author and publisher Ngugi wa Thiong’o was there. I wondered why I was invited. A thought came that perhaps being a weekly columnist in the Business Report and Times Daily qualifies me to be among the luminaries. I discovered there was a hidden agenda. I qualified because of my past. Having been a statistician-general placed me on the crucifix of authors.   ..

There’s never been a more important time to support independent media.

From World War 1 to present-day cosmopolitan South Africa and beyond, the Sunday Times has been a pillar in covering the stories that matter to you.

For just R80 you can become a premium member (digital access) and support a publication that has played an important political and social role in South Africa for over a century of Sundays. You can cancel anytime.

Already subscribed? Sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.